The thermometer on our back porch reads exactly 40 degrees at 05:30 this morning, one of the cooler mornings of the budding fall season.

According to the National Weather Service’s Blacksburg office, the temperature is expected to reach around 67 by this afternoon. — also cooler than the last few days.

Predictions say highs will rise slightly during the week, reaching 78 on Thursday and Friday with little chance of rain with sunny days mostly and clouds for the coming weekend with rain perhaps returning to the area at the beginning of next week.

Looks like a reasonably nice first week of October and forecasts, at the moment, say things should stay pretty much the same for the next 10 days while longer-range outlooks suggest things should remain pretty much the same.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the long-range procrastinator that many swear by while other swear at, says the Southeast should see milder-than-normal temperatures while the Northeast, central Great Plains, Intermountain region and areas from eastern Tennessee through New Mexico could get above-normal amounts of snowfall.

Eastern Tennessee, of course, is not that far from us in Southwestern Virginia so a slight shift could see us under more what stuff than we might like.

Says the Almanac:

This winter is forecast to be much colder than last year’s, but—just like last winter—not colder than usual. In fact, a large part of the northern United States will experience milder-than-average temperatures (though we would still recommend having your long underwear on-hand), while much of the South and West can expect to feel cooler than normal. Escaping this chill are Florida and the Southeast, where milder-than-usual temperatures will be felt.

Of course, we haven’t heard from the wooly worms yet.  My maternal granddaddy used to say they were the only “real” long-range forecasters for winter.

“If the wooly worms are big and black, bundle up and get ready for a rough winter,” he often said.

Most of the time, he was right..except when the woolies are wrong.

In the end, all the doppler radar, computer forecast models and “meteorologists” can pontificate until the cows come home before they issue what is basically a guess.

The only one who may know what’s coming from Old Man Winter is Mother Nature and she can, and often does, change or mind or have “bad hair days” or PMS.

My wife has a T-Shirt that reads: “I have a gun and PMS.  Any questions?”

None whatsoever dear.  Carry on.

She will…and so will Mother Nature.