Ordinarily the foliage would be reaching a peak around here about now, but we've noticed a certain reluctance on the part of the leaves to believe that this is late October.

With good reason. This is on track to be one of the warmest Octobers in Philadelphia in records dating to 1874, at least a No. 2 or 3, says Mike Silva, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly.

Through Tuesday, the average temperature for the month was a balmy 66.5 degrees, or 7.8 degrees above the 30-year normal.

In Wilmington, the figures were similar, and in Allentown, better than 9 degrees above normal. Boston was running 7.5 above, and New York City, 8.2.

Part of the warmth is related to the overall dryness, said Silva. Officially, Philly has received a mere 1.29 inches of rain this month, about half of average.

The region has been under persistent high pressure, or heavier air, which tends to discourage rainfall and cloud cover.

Temperatures have been below normal on only two days this month.

Based on the forecasts, the final October average could come in above 64 degrees. The record is 64.5, set in 2007, followed by 63.5, in 1971.

This will be part of an impressive run of warm Octobers, the eighth consecutive October with above-normal temperatures.

As for longer-term warmth, this 30-year period could beat the 30-year period that ended in 1939 when Octobers averaged better than 58 degrees.

In any event, given some of the prematurely wintry weather of past Octobers, we have cause to be grateful.

The earliest measurable snowfall on record in Philly occurred on Oct. 10, 1979. This year, the high on Oct. 10 was 84.