October is here and that means peak fall! The leaves are changing color, football is on all weekend, and pumpkin spice everything is out in full force. As for the weather, temperatures are getting cooler, and though fall is generally seen as a quieter season, there's actually a lot to talk about.
For this week's episode of "Across the Sky," the Lee Weather Team shares the 10 most important things you need to know about fall. The team discusses the timing of fall and when you're most likely to see the best fall color. They dive into the on-going threat of hurricane season, fall severe weather season, and the spooky weather that can be seen for Halloween. The team also looks ahead to when the first freezes and snows could occur.
Besides the list, the meteorologists share their thoughts on why fall is the best season. Or maybe not? Turns out, there are some strong opinions. Don't miss the debate of the season!
We want to hear from you!
Is fall your favorite season? Why or why not? Call 609-272-7099 and leave us a message or email us at email@example.com. You might hear your comment on a future episode!
About the Across the Sky podcast
The weekly weather podcast is hosted on a rotation by the Lee Weather team:
Matt Holiner of Lee Enterprises' Midwest group in Chicago, Kirsten Lang of the Tulsa World in Oklahoma, Joe Martucci of the Press of Atlantic City, N.J., and Sean Sublette of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia.
Note: The following transcript was created by Adobe Premiere and may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies as it was generated automatically:
Matt Holiner: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of across the sky, our national Lee Enterprises weather podcast. Got the whole gang here today. I'm Matt Holiner in Chicago, and I'm joined by my fellow meteorologist, Joe Martucci in Atlantic City, Sean Sublette in Richmond, and Kirsten Lang in Tulsa. Together, we cover weather across the country. And, hope you like listening to us because, we're all you're getting today. No get this week. We just want to take some time now that it's October, to talk about fall. Specifically, the top ten things you should know about fall. We'll dive into the list in just a minute.
Sean and Kirsten share their favorite seasons, and fall is their favorite
Matt Holiner: But first, guys, what I want to know is fall your favorite season? Why or why not? And I'll go first. The answer is definitely yes for me. I love fall, and I've got three reasons yes, three reasons why. Now, first, we're talking about goldilocks temperatures. It's not too hot, it's not too cold. It feels just right. Second, college football, my favorite sport on every Saturday in the fall. Fantastic. And finally, my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving and my birthday are in the fall. So let's recap here. I'm getting together with lots of family and friends. I'm, eating a lot of good food, I'm watching a lot of football, enjoying some nice weather. Guys, it doesn't get any better than fall.
Joe Martucci: Agree, or disagree on the power ranking of favorite seasons fall comes in.
Matt Holiner: Joe killing me.
Joe Martucci: But if we're including September, and we'll get to that, I do like the month of September. I can't stand the month of October, and then to a lesser extent, November. So I'll talk about the weather reasons why. 1st, first of all, anytime you're in the 50s, that's like, weather purgatory. You might as well be in the just be cold 50s, even 60s. That's like weather purgatory. So that's no dice for me. The second thing is the sun just keeps getting, lower in the sky. It's shorter, it's shorter, it's shorter, like in September. It's all right, it's whatever. And then you got November here in New Jersey. The sun's down at 05:00 by that point, and the sun's not up till like, 730. But anyway, here's the thing about October. October and I are not friends. Drake would be very upset at me because I know he's October's very own. I could do away with the month of October. This is what I've had happen to me in the month of October. In 2009, I had 105 fever with the flu. Then in 2012, I got into a bicycle accident. I lost some teeth, had a concussion, and then Sandy hit about four days later. Then in 2013, I had, a health incident. I'll just say. And then in 2018, I ended up having a basal cell on my eyelid that we had to do surgery for two months later. So October and I are not friends now. It's my mom. Excuse me. It's my sister's birthday. It's my dad's birthday. It's my brother in law's birthday, but it is not my birthday. My birthday is in May in the spring, which is my third favorite season. So, no, fall and I are not the best of friends. I like a lot parts of fall, and I like all seasons, but fall, unfortunately, is.
Matt Holiner: I mean, I think it's pretty telling why Joe is not a fan of fall, but Sean and Kirsten ah. Your thoughts on fall.
Kirsten Lang: I like fall. I really do. I think it is definitely not my least favorite at all, summer. As I'm getting older and with all of the kids, summer is by far my least favorite. I am just sweating 24/7, chasing kids, putting on sunscreen. I hate it. I am so ready to be out of it. And I think that's why I like fall, is because we're coming out of that, and it's like September. August is the worst month, in my opinion, of the entire year. But then you get to September, and it's okay. I mean, the September has been a little hot, but you just start getting a little bit cooler, but you're not too cold. I'm with Matt M on this because then when you start getting too cold, then it's uncomfortable again. So summer and winter are terrible because they're just two extremes. And then, of course, spring and fall, you know, the transition period. But I think I hate summer so much that fall is just like it's that beam of light at the end of the tunnel for me. And I think that's why. Plus, I like Halloween. I love dressing, love I'm with Matt. Thanksgiving, I think is my favorite holiday because you don't have to worry about, like don't, get me wrong, I love Christmas, but you have the stress of getting everybody's gift and this and that. Thanksgiving, you just get together and eat, and I love food. So Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Halloween is my second favorite. I'm with Matt. Sorry, Joe, I'm not in your, but yeah, that's how fall on that.
