We’re fast approaching the latter half of October, and while the lack of serious fall color has been a point of interest, the drizzly and wet weekends of the past several weeks have certainly been cause for annoyance for many. Don’t get us wrong, the rain is always needed but when outdoor weekend plans are at stake, it’s understandable that some may be wondering what lies ahead for the future.
After what had been a despairingly dry start to the summer, the dog days and start of fall provided a welcome relief to the mounting rain deficit and drought conditions across the region. The good news is that at this point in October we are pretty much good to go in terms of drought, with only a few abnormally dry spots remaining in southern parts of the Midstate. The bad news is that the rain has kept coming. 3 of the past 4 weekends have resulted in rain accumulation in Harrisburg and the rest of south central PA. Rain totals have varied somewhat widely between the weekends, but the consistent timing of the rain chances has been notable. Interestingly, despite the multitude of rain events for the month of October, totals for the month are still around 0.5″ below the average, and in fact, many counties in the southern half of the Midstate are still several inches below the annual rainfall average.
With all of this being said then, how does this coming weekend shape up? Some will be disappointed to know that we may have another damp one on tap. An upper level trough set to bring in our next cold front will likely generate a line of showers while a coastal low brings some more intrigue to the situation. Models have mostly kept the low off the coast, with the front being the main trouble spot. We’ll continue to monitor the situation, but this scenario isn’t entirely out of the realm of realism, considering we expect the rest of October to likely bring at least two showery days per week.
Fall color too, may see some impact from continual rain chances over the weekend. Too many cloudy and wet days can limit the color potential of tree leaves. One of the reasons for the slow start to leaf peeping season in the Midstate has been a distinct lack of colder and drier days.
The atmosphere tends to be very cyclic, and time will tell how this coming weekend and the next few weekends pan out. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if places can bite into the annual rain deficit and how fall foliage in the Midstate eventually plays out.