Sixty-eight degrees. That’s where our climate dictates our average high temperature should be during the third week of October. But that doesn’t mean every day this time of year should be or will be 68. Rather, it’s an average of the cool years, the warm years and the seemingly rare occasions we are near “normal.”
Here’s a good example. Just last year on Oct. 18, our high temperature was an unseasonably chilly 53, and overnight lows dipped well below freezing.
One year later, I’m forecasting a near-record high of 82 as we’re in the midst of a four-day stretch of Indian summer warmth.
What do you get when you average the last two years together? You guessed it — 68. Perhaps we’ll be closer to that elusive average next Oct. 18.
In the meantime, at least for the next few days, warmth is king across South Jersey, and a record high temperature or two could fall along the way. At Atlantic City International Airport, the record high for Tuesday is 83, set in 1908. The number to beat Wednesday is 80, a more recent record last set in 1991.
I think we’ll fall a degree or two short Tuesday but likely break Wednesday’s record by a few degrees. Of course, record or not, it’s an unseasonably warm stretch of weather, as we’re running 30 degrees warmer than this time last year. Indeed, what a difference a year can make.
Wednesday and Thursday should be no different, as abundant sunshine and August-like temperatures continue to show some bonus love for summer weather worshipers. Being mid-October, we all know that any 80-degree warmth will be fleeting, not permanent, and our reality check should arrive Friday in the form of a cold front. That front will bring a few showers as it passes, the only chance of rain in an otherwise dry forecast that includes the upcoming weekend.
However, brisk winds will bring a return of autumn to South Jersey by week’s end, as it’s back to more typical fall weather by Saturday and Sunday. Both days should feature partly sunny skies, blustery northwest breezes and more seasonably cool highs in the low to mid-60s each day.