Joe Martucci: I just want to add to the fall I forgot to even say this halloween. So I'm okay with Halloween, but unless someone's inviting me to a Halloween party, I'm not dressing up for.
Kirsten Lang: Oh.
Joe Martucci: So, Kirsten, if you're on Halloween party and you want me to come to Tulsa, I'll dress up for your Halloween party. But sans that, I'm not dressing up for Halloween.
Matt Holiner: So Sean, you're going to be our tiebreaker. Is fall good or bad?
Sean Sublette: No. All right, let me step back.
Matt Holiner: With all due respect, I don't even.
Sean Sublette: Need to with all due respect, Joe, it's not October's fault. It's not October not my fault?
Joe Martucci: I had 105 fever with the flu.
Sean Sublette: That's not October's fault.
Joe Martucci: It's not my fault. I hit a grass covered ditch on a bicycle, Sean. You know what I'm saying?
Sean Sublette: Did you do it in the dark at 06:00 p.m.. No, it's not October's fault.
My biggest problem with fall is that winter comes next
Sean Sublette: All right.
Joe Martucci: It was after one of my weather classes at Rucker.
Sean Sublette: Here's what I will give you, though. I will give you this one, Joe. I love fall. My biggest problem with fall is that winter comes next.
Joe Martucci: Yeah.
Sean Sublette: If we could go right from fall to spring. Well, now we're talking. Now we're talking about a climate I can get into. but I totally understand Kirsten's point about August just being a hellscape, especially in Texas, where every day is at least 95. Right. So, for me, I'm kind of of Matt's idea here that, i, still enjoy college football. It gets cool enough. You want to start playing around the kitchen a little more, you want to start cooking some stuff, you could start doing stews again, you can start doing soups again, you can start baking some pies, man. You enjoying the hotter foods again. Nobody wants a bunch of hot nachos in know, or a big bowl of soup in July. Nobody wants, to put on the sweatshirts again. And, the other thing, Joe, I'm going to push back. I love you, brother, but I'm going to push back. There's nothing wrong with 55 or 60 degrees if the sun is out and 60 degrees, little sweatshirt, it's fine. It's a great day for football. It's a great day for football if it is 60 degrees and sunny, it's a beautiful day for football. Your problem is that you went to Rutgers.
Joe Martucci: Well, if you want to talk about football without Rutgers, there would be no football.
Sean Sublette: That's very true. Point for you. The birthplace of college football.
Joe Martucci: I got the ultimate trump card in that one. If you want to start talking about you did that. But, fifty S and sixty s. It doesn't snow when it's in the you're not wearing shorts in the unless you're one of those people who wears.
Matt Holiner: Shorts all the time.
Sean Sublette: One of those people? What is that? Now, look, I am sometimes one of those people through October. I am that guy who will have shorts and a sweatshirt on. Yes, I am that guy.
Joe Martucci: I do that, too. But you're in Virginia, it's a little bit warmer in yeah, you know what I'm saying?
Sean Sublette: That's the thing is you get a lot of swings in October. But back to your point, Joe, is that one thing that does frustrate me is that we do lose daylight so dramatically right through the course of October. I mean, it starts to fall off very rapidly in September. I, do wish we had a little more daylight. I'm a little farther east or west in the time zone than you, so, it doesn't get dark quite as early. I mean, God bless those people in Massachusetts and Maine where it's dark at 04:00 in the afternoon. Ah at the solstice. Man, that's got to be miserable. But, yeah, I do like fall, it gives me a chance to do those warmer things that I didn't want to touch in July and August. But yeah, I'm not a big fan, big fan of winter. And I'm also really tired to Kirsten's point of slather and sunscreen on anytime I want to do something outside more than 30 minutes in the summer. So, fall is my time. Because the other thing is that the allergies I don't have fall allergies like I do in the spring and early summer. So I'm going to be team fall.
Matt Holiner: That's what I'm talking about. Sorry, Joe.
Joe Martucci: I'm going to give credit to Sean on this one because he's talking about winter again. This goes back to where you live thing, because you guys in Virginia don't get as much snow, right? I mean, winter, I live for the snow in the winter. That's where I'm at. And the cold. So if it's like again in the 50s in the winter, like it is in Richmond most of winter, I wouldn't like that either. So fall could be three if I lived in Richmond, Virginia.
Sean Sublette: Well, what is your favorite season, Joe?
Joe Martucci: Summer.
Sean Sublette: Okay.
Kirsten Lang: That's because you don't live this far south.
Joe Martucci: No, I can hang. I can hang.
Kirsten Lang: I mean, I grew up, though. Matt and I both grew up in Texas. It was hot. It's funny because I was so much more tolerant of it. Now I hate it, and it's the sunscreen and the kids, and I'm just sweating all the time. I hate it.
