To some people, fall is the best time of year.
If you live in the United Sates east of the Rockies, you wouldn’t want to argue with them this weekend.
High pressure has parked over the midwest and is bringing a fine weekend to the entire eastern half of the country.
The leaves are starting to turn in the far north, and fruits and vegetables are ripe so there are harvest festivals everywhere.
Baseball’s regular season comes to a close and football heats up. Lots to do so let’s take a look at what’s cooking — literally and figuratively.
Editorial Note: Decoded Science suggests a few activities that it thinks are of special interest, but there will always be something happening where you live.
The Weather Pattern Gets Stuck
Normally weather systems move from west to east in the middle latitudes, but sometimes the jet stream breaks down into stationary swirls. This week, a high pressure omega block formed over the US midwest and is still there.
The omega block is an amplified high pressure ridge. Often the up- and downstream troughs (low pressure dips) are also amplified. To the west of the omega block, a large storm in the eastern Pacific Ocean will affect the western states as far east as the Rockies this weekend; unfortunately it has not penetrated far enough south to bring any rain to parched California.
East of the omega block, the first nor’easter of the season brought a lot of rain to the mid-Atlantic coast midweek, but has now moved just far enough offshore to allow for a fine weekend in the entire eastern two-thirds of the country with the exception of the deep south.
With nothing moving, what you see is what you’re going to get weather-wise for the weekend in the US.
Europe has been under the spell of a broad flat ridge in the jet stream for some time. Temperatures will continue above normal this weekend, though all things are relative. Scandinavian temperatures in the low 60s will be about ten degrees above normal.
The flat characteristic of the flow, with minimal ripples, means there will be little rain over most of the continent.
Fall Foliage Season Has Begun
For the next couple of months a current of changing colors will flow from north to south through much of the northern hemisphere.
Trees’ leaves will lose their shades of chlorophyll-green in favor of the longer wavelengths as a partial rainbow of yellow to red overspreads the trees before they go bare for the winter.
Early-season leaf-peepers will have to travel to northern or mountain locations this weekend to find even modest hues of gold and crimson, but northern New England, northern Minnesota, and the highest mountains of Colorado are nearing peak color.
It’s Harvest Time
The harvest moon was early this year, and the harvest is now in full swing. There are festivals dedicated to a single fruit or vegetable, and there are general ones. Apple festivals are particularly popular in New England and the midwest. Here are a few events that Decoded Science feels are particularly appealing. There’s very likely a harvest festival or farmers market near you.
Sandy Beach County Park’s Annual Harvest Festival, Saturday, White Cloud, Michigan
This festival has free admission for campers and a Halloween theme (pumpkin harvest, you see): Haunted trail; trick or treating; apple dessert bake-off; and a family friendly movie in the park.
Weather: The high pressure system that has been bringing gorgeous fall weather to the midwest for much of the week will not be budging.
35th Annual Lenox Apple Squeeze Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Lenox, Massachusetts
Thirty-five years of squeezing apples! Vendors, food, fun for kids, rides — and lotsa cider.
Weather: The low pressure system that brought rain to the east coast during the week should be far enough offshore to allow for a beautiful autumn weekend in the Berkshires.
World Chicken Festival, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, London, Kentucky
This festival features the world’s largest skillet — ten and a half feet in diameter (would I kid you?). It will be used to cook the world’s largest elephant egg (Ok, I would kid you, but not about the skillet). Actually, it will be used to cook seven thousand pieces of fried chicken. Great day for fried chicken lovers; not so great for chickens.
Weather: The high pressure centered over the Upper Midwest controls the weather deep into Dixie. Perfect weather for frying chicken.
National Football League
After three weeks of play, there are only three undefeated teams in the National Football League (out of 32) — and two of them are not playing this week. Anyway, it was easy to pick this week’s featured game, and it doesn’t involve an undefeated team.
Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders, Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, in LONDON
No, this game is not being played in London, Kentucky as part of the chicken festival; nor even in London Ontario, Canada. It is being played in London, England, in the still-United Kingdom.
Weather: London, like the rest of Europe, is basking in above-normal temperatures (around 70) with little chance of rain. The Dolphins should appreciate this, as they often play in stifling heat and humidity.
Major League Baseball
The regular season comes to a close, but for the second week in a row, Decoded Science is recommending a game that has no bearing on the playoffs. It is the final game for Derek Jeter, a sure hall-of-famer. Jeter’s retirement leaves one fewer of the dying breed of baseball player who spends his entire career with one team.
Jeter knocked in the winning run Thursday night in his last game at Yankee Stadium. The Sunday game, at Fenway Park in Boston, is a scalper’s heaven: box seats are selling for thousands of dollars.
Weather: Perfect weather to end a perfect career.
Have A Great Weekend And Here’s One More Event For The Paisano
Festa Italiana 2014, Saturday and Sunday, Seattle, Washington
This festival has everything that’s traditionally Italian: Sicilian puppetry; grape stomp; bocce tournament; and of course, lotsa pasta.
Weather: The Pacific storm that moved ashore midweek will provide a cloudy weekend. The festival might get squeezed in between bouts of rain.
Look around in your neighborhood and see what’s cooking.