David Appell commented earlier this week on the moment when you realize it’s fall:
Every year it’s the middle of August plus a few days. In mid-August there’s inevitably a several days-long rain, followed by a clearing in which the climate is suddenly different — clear blue skies, significantly less humid, cooler, especially at night. This year was no different, and the change is palpable….
He’s up in New Hampshire, and I infer that fall seems to herald for him some unpleasantness – “all too soon” – whereas here it’s a sort of soft and comforting blanket being gently draped about our shoulders. I love that moment when it suddently snaps – a subtle meteorological phenomenon, but a clear mental step function.
In Albuquerque, we demonstrably had it Wednesday morning, if I can gunk up the romantic feeling of cool mornings and the smell of roasting chiles with the practical empiricism of meteorology. The summer high that wobbles around the southwest like a wandering drunk is pretty much gone, replaced by the upper-level westerlies that dominate fall and winter. Overnight lows have slipped into the ’50s and the first chile-roasting picture has appeared on the front page of the newspaper.
The westerlies brought in a cloud cover Wednesday that would be unheard of under the summer high, and the low of 52 Wednesday morning was a record. This is all vaguely early – the summer high and the resulting monsoons often linger into the first week of September. But the kids are back in school, the state fair starts next week, and I can see some yellowing leaves on the big cottonwood across the street, so I guess it makes sense to get on with things.