Joe Martucci: I could see it if I lived in non coastal United States, but if you put me on a beach in Florida, like, hey, Joe, you now live in Clearwater Beach, Florida. I can hang. I've been to Florida in the summer.
Matt Holiner: Well, clearly we can debate this for quite some time. I did not realize there were such strong opinions about fall, but there clearly are. But regardless of how you feel about fall, there is a lot of interesting weather to talk about. So coming up after the break, our top ten things you need to know about fall. And we're back on across the sky.
There are two ways to define the fall season meteorological fall or astronomical fall
Matt Holiner: To kick off our list, we're going to talk about the timing of fall. First, the start of astronomical fall. Now, that's what happened a couple of weekends ago on September 23 with the fall equinox, the day where the sun's rays are focused on the equator and there's an equal amount of day and night, astronomical fall will last until astronomical winter begins on the winter solstice. That's the shortest day and longest night of the year. And this year, that's going to occur on December 21. But this brings us to the second thing you need to know about fall, which is that there's another way to define the fall season meteorological fall. Joe, what can you tell us about.
Joe Martucci: So you know us in the weather? Biz, we like to keep things as nice and simple as we can because forecasting is hard enough. So what we do is we break down each season into three month periods that involve the full month. So meteorological fall or climatological fall, they're interchangeable. I think technically it's climatological fall, but climatological meteorological fall is September, October and November. And then the winter would be December, January and February.
Matt Holiner: Yeah, it's all based on the temperatures. When we typically have those kind of middle temperatures, we define it really based on when we see our coldest months of the year december, January, February, our warmest months of the year, june, July and August. It just makes it easy from, a climate perspective. You're right, Joe. It really helps in keeping things organized in the climate records that we like to keep. So that's the thing you need to know. There's astronomical fall and meteorological fall. And that's why it's the first day of fall. You'll hear some people saying that September 1, but technically it's usually not until the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, if you're going by when the equinoxes and the solstices occur.
When do you get the best fall colors, and where does it vary
Matt Holiner: So, moving along from the timing to our number three thing you should know about fall, and I think you probably already do it's fall foliage. I mean, how can we not talk about how beautiful fall is? And that's another reason why it is my favorite season. I love the fall colors, but when do you get the best fall colors? That's always a popular question. And it really does depend on where you live in the know, in some places, the best time to see fall color is actually right now, very end of September, early October. Now, that's not many locations, but if you're in the Rocky Mountains, far northern Minnesota, northern New York, northern New Hampshire, northern Maine, really the peak of the season is late September, into very early October. Now, it all goes pretty much north to south. So as far as the peak of the season, when is the best time to see fall color? In a lot of places, if you take the average, it's really the middle part and later know, really mid October. Oftentimes we can see the peak of the season across Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana, Ohio. Now it takes a little bit longer, more usually around the end of the month of October, around Halloween time, especially across Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee. And it does take even longer farther to the south. I mean, if you're talking about Oklahoma, Mississippi, especially northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, that more really is in the first half of November. And, for folks in Louisiana, southern, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, south Texas, kirsten, I know, you know, this fall color season, is not much. if you're going to get some fall colors, it's definitely going to be the end of November. And I hesitate to even call it fall color in South Texas because I guess the leaves go from green to brown, but you don't have the yellows and the oranges. And the, varies, varies a little bit. But in general, the higher elevations get it first, and the farther north you live, the earlier they are going to change, and the farther south you live, it's going to take longer for them to change, or they're not going to change at all.
October is definitely the month to plan your fall color trips
Matt Holiner: Guys, do you have any favorite leaf peeping spots?
Joe Martucci: It's funny you said leaf peeping because I'm doing a full foliage outlook for pressovac.com. And I asked a, forester within New Jersey's Forest Service what he thinks of leaf peeping. And he essentially said it's, good for tourism, but not good for Know. There's a couple of spots I like. once you get up north in Long Beach Island, you're barring it light, barring it lighthouse. There's some nice foliage there. It's not a lot. There's some nice foliage. Batstow State Forest, which is in Burlington County, New Jersey, and then High Point, which is the highest point in New Jersey in the northwest corner of the state. I've been there a couple of times as well. So that's what I got here in New Jersey.
Matt Holiner: Sean, I always liked Skyline Drive. When I was living in Richmond. I was only there for a year, but that fall I went and took a drive along Skyline Drive, up in the mountains. And man, that was gorgeous. I absolutely loved that.
Sean Sublette: That we're very fortunate, about that. Here in Virginia, we've got that wonderful road, skyline Drive hooks up there in Charlotesville, then it turns into Blue Ridge Parkway, and it continues all the way down, well into the Carolinas. and yeah, man, it's just wonderful to drive that route very slowly, very gradually, and just take it all in. so I love to go up, into the Virginia's mountains as we get into the fall to take it. And it's been a long time since I went camping in the fall, a very long time since I went camping in the mountains in the fall. But, it's gorgeous. I mean, it really is gorgeous. For us, the time is really more mid to late October, a little bit earlier in the true highest Allegheny Highlands, let's say, the Bath and Highland counties in Far. But yeah, I mean, for for me in Richmond, it's going to be really very late in October, even early November. But, yeah, the mountains are just gorgeous. Just gorgeous. Looking forward to that.
