My blog posts are typically analysis of upcoming or ongoing weather, but once in awhile it's important to stop and smell the roses - or at least enjoy the scenery. Each New Englander has our own "favorite season," but those who choose New England's autumn as a season with a special place in their heart are getting a little extra support from nature these last couple of days. Following our somewhat dreary end to the weekend, a classic autumn air has taken hold of New England so far this week, and it's been producing some breathtaking visuals, regionwide - thanks to you, our NECN viewers, we've been able to feature beauty from every corner of our six-state region.
First, the fall color has continued to dazzle, as overnight low temperatures hit the 20s and 30s for nearly all of us Monday night, further accelerating a metamorphosis of color that was already in full swing. The result: peak color for most of Northern and Central New England, now, with moderate color expanding rapidly through Southern New England. Though most areas still see the oak trees lagging, as they do each year, maples are dazzling and most other trees and brush are putting on their annual late-season show. With clouds and drizzle arriving for some eastern areas Thursday morning, then a mild day with more clouds than sun ahead of a few showers Thursday evening, colors may be just a bit muted, but another shot of crisp fall air will arrive Friday - bringing blue sky Friday and Saturday with high temperatures only 55-60 and a fresh northwest wind...enough to pull some leaves down, but not a foliage-killing wind. The weekend is expected to finish on a pleasant and delightful note, with highs rebounding well into the 60s ahead of a continued relatively mild stretch in the 60s most of next week. Next week's mild air likely will slow the progression of fall color just a bit, which isn't a bad thing - in fact, if we do, indeed, see an absence of wind and heavy rain next week, that would allow brilliant color to persist for a majority of New England! Many of you have been regularly sending photos our way at NECN and I can't thank you enough - we'll continue to share as many as we can so one and all can enjoy the beauty of the season. Image at left of Cannon Mountain, NH, courtesy of Steve Bosselman, posted to my Flickr photo sharing site at neskyscenes.com.
The other dazzling display this morning was our incredible sunrise - an overnight push of slightly warmer and more moist air aloft was enough to develop a broken deck of middle and high altitude clouds that lingered into the early morning while slowly moving from southwest to northeast, and this was the perfect combination to add texture to the sky, coincident with our later rising sun here in the fall season. One question we often get: what causes the lovely colors on the horizon during a beautiful sunrise or sunset? The biggest factor in lovely dawn and dusk coloring is dust and other small particles in the air - these are often most prevalent in dry air, where the breeze can stir up these particles more readily than if the ground and air were moist, and with dry air in abundance lately, we've been seeing some great color. When you can add clouds and texture to an already colorful sky, the result is what we were treated to this morning. As with the vibrant leaves, so many of you snapped photos as the sunrise unfolded, and I shared as many on air as I could - thanks to one and all, and as nature keeps the incredible visuals coming, we hope you'll keep the photos coming, too! Image at left of this morning's sunrise courtesy of Rick Barber, on Twitter at @rick03907.
Some other breathtaking photos from New Englanders, all sent in just the last 24 hours:
Wednesday sunrise in Lawrence, MA, from Twitter user @Rich2011storm:
Fall color in Bartlett, NH, from Ellen Dunbar on my Facebook Wall:
Today's Boxford, MA, sunrise from Twitter user @_DanPark_:
Reflecting fall color in Alton, NH, from Gary Gosselin on my Facebook Wall:
Northern Vermont sunrise today from Twitter user @anodurft40:
A fall leaf close-up from "Maine Man" in Cornish, ME, shared to neskyscenes.com:
Sunrise in Hampton, NH, today from Twitter user @aharwood32: