Tuesday 10 a.m.
There's quite a contrast in conditions between Michigan and Massachusetts. At mid-morning, Detroit had some sunshine with south to southwest winds bringing in milder air. Meanwhile, in the I-95 corridor from Boston to Baltimore, dreariness greeted the dawn and dampness lingered. The surface pressure pattern helps explain this. Along the East Coast, the flow is coming from the Atlantic. The isobars bend around over the Appalachians, and the flow west of there is from southwest to northeast. The lines become closer together as you move north through Michigan, and the wind increases to match that. Finally, the isobars at the far upper-left corner of the map peel away from their tight packing and assume more of a west to east orientation. The change occurs along a cold front that will speed to the east and off the New England coast tomorrow night.
This video explores the current situation and how things should progress for the rest of the week and this weekend.
The reason for this is a growing and then stalling storm aloft. This map shows the predicted circulation around the storm on Wednesday evening, showing how the moisture could keep going round and round until the storm leaves.
This mornng, showers were moving across the lower Great Lakes region. A band of thunderstorms developed near Chicago before 6:30 a.m. CT and reached the southwest Michigan shoreline an hour later (8:30 a.m. ET). The following maps show the shower zone and Chicago area lightning.
The tropics have been more active recently. This map shows various entities that area being tracked and analyzed. Hurricane Gonzalo stands out clearly.
A couple of days ago, the storm entering the East had a stronger circulation than it does now. Here is the pressure analysis from earlier this morning. Several minor disturbance can be seen, and trough lines representing those have been sketched on the map. Note that there is little difference in temperature from western Pennsylvania to Wisconsin.
The rain band is only 100-200 miles wide, but it is moving slowly. This map shows its location at 10 a.m. today. Once the main rain band passes, it won't be quite as warm as it was when the rain started. However, by mid-October standard, it will still be mild.
On some days, there are so many "little things" that it is difficult to identify the players. Today, we see two systems dominating: the low pressure area on the left (west) and the high pressure area to the right (east). The cold front associated with the low pressure area is helping to support bands of rain.