Monday 10 a.m.
Cooler air advanced from the Great Lakes to the Middle and North Atlantic states during the weekend. The high pressure area marking the center of the cool air mass is moving toward the Carolinas now, and a return southwesterly flow will sponsor a warmup until the next cold front arrives. That flow should be on a line from central New England to southern Illinois on Wednesday, and it will drift southward and stall on a line from North Carolina to southern Missouri on Thursday.
Some showers will accompany the front, and some rain may break out on the north side of it later in the week. At the end of the week and into the weekend, there is quite a variation in model solutions, with some suggesting rain spreads across the Middle Atlantic states then into New England during the weekend.
The dominant cloud type in the summertime is the cumulus. Cumulus clouds can still grow in the fall and winter, but there is less solar heating, and thus less fuel to get these clouds to grow. The clouds in this picture are not associated just with fall, but in summer the same situation would lead clouds with greater vertical development.
The surface pressure pattern looks chaotic today, with a multitude of trough lines. A few of these can be caused by glitches in the data, but any of the real ones could be all that's required to organize a short band of showers or thunderstorms. However, these features tend to change character with time, or they disappear and new ones pop up.
Here's a cool fact: even when Death Valley, California, has a temperature of 110 or 120 degrees, you only have to go up a little more than 3.5 miles to find temperatures at or below freezing.
It appears the dry comfortable air mass now in the Northeast will be replaced by a humid flow from the South Atlantic states for the coming weekend. An upper-air forecast map sequence in the video shows how this could happen. The following map shows the predicted flow from Florida to New Jersey Friday night.
This map shows the pressure analysis for the Northeast and Great Lakes. The gusty flow on the west side of the low pressure area adds a real autumn feel to the air.
Since individual lines and clusters of thunderstorms have limited life spans and change character constantly, forecasting whether it will or won't rain at any one time this weekend is difficult at best. One solution is to have your tablet or phone available with the AccuWeather.com app so you can see where all the storms are at the times when it concerns you the most.
It does look warmer for the weekend, but every time the warm air tries to extend into New England it gets chopped down. There could be more showers at times Sunday and early next week as forest we can tell. If any forecast gives you a headache, why not take a friend's advice: Take two aspen; sequoia in the morning.