What do we call three straight days of 80-degree warmth in October?
No, not a heat wave, which is three or more consecutive days of 90-degree high temperatures in the summer. Thankfully, we haven’t had to endure one of those since the middle of August.
Officially, it’s Indian summer, which is defined as a period of unusually warm weather from late September through mid-November. Some definitions say it has to follow the first frost of the fall, while others omit that requirement. But since there’s no other applicable term, besides my favorite adjective, suntastic, let’s go with it.
And we will indeed continue to enjoy the comforts of Indian summer for another day or two before it’s back to the reality of fall this weekend. Wednesday may be the warmest day of this stretch, and likely our best shot at establishing a new record high temperature.
At Atlantic City International Airport, the number to beat is 80, set in 1991. I’m currently forecasting a high of 83 for Wednesday. But record or not, there is little debate that most of us will enjoy our third straight day of unseasonably warm October sunshine. Of course, fans of the more typically cooler and comfier fall weather may take some issue at breaking a sweat or needing their air conditioners on this late in the season. But autumn warmth is usually fleeting, and right on cue, a temperature reality check is about 72 hours away.
While we should fall short of a fourth-straight sunny day above 80 on Thursday, we will be able to sneak in one more warmer-than-average day with at least partly sunny skies and highs still able to climb well into the 70s. A shower or two is possible, but most will stay up to our north.
Friday is our best chance of rain during the next seven days, with just a few showers expected as a cold front sweeps through and offshore.
Our “back to fall” weekend should offer us a dry Saturday and Sunday, but a rather breezy and noticeably cooler pair of days with highs only around 60, accompanied by brisk northwest winds.