Matt Holiner: Yeah. And I would say for Know, for future planning, if you want to take a leaf peeping trip to take advantage of the fall colors, especially in those places that are most famous for the fall colors, new England. And yes, the Skyline Drive in Know, october is definitely the month to focus on because there are a lot of places where the peak either varies from early October to late October, and we kind of take an average across the country in mid October. So October is definitely the month to plan your fall color trips and, moving along kind of piggybacking off of fall foliage. And the reason why the leaves change, it's because we get away from those warm, humid nights of summer, and we transition to the cool, crisp nights of fall. But as we get later and later into fall, it's not just cool nights anymore, it's cold nights.
You can get frost on surfaces even when the air temperature is above freezing
Matt Holiner: And eventually, you get to our fourth thing to know about fall frost. Now, this is that thin layer of ice that forms on grass and other plants late at night or early in the morning. Now, ice, that means the air temperature is freezing, right? Not always. So, Sean, why do we get frost when it's actually above 32 degrees outside?
Sean Sublette: Yeah, this is one of the things I wondered for the longest time as a kid. I'm like, well, wait a minute, it's not freezing. How can we have frost? think about how an object gives up heat, which is kind of like, what do you mean, gives up heat? Think about a piece of aluminum foil first. Take it out of the oven, and it gets cool very quickly, right? Well, the ground actually cools more rapidly than the air above it. At night, if there's not a lot of wind and the sky is clear, the ground cools very effectively and very efficiently, so that the ground will be colder than the air immediately above it by a few degrees. And that's why sometimes you will have frost on strips of blades of grass and that kind of stuff. Even if the air temperature, which is normally taken five to 10ft above the ground, is 38, 39 degrees, that can still happen. So that's the thing to remember. The ground can cool much more effectively than the air immediately above it. So this is why the relative humidity is fairly high. you can get frost on surfaces even though the air temperature is a few degrees above freezing.
Matt Holiner: Yeah, and I think that's what catches people off guard. Because when there's a chance of frost, the National Weather Service will issue these frost advisories, and people mean, does that mean freeze? And it's like, no. Oftentimes you'll see these frost varieties. As a general rule, the temperature to look for is about 37 degrees. If the air temperature is 37 degrees, if you got a clear night and calm winds, kind of the same conditions that you need for fog to form, because it's a similar process just at a colder temperature, that's when you have the chance of frost. So the magic temperature to watch out for and the magic conditions are a clear night, light winds, and once that temperature gets to about 37 degrees or colder, 37, 36, 35, there is that opportunity for frost. And yes, plants can be damaged by frost, but when it's colder. They even have a better chance of being damaged.
Most places actually get their first freeze of the season in the fall
Matt Holiner: And so that, of course, brings us to the fifth thing you need to know about fall, and that is freezing. Most places actually get their first freeze of the season in the fall. And this is when the air temperature does actually hit 32 degrees or colder. And you're going to know when this is going to happen because the National Weather Service is going to issue freeze watches and warnings ahead of time. Now, in many places, they only are going to do it for that first freeze of the season. Although in South Texas, they do it anytime it freezes because it freezes frequently. and just like with the fall color, the timing of the first freeze also depends on where you live. And I've got a map pulled up talking about the average first freeze. Obviously, there's variations and we could talk about how with climate change, the timing for that first freeze is starting to trend later and later. But believe it or not, you can actually get the first freeze of the season at the end of August in the high elevations of the Rockies. I mean, we are talking way up in the Rockies. That is certainly the know, you go across the very far northern tier of the country and we're talking about late September, very, end of September sometimes already seeing that first freeze. It does take longer in most, you know, Iowa, southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois. It's more likely going to be around the mid October time frame kind of lining up very similar to what we see with the fall colors. Then once you get into Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, it tends to be the end of fall. So sometimes that first freeze of season can happen right around Halloween time or just after. And usually the first freeze is more likely to be in the middle of November or late November as you get into Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas. And again, if you're talking about central south Florida, far southern Texas, the Rio Grande Valley, shout out to the Rvgv. It's more likely not going to be until December or January. And not to forget also the West Coast, it kind of follows that same progression. And if you're in southern Arizona, Southern California, there's a good chance it may not even freeze at all. You get some places where it doesn't even freeze. But for the majority of the country, that first freeze does occur before fall is over. And so you have to watch out for those freeze watches and warnings and oh, the thicker coats. Not just the light jacket, but the good old parkas and dusting them off. Guys, when do you dust off the thick?
Kirsten Lang: You know, our first usually isn't until mid to, early to mid November. and I would say honestly, our thicker coats don't come out till like January here in Oklahoma, january and February, those are our rough months because we can stay I don't want to say warm, but we can definitely stay warmer to where you're not bundling up all the way through. So I would say January and February for us.
