Advance Halloween Forecast For Eastern Massachusetts,

Wet Night In The Pumpkin Patch?

 This column loves Halloween, and it ranks 3rd or 4th any given year. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and then either July 4th or Halloween is how I score holidays. This has been the case for almost all of my life, regardless of how long I had been in the country (even a non-American will quickly favor any holiday with fireworks and bonfires, especially a child) or how too-old I was to be trick-or-treating.

I like Halloween more than Easter, more than Memorial Day (which is probably 5th), and more than any of the ethnic ones like St. Patrick's Day, Columbus Day or MLK Day. Halloween rules. I love the whole lead-up period, with the pumpkins and the haunted houses and what have you. I can also say with some confidence that the modus operandi of dressing as a monster and extorting candy from your neighbors rules harder than anything other than "wake up to a house full of Christmas presents" or "watch a football game, eat 4 pounds of dressed turkey, watch more football, pass out, wake up, shop."

As a Halloween lover AND as the chief weather geek here at Cape Cod TODAY, I thought I'd lay down the bones of what is always a hugely important forecast. Save for a Christmas blizzard, a Labor Day hurricane or a July 4th Severe Thunderstorm Warning, there is no other forecast that can screw up an important holiday more than Halloween rain. The informed Halloween lover should have an eye to the sky well before Thursday night, and should be ready with multiple/alternate plans.

The forecast for this Halloween is a doozy. You have to juggle a Nebraska blizzard with an Oklahoma tornado and throw in Pennsylvania thunderstorms. You then have to factor in the fickle fluctuations of the anti-Bell Curve that is that jet stream. The margin of error spans Halloween afternoon downpours, temps in the upper 30s, or breezy and upper 50s.

To tie it all together in a sentence or two, a Plains blizzard will dip south, become a huge thunderstorm, and aim for the northeast. Depending on who you believe, it will either miss us, soak us, or hold off long enough that we actually have a mild Halloween with near-optimal trick-or-treat weather. The proximity of the storm should give us warm temperatures, and would factor mightily in the nature of the winds.

I would advise having a trick or treat costume for the kids (or adults) that can be worn with or without warmer clothing underneath. I'd also recommend having an indoor backup plan. Even if it pours, I'd suggest that you keep a stash of candy for the hardcore, no-matter-what trick or treaters, as any kid who is out in the rain is going to be very upset if you don't give it up smooth from the candy factory. The potential for Trickery would be very high... and you can always eat the candy yourself in November, so it's not like you're wasting money or anything, playboy.

Note that, if the World Series goes 7 games, Game 7 would be Thursday night, in Massachusetts. If you're close to the city, you could be stomped by a rioter dressed as Barack Obama or a sexy nurse. The game could also be rained out, or suffer a rain delay.

Keep yourself informed for Thursday's weather, and plan accordingly.

Halloween Costume Suggestions For Rainy Weather:

- Gorton's Fisherman

- FEMA worker

- Aquaman

- Firefighter

- Natalie Wood

- Displaced tsunami victim

- Scuba diver

- Duck

- Michael Phelps

- Storm Cloud

- Land Shark

- Cuban/Cambodian "boat person" refugee

- Janet Leigh

- Katrina refugee

- immediate post-Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy

If a kid shows up at my house in a thunderstorm, dressed as/speaking as Ted Kennedy, he's probably getting $20. I'd recommend skipping the Kopechne house, though...

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