What a Warm New England October Could Tell Us About the Upcoming Winter
In the song “Bad Moon Rising,” Creedence Clearwater Revival sings of something ominous around the corner. After speaking with longtime Boston meteorologist Mark Rosenthal about the warm weather we’ve experienced in New England this October, John Fogerty’s melodic warnings have echoed in my ears.
One may think a mild fall could indicate similar for the winter. Not so, says the weatherman.
“Here’s a rule of thumb, at least for Boston,” said Rosenthal. “When you get a big snowstorm in Boston in October, more often than not, the rest of the winter is a dud.”
As for skiers, skaters, and others who look forward to the white stuff all summer?
“You really want it to hold off for a while,” Rosenthal continued. “If it holds off, you go, ‘okay, so we have a good shot.’ Nothing extreme is happening where it’s coming so early that we’re all gonna get ripped off for the rest of the winter.”
But to show just how unpredictable October weather is in New England, Rosenthal has also been monitoring a potential polar vortex coming in from Canada, perhaps as early as next week.
According to the National Weather Service, a polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the North Pole and South Pole simultaneously. As the vortex expands, so do regions reporting cold snaps.
The northeast experienced a severe polar vortex in 2014, but most interestingly, also in 1982. This was when Hartford, Connecticut fell to a stunning 9 degrees in October (a stark contrast from record October highs in New England).
So, should we see temperatures remain mild through Halloween…don’t put away that parka just yet. You might need it in April while you’re out hunting for eggs.