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Monarch butterflies hover around a lilac bush that is unseasonably in full bloom outside Sally Basler's home on Plum Island.

On Plum Island, butterflies are dancing around Sally Basler’s blooming lilacs.

If that sounds odd for October, well, it is.

“It’s strange to have a lilac bush blooming; the peak for lilac is around Memorial Day,” said Tim Lamprey, owner of Harbor Garden Center in Salisbury and a columnist for The Daily News. “Sometimes all it takes is some warm weather following colder temperatures to get the plants to come into bloom.”

And now, it’s about to get even warmer. With predicted high temperatures in the low- to mid-70s through the weekend and highs in the 80s on Monday, the only visible signs of autumn are the crimson trees and jack-o’-lanterns on front porches.

“As of now, we haven’t broken any records,” said Charlie Foley, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton. “But we are above average for temperatures lately.”

Average temperatures for the fourth week of October usually span from the low to mid-60s this time of year, Foley said.

Although Lamprey hasn’t seen too many plants affected by the warm weather, he did say it was late in the season to have still not have had a frost.

But Ray Whitley, a local weather watcher for the National Weather Service, said it’s not totally out of the ordinary.

“It’s actually not that unusual to have these temperatures in October,” Whitley said. “Fall for us is a transition month in which we can still get warm air because the tropics are still warm but we can also get inputs of Canadian air. It can be a volatile month.”

Long-term predictions suggest mild temperatures throughout the winter months due in part to the fact we will be experiencing La Nina effects, Whitley said.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, La Nina is an occurrence that brings cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures to the tropical Pacific Ocean, creating an impact on global weather patterns. The effects of La Nina vary depending on region and usually last a year.

“It’s very difficult to predict the winter. La Nina is set up this year, which means warm and above-normal temperatures,” Whitley said. “If you want to save money on oil, it’s a good thing.”

According to National Weather Service projections, December, January and February will have above-average temperatures with average precipitation.

“For now we have the benefit of nice weather,” Foley said. “But remember, this is New England, and things can change fast.”

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