Weather Wizard: Dark So Soon?

Autumn is tricky. Some years you get a long, colorful, three act show: multiple Sunday drives, apple orchard trips, and Halloweens with no coat over your costume. These years give you the illusion of time, order, and make you forget what humidity ever was. Eventually, these blissful weekends of jeans and cotton sweaters are shadowed by the buzzkill known as daylight saving time ending, and we quietly accept our fate, buoyed by the comforts of flannel pajamas, and hot beverages.

Other years are directed by the Lords of Chaos; one day you’re tailgating in shorts, and the next morning a killing frost has vaporized every cell, closing the curtain on fall at intermission. We scramble to find batteries for the remote car starter, and cotton sweaters are passed over for wool and fleece. Days are grey with sleet, and punishing winds slap at us from the frozen depths. In these years, by the time daylight saving end, we are already broken and barely notice.

Happily, fall 2016 has been of the first variety, and last Sunday, I went out to the lake, hoping to catch a matinee performance. Walking down to the shore, I passed through a canopy of burgundy trees, like wine soaked corks, and occasional masses of golden yellow leaves blazed against the rusty background.

The water was settled and clear. Small fish meandered above the concrete of the boat launch, nibbling on frizzy green algae. A few seagulls bopped along in the water, doing their best duck impression. They seemed worn out after a summer of screaming and diving, and stealing food from unsuspecting sunbathers. The low angled sun was setting fire to the houses across the lake, and the still lake was a perfect mirror, a world folded in half, the bronze trees and houses reflecting a Rorschach test in brilliant color.

I listened to Sandhill Cranes whoop and call for bedtime, while a horse whinnied in the distance. The leaves were so crunchy and loud, chipmunks sounded like deer, and deer sounded like buffalo. But this pastoral was interrupted by a cacophony of leaf blowers; each neighbor picking up where the other left off.

I hung around long enough for the world to turn pink, and the air to turn cool, each breath cold and crisp in my nose, and sweet with wood smoke. “So early?” I thought, and then remembered that this was the first day of daylight saving time ending. Resigned, satisfied, I walked back to my car, watching the waxing crescent moon, high above the yellow leaves.

Your weekend forecast:

Congratulations Door County, sunshine and above average temperatures is the repeated theme for the month of November; great job, you did it! High pressure is forecast to build into Door County by Friday afternoon and bring increasing sunshine to the area. Max temperatures will be cooler than that experienced earlier in the week, but still above normal.

The high pressure will continue to move across Wisconsin on Friday night, bringing mostly clear skies and light winds. If good radiational cooling conditions (cloudless night) remain as currently forecast, Friday night will be the coldest night since spring. Our warm water lake buffer will kick in and we will see temperatures around 30 degrees near Lake Michigan, with high 20s elsewhere in Northeast Wisconsin. As the high pressure settles toward the Ohio River Valley on Saturday, winds will to turn southwest and begin to increase, with conditions continuing for Saturday night will remain out of the west and southwest. We will see a weak cold front appear on Sunday and try to cause some rain showers, but it appears to not have a strong moisture component and therefore could be a “dry cold front,” but a few sprinkles may appear. The temperatures will remain above average.

Veterans Day – Mostly sunny, with a high near 45.

Friday Night – Partly cloudy, with a low around 32.

Saturday – Mostly sunny, with a high near 46.

Saturday Night – Mostly clear, with a low around 39.

Sunday – Sunny, with a high near 51.

All weather predictions are based in science with information gathered from the National Weather Service, and are subject to change depending on the weather.

Growing up in Michigan, Ryan Heise began keeping a fishing journal detailing the weather conditions and can still recall his hometown weatherman’s name. His fascination with weather has never wavered and began to heighten when planning surf trips while living in Florida. Now proud to call Door County home along with his wife Mary and dog Ruby, he has found a new fascination with the unique microclimate of Door County.

Article Comments