Matt Holiner: I remember those days back when I used to live in the south in Chicago. The thicker coats are coming out in November for sure. There's going to be days in November in Chicago where, the light jacket isn't going to cut it. You buy with a light jacket in October by November. for me, that's kind of when winter begins in.
Joe Martucci: Got. Like, I got like two levels of I guess if you're talking about the real thick winter coat, that's only like a couple of days a year that I pop it out. Like, the highs got to stay like, below 35 all day. But I would say my general winter coat probably coming out November 10 ish and then going away like April 20 ish. And I'm not using it every day. Kirsten made a face. I'm not using it every day in April. Don't get me wrong, but I did wear a winter jacket on May 1 this year because it was only 56 degrees and it was windy. But by then, most of the time, your days are plenty nice. But I still got it around till about April 20 or so.
Matt Holiner: The wind definitely makes a difference. The wind chill is a real thing.
Across the sky is a weekly podcast produced by Lean News
Matt Holiner: Okay, well, we're going to take a quick break, but don't go anywhere. We're not done yet. We've still got five more things for you, including a very important date you do not want to forget.
Joe Martucci: Stick around.
Matt Holiner: That one is one of them, but there's a one that, I'll be honest, is a little bit more important. So stick around.
Sean Sublette: More.
Matt Holiner: Across the sky. Coming up. Welcome back, everyone, to the across the sky podcast. We release new episodes every Monday on our Lean News website, but also on all podcast platforms. So wherever you like to get your podcasts, you can find us there. And if you can subscribe and leave us a review. Sure appreciate it.
Hurricane season lasts from mid August to mid October; it's not over
Matt Holiner: Now we're continuing our countdown of the top weather things to know about fall. And at number six, it's a big one, hurricane season. It's not over yet. It doesn't end until November 30. Now, Joe and Sean, you've been doing a lot of updates on the tropics this season. Shout out to Hurricane Hunt. So what can you tell us about where we are so far this season and what to expect moving forward?
Sean Sublette: It's funny. I'm going to pull my old man card out here for a second, because when I was an undergrad, we all knew that, June 1 was the beginning of hurricane season. But we all kind of know it didn't get serious until August, right? Nowadays in the media landscape that we're in, 1 June hits it's like it's hurricane season. Then it gets very quiet for a couple of months, right. Because the core of the season is mid August to mid October. And that's one of the things I try to drive home to people. Like, if nothing happens in June, that's actually rather normal. If almost nothing happens in July, that's actually kind of normal. But the thing here is that the water in the oceans holds on to its heat well into the fall. It takes a lot more energy to heat up or cool down water than air. So that's why the oceans stay so warm well into October, which is why hurricane season goes into the middle part of October. So it is very common to have hurricanes, in the first half of October especially. And sometimes they go well into October and even November. and Joe knows all about that, unfortunately, to the Sandy situation, because it did start as a hurricane, for it transitioned out, into an extra tropical system, meaning cold core versus warm core. But the end result, yes, we're on the downswing of hurricane season in October, but it really doesn't drop off dramatically until the second half of October.
Joe Martucci: Yeah, I think what Sean said was perfect there. We kind of even have like two drop offs. And we've been saying it's a hurricane hunt, like one's, like the middle of September. And then the big drop off, like Sean said, is the middle of October here. But hurricane season lasts until November 30, which is the end of Climatological fall. So we still remain villagent there. hurricane season has been more active than average, I believe at, least when we're recording this, the 7th most active hurricane season in terms of the number of days with either a tropical storm or a hurricane somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. That's courtesy of Phil Klotsbach, who maybe will come on this show one day. And we'll interview him. He is from Colorado State University and puts out all the wonderful hurricane forecasts that he does. But, yeah, I think Sean pretty much nailed it on the head. Fall is pretty much prime time for a good part of hurricane season.
Matt Holiner: Yeah. As of this recording, which is September 20 eigth, so far in 2023, there have been 18 named storms, six of those becoming hurricanes and three major hurricanes. And you look at what's a normal season, and that's only 14 named storms. So we're above average there. The normal number of hurricanes is seven. So certainly time to get to that. And the normal number of major hurricanes for the entire season until November 30 is three. And we've already had three major hurricanes, and there's still some things brewing out in the tropics. So, there's been some talk, I think sometimes we get locked into about the number of US. Landfalls and that's how busy the season is. And yes, there have been a lot of fish storms this year that haven't. Had an impact land, which is good, but it's actually been an above average season already and it's certainly not over with. so definitely plenty more to watch there.
Number seven thing you need to know about fall is to watch out for Halloween
Matt Holiner: But moving on with our countdown, the number seven thing you need to know about fall, and that is to watch out for Halloween. Now, there may be many reasons to watch out for Halloween, but the weather is certainly one of them. When it comes to holidays, many of them are pretty consistent. It's probably going to be cold for Christmas. The snow is iffy, but it's probably going to be cold for Christmas. 4 July, it's probably going to be hot. But Halloween, man, you could say about anything on Halloween. I mean, the full gamut of weather. Guys, what are your best Halloween weather stories? Kirsten, anything good with the kids last few years?
