Halloween weather: will rainy front foil D.C., Northeast trick-or-treat plans?

October 28, 2013

The Halloween weather forecast is always a highly anticipated one among the parents of trick-or-treaters, and anyone hoping not to shiver or get soaked in their Halloween party-wear. Here’s the early read on the Thursday evening forecast…

Temperatures

We’ll start with temperatures only because this is the more confident part of the forecast. Thursday afternoon highs are expected to be a good bit above normal in the D.C. area (likely near 70 or in the low-to-mid 70s) and up and down most of the Eastern Seaboard, perhaps only near to slightly above normal once you get north into the Boston/New England area. That means the evening should be a comfortable one temperature-wise, mainly in the 60s for trick-or-treat time across the D.C. area, dropping to near 60 around New York City, and in the 50s in Boston.


Model forecast of temperature anomalies (departure from average) for Thursday evening shows above-normal readings for much of Eastern Seaboard (WeatherBell)

Precipitation

The prognosis for rain is a trickier one to track. Right now, there’s some chance that showers associated with a cold front approaching from the west will hold off just long enough to get those Halloween activities in without too much in the way of rain along the East Coast, except maybe northern New England. However, if the front speeds up just a bit, we could easily be looking at a wetter Halloween evening scenario in the D.C. area and through much of the Northeast. For now, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed. We’ll of course be updating our local forecast daily and during the day Thursday as well.

Model forecast of rainfall 5-11 p.m. on Thursday. This model (the GFS) sometimes overestimates the eastward extent of precipitation ahead of a front, but then again it could be too far west with the front itself. (NOAA)
Model forecast of rainfall from 5-11 p.m. on Thursday. This model (the GFS) sometimes overestimates the eastward extent of precipitation ahead of a front, but then again it could be too far west with the front itself. (NOAA)

Relatively quiet Halloween weather this year

Last year, Halloween arrived in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and Halloween 2011 was preceded by the historic “Snowtober” storm in the Northeast. The news is much better this year. As you can see from the rain forecast map above, except for the band of frontal showers focused on the Midwest and possibly edging into the I-95 Corridor, quiet weather is expected across much of the nation. A welcome treat, I’m sure.

Dan Stillman is a meteorologist and editor for the Capital Weather Gang. He earned an M.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.
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