The growing season has been ending rather progressively throughout the forecast area over the last several days. The colder than normal airmass has been enough to end the growing season officially across much of Northern New Jersey, Southeast New York and interior Connecticut. Tonight, the growing season looks to come to a close across much of the Central New Jersey Pine Barrens. Accordingly, the National Weather Service has issued Freeze Warnings for Middlesex, Western Monmouth, Mercer, Salem, Ocean, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Southeastern Burlington County — which are valid from 3:00 – 9:00 am Saturday. Freeze Watches are in effect for parts of Southeast New York and Southern Connecticut.
With temperatures expected to fall into the lower 30’s for the third straight evening and overnight period, Saturday will mark a continuation of a chilly and dry airmass. The dry airmass is becoming more notable as we approach the final week of October. New York City’s Central Park, for one example, has recorded only 0.30″ of rainfall for the month. The average to date for October is around 3.00″ — and the departure is enough to put New York City in a D-0 drought stage. The drought breaker may not come until next week, when a storm system moves through he Great Lakes and brings a cold front through the area.
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. Additionally, two X-Class (Major) flares have occurred in the last 24 hours. 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. The two recent X-Class flares do not appear to be earthbound, but we await an update from space weather models for more information.
In other space news, 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.