Kirsten Lang: M halloween here is not I don't worry too much about it being really cold. in Oklahoma, typically, it's pretty comfortable. I do remember though, when I was a kid, always worrying that I was going to have to wear like a coat or something. And I say this, but I grew up in San Antonio, it's always hot, so why would I care about this? But I do remember being like, oh, am I going to have to put a coat on or some kind of long sleeves on underneath my, costume? But no, it's been since I've had children. This will be my fourth, Halloween, and it's been pretty consistent here. It's pretty comfortable. If anything, I feel like it's been a little hot. but, like I said, Oklahoma. It doesn't get too crazy here until a little deeper into the season.
Matt Holiner: There have been some Halloween winter storms, there's been severe weather in some parts of the country. Halloween, once again, just like we've been saying, it very much depends on where you are in the country. What is Halloween going to be like again? Growing up in San Antonio, I remember more Halloween's where I was sweating in my costume than, ah, cold. I was taking off layers, especially those thick rubber masks. Oh my god, the sweat that you pour under those. So nasty.
Joe Martucci: Are you like the guy at the.
Matt Holiner: End of a night of trick or treating? M I think one of my, the worst memory I have is I was an alien and I had a rubber alien mask. And I just remember being such a warm night and, my face was just covered in sweat and I kept having to take the mask off. I mean, I don't know, I was probably like 13 or something. It was not my most fun night of trick or treating, although I still got a lot of candy. And at the end of the night, once I cooled off inside in the AC, I was a little bit happier. When I had my big pile of.
Joe Martucci: When was the last time you trick or treated
Joe Martucci: Candy, I got a question for you guys. What was the last year that you guys trick or treated? Not with kids, by yourself?
Kirsten Lang: Well, we used to do we wouldn't trick or treat, but we were really into passing out candy, my husband and I. And that was fun. But, as far as, like, when was the last time I trick or treated? Man, I don't know.
Joe Martucci: I'm saying, like, as a kid, how late in life did you trick or treat?
Sean Sublette: Until early middle school. Then that was kind of, it maybe 6th grade, maybe 7th. I don't know.
Matt Holiner: I think I might have gone freshman year of high school. That may have been the last one for me, like, just going out. And then I think that's when I became aware it's like, I'm one of the taller people out here.
Sean Sublette: I shouldn't do this.
Matt Holiner: I think that was it. And then in high school, you have the seniors that are the people you look up to. It's like, well, they're not going trickortreating. It's like, okay, maybe I should stop, but I think I might have gone freshman year of high school. And that was it. And then went out with a couple of groups of kids since then.
Joe Martucci: Gotcha. And does everybody know what the day before Halloween is?
Sean Sublette: Only in Jersey.
Kirsten Lang: The day after in Via de los Muertos.
Joe Martucci: All Saints Day.
Sean Sublette: Yeah, all Saints Day is the day after. I thought you said the day before.
Joe Martucci: M I'm sorry. No. October 30. Only Sean knows because he spent some time in New Jersey. It's Mischief Night.
Matt Holiner: I think they have that in Detroit before, you mentioned.
Joe Martucci: Yeah, my mind was blow. I got to go back to this story. It was like 2015. I was working my first weather job, and I was talking to somebody from Ohio who born and raised, and he just moved over here. And I said, oh. I said, what are you doing for Mischief Night tonight? Just, like, joking around. And the guy was like, I was an alien. Speaking of alien, Matt and I was like, what do you mean you don't know a Mischief Night? He said, I've never heard of it. He said, he calls sneakers basketball, shoes or tennis shoes, which I don't get. But he didn't know about Mischief Night. So then I saw and there's a map that says, only in New Jersey do people call this Mischief Night. I was like, what the heck's going.
Matt Holiner: Yeah, that wasn't a thing for me growing up.
Sean Sublette: Yeah. It's called Devil's Night. I think in Michigan.
Joe Martucci: In Michigan. Now I can't say I was one really creating mischief. So I'm not really the right person to talk about this, but I just find it's, like, such a cultural phenomenon.
Sean Sublette: Yeah, the map is hysterical. That map that you referenced is know, in Philly and Jersey, it's this little blue thing. Oh. You call it Mischief Night. And the, rest of the country is like, what tell us what you do.
Kirsten Lang: What do you do on Mischief Night?
Joe Martucci: Historically, you would throw toilet paper at people's houses and egg people's houses. And do have you ever had that done to you? No. you know what, actually, we might have had at my parents house once, but really, by the time I was even a kid, it was kind of like cracked. I think that was more of like an eighty s. Seventy s. Sixty s thing. Back in Sean's day, he didn't know about Mischief Night because he was in Virginia.
Matt Holiner: All right, so we've learned to watch out for Joe Martucci on Mischief Night in New Jersey and also watch out for weather on Halloween. Just keep in mind, you, can get a lot of different kinds of weather. So pay attention to that Halloween forecast.
