Friday morning was the coldest of the Autumn thus far, with temperatures falling into the 20s and 30s throughout much of the interior. Even urban locations fell into the upper 30s, owing to a very cold airmass aloft and excellent radiational cooling with clear skies and light winds. The growing season officially ended across much of the area suburbs. Friday will remain feeling chillier than much of this Autumn season has, with high temperatures topping out in the middle 50s and an occasional westerly wind gust.
The plus side of the cooler airmass settled into the area will undoubtedly be the presence of abundant sunshine. Dry air remains in place — as has been the case this entire month. In fact, October 2013 is shaping up to make a run for the top 5 driest Octobers on record in New York City. The pattern, not surprisingly, looks dry through the early to middle part of next week at the very earliest. This weekend will be pleasant, albeit a bit chilly, similarly to Thursday and Friday.
Solar storm, ISON brightening: The sun has been very active in the last several weeks, and multiple M-class flares have occurred in the last 5 days. An additional stronger M-class flare (nearly X-class) occurred early on October 24. The earthbound solar storm is expected to impact on October 26 with wifi, cell phone disruptions possible as well as aurora moving southward and becoming prevalent in the northern latitudes.
Comet ISON continues to brighten with newest observations taking it near or above the most recent light curve predictions. ISONs magnitude 9 or greater observations may be a bit ambitious without official confirmation, but the brightening is a sure sign that disintegration is not imminent. More information will continue to stream in and become more abundant over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.