Indian Summer Explained

The autumn season is already breath-taking as the leaves begin to change, but throw in a few warm days before winter arrives and it’s simply beautiful.

“Indian Summer” is a term that describes¬†a period of warm weather, with at least one day above 70 degrees, occurring after the first frost of the season. Given the climatology of Connecticut, we typically get our first frost in mid-October. Since average high temperatures for October 15th are still around 63 degrees, it’s not all that unusual to see the mercury hit 70.

As far as the history behind the term, it is up for much debate. In the Colonial times, the term “Indian Summer” actually referred to the January thaw. Some speculate that the term has to do with the time period that Indians harvested corn. Another possibility is that the term is just another way of saying a “false summer”.

A Few Stats:
Given the general definition of the term,¬†Connecticut should expect “Indian Summer” conditions sometime during the second half of October.¬†70 degrees is quite mild, but 80 degrees is downright warm. Every day in the month of October has reached 80 degrees in Hartford, except October 29th.

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Quincy is a meteorologist and storm chaser who travels around the country documenting and researching severe weather. He has on-air experience with stations such as WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT and WREX-TV in Rockford, IL. He was most recently a digital meteorologist for After achieving his B.S. degree in Meteorology at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in 2009, he returned as a University Assistant to help produce weather broadcasts. He also gave guest lectures and worked on website design. He has over nine years of professional weather forecasting experience and his forecasts have been featured in newspapers and on radio stations in multiple states.

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