The end of daylight saving time is Sunday, November 5
Matt Holiner: But also pay attention after Halloween this year because we've got to talk about the 8th thing that you need to know about fall. And this one you definitely need to know. And that's the end of daylight saving time. Now, this year, that's going to occur on Sunday, November 5. Mark your calendar, sunday, November 5. If you want to do it officially, wait until 02:00 a.m. Or otherwise whenever you go to bed, this is the one that's sometimes considered the good time change because this is when we fall back. So you will set your clocks back Sunday, November 5, at 02:00 A.m. To 01:00 A.m.. So, yes, you get an extra hour of sleep, but the bad thing is sunset the next day, an hour earlier. It's definitely going to throw you off. Guys, how do you handle the time change, dude?
Sean Sublette: All right, I'm going to start here because it kicks my butt, man. As I get older, I am much more in tune to daylight cues in terms of waking up and falling asleep. I've reached that age. Now that when it gets dark, I'm like, I'm ready to go sleep. My wife is just teasing me. I'm like, it's 530, I'm ready to go to bed. She's like, what? Come on, man. but that first. Honestly, I really struggle from the time we set the clocks back in early November until Thanksgiving. By Thanksgiving, I've kind of acclimated. But those first two or three weeks, it's a downer. It's a serious downer. Now, the flip side of that, I hear people going, oh, well, we should have daylight saving time all year. No, I will take this three months of pain because here's what I don't want in January, I don't want the sun rising at 830. I don't want any part of that at all, at all. So I can gut it out for a few weeks, get myself acclimated. Then after Thanksgiving, we're set up for the holidays. It's a little more exciting. The lights are, up, the chestnuts on the open fire, the whole bit. But yeah, I struggle. Those first two or three weeks after we set the clocks back. But under no circumstance do I ever want to stay on daylight saving time all year long.
Joe Martucci: So there's my know, I agree with Sean.
Kirsten Lang: The first couple weeks are hard with that. But personally, since I have so much family in Arizona, I love whenever this comes around, because now, instead of being 2 hours behind everybody I talk to in Arizona, we're only 1 hour behind. Plus, when I go to visit, which is somewhat frequently, it's a lot easier to take, three small children and only mess up their bedtime by like 1 hour versus 2 hours. Two hour time difference is a big deal when you've got a five month old baby or a two year old little boy and you're going to visit your in laws. So that's my thing. I love when it comes around, because then I feel like I can text my in laws and my sister in law at like 08:00. A.m. And it's not, six. There still yes.
Matt Holiner: So watch out for the time change. Sunday, November 5. Sunday, November 5. That's the date to remember.
Fall is considered the quietest weather season of all the seasons
Matt Holiner: But we're going to keep moving along here, to the number nine thing to know about fall. And oftentimes fall is considered the quietest weather season. And technically, if you factor out hurricane season, because we do see the peak of hurricane season on September 10, but if you take that out, yeah, fall technically tends to see the quietest weather of all the seasons. I think you can tell since we've been doing a whole show on this, that there's still a lot of weather that occurs in the fall. And you can't overlook fall severe weather season now. No, there aren't as many severe storms and tornadoes in the fall as there are in the spring. Are they absolutely still happy in September? We still average around 70 tornadoes across the country. And in October and November, both October and November, a similar number of tornadoes. We average about 60 tornadoes in October and November. We really don't see a steep dive in severe thunderstorm and tornado activity until December. And Kirsten being in Tulsa, and Oklahoma. How does severe weather season in the fall play out there?
Kirsten Lang: Okay, so I was going to say, I've pulled up some stats about this. And last year I'm sorry, two years ago, 2021, we, set the most record for the most tornadoes in October, since they started taking records back in, what, 1950 for that. And that was 34. We had 34 tornadoes in October in 2021, which is not far behind what we have in April. So April, the most we've ever seen in April was 54. on average, though, we're right there kind of around March, like what we get in March. Again, like you said, it's these transitional seasons. When that happens, you're going to get this kind of weather, when you get these fronts that move through spring or fall or whatever it might be. But, we do still get tornadoes here. and we call it the second severe weather season around here, whenever that happens. last year wasn't too bad. We only had two tornadoes, but 20, 21, 34 tornadoes. That's a lot for October.
Matt Holiner: Yeah.
Joe Martucci: And even here in Jersey, which is like, really weird, we actually had our biggest one day tornado outbreak in November, on November 15, back in, I believe it was 1989. Yes, 1989. We had a large tornado outbreak that day. We had 17 tornadoes in one day in New Jersey, which is a lot for us here. So that was incredible. And, that led us to a total of 18 for the year, which still stands as the most tornadoes in one year in recorded history, going back to 1950. Shout out to my weather dad, Dave Robinson, who's been on this podcast, for that information.
Matt Holiner: Yeah, because they tend to occur in these go. That's where you have to watch out in October, november, because you'll go a couple of weeks where it's pretty quiet, nice weather, not much going on. Maybe just some light rain moving over you. But then suddenly, big time thunderstorms, like, where did summer come back from? What is happening? So watch out in October, november. Severe storms definitely can still happen. We can still get tornadoes. Again, not to say that there are no tornadoes in December, January or February either, but those are the three months where it's particularly the quietest. You get about half the number of tornadoes in those three months. About 30 is the number of tornadoes that we typically see in December, compared to 60 around November. So much more of a drop once we get into the winter months. But keep an eye out for October, November for additional severe storms.
The timing of the first snow of the season varies across the country
Matt Holiner: All right. And finally, I think reached a good transition point here. The 10th and final thing you need to know about fall is, and I know some people aren't going to like this it's fall snow. I think this is the perfect segue not only into winter, but it also ties into severe storms, because a lot of the times these first snows of the season occur on the backside of low pressure systems and cold fronts that on the front side, trigger severe storms and possibly tornadoes ahead of them. And on the backside, here comes the snow. Now, just like with fall foliage and the freeze times, the timing of the first snow of the season varies, considerably across the country. Once again, you can get your first snow of the season in higher elevations of the Rockies in September. Now, usually the first snow of the season for Montana, North Dakota, northern Minnesota, actually, in October. Then there are a lot of places where it actually occurs in November, though, across Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, southern Wisconsin, indiana, Ohio, up into the Northeast, your first snow is in November. Not in December. November still technically in the fall. Now a little bit farther south. And you're not talking about that first snow until you get into December, like Kentucky, Oklahoma, and then as far as the Southeast, you're talking about usually January or February, if it snows at all. But, watch out for the snow. Sometimes in October, watch out for the Halloween surprise. But especially in November, they start to get into snow season. Guys, are you looking forward to talking and forecasting about snow again?
Joe Martucci: I am, because that's what, like I said, the beginning. It keeps me hanging on to winter as my, tide for second favorite season with spring. So yes. And in southern New Jersey, and if you're listening in southern New Jersey, thanks for listening. Our first snow, our first measurable snow on record was November 5. So it's coming. And hey, shout out to our snow search series that Sean and I are going to be doing once we get to some point in November. Sean right. Eventually, maybe late November, we'll start doing our Monday snow searches.
Sean Sublette: Yeah, I have to imagine we'll do that around Thanksgiving, no later than right after Thanksgiving. But yeah, I mean, it was a few years ago, there was a really bad snow in the Northeast. At the end of October. There were still leaves on the trees. These kinds of almost freakish, October snows in places that don't typically get them, so it can happen. But, especially when you get down to my latitude here in Virginia, the variability in snowfall from year to year is so high. I mean, we've had winters that we had 30 inches and we had winters like last year. We didn't get a thing. So it's all over the place, in certain locations. But yeah, we typically start to see something in December here. but as you mentioned, Matt, a lot of times, right after you've had this abnormally warm, humid kind of thing, then storm goes by, you get on the backside and it snows. And that really catches some people by surprise. Back to what Joe went through with Sandy in 2012. At the time, I was in western Virginia, and we have a lot of ski resorts not far away in the state of West Virginia. And once Sandy went by, it unleashed this torrential amount of upslope snow on the western side of the Appalachians. And there was a phenomenal amount of snow in the ski resorts of West Virginia with Sandy. And people sometimes forget that, that it was a very big storm also away from the New Jersey shore with some of the most phenomenal snow amounts away from a classical winter storm, that you would see because it was the end of October. So it tapped in the cold air once the storm went by. So, yeah, October, late October, certainly can be a volatile time.
Matt Holiner: Yeah, it's, just a reminder. Just like with the severe know, once especially you get into late October and into November. I'm only watching out for severe storms, watch out for snow again. And I personally am rooting for a quieter winter than last winter because last winter I was far too busy with weekly winter storms in the Midwest. So fingers crossed, it's going to be a little bit quieter this year.
Top ten things to know about Fall. Top Ten Things to Know About Winter
Matt Holiner: And I, think that does it for our top ten things to know about Fall. Now this was a little bit of a different episode for us. I enjoyed it, though. but the real question is, did you enjoy it? Let us know. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voicemail. That number is 609-272-7099. If we hear good things, we might have to do this again. just a few months for winter. Top Ten Things to Know About Winter. I'm sure we'll ten things for that as well.
Mark Elliott is the principal meteorologist for and T, the phone company
Matt Holiner: But for next week, we're back to having a guest for you. And it's another meteorologist who has a unique role. Joe, what can you tell us about him?
Joe Martucci: Yeah, so we're going to welcome on Mark Elliott, who is the principal meteorologist for at and T, the phone company we're going to talk about. Why do phone companies need meteorologists? Trust me, they do. Mark's going to explain all about that. Mark is a, fellow Rutgers guy, so always very happy to have fellow Rutgers guys on the podcast. You may know him from the Weather Channel. He was on camera meteorologist for over a decade on the Weather Channel and still freelances there. So we're really happy to have him on and, talk about his unique position here on the across the sky podcast.
Matt Holiner: Yeah, I actually got to work with Mark a little bit when I was interning at the Weather Channel back in the summer of 2013. Looking forward to chatting with him again and getting caught up. But for this week, that's going to do it for across the sky. On behalf of Lee Enterprises and my fellow meteorologist, Joe Martucci, Sean Sublette, and Kirsten Lang, thanks for listening, everyone. Have a great week and we'll catch you here again real soon.