Tuesday 9:45 a.m.
A southwesterly flow of warm, moist air ahead of a cold front is contributing to a band of rain and thunderstorms that stretches from the Ohio Valley into parts of the Middle and North Atlantic states. We expect some showers and thunderstorms to cross the I95 corridor from D.C. to Boston later today and this evening.
The cold front should slip south then stall from Virginia or Maryland to Kentucky tomorrow. With the front likely to make only limited progress, some additional showers may occur tomorrow from D.C. to New York City and on west. Most of New England should turn sunny.
In general, computer models suggest a low pressure area forms along the front in the Middle Atlantic states on Friday then slowly moves up along the coast this weekend. If that happens, it will be a damp weekend in the I95 corridor of the Northeast.
In contrast, most of the Great Lakes region looks like it will bask in sunshine with afternoon temperatures in Detroit and Chicago close to 70 and nights cooling to the 40s and 50s. The video has more.
In the longer range, the re-curving of the latest western Pacific typhoon may signal an upper air trough (and cool weather) in the Northeast in a week to 10 days.
Late September is not generally known for widespread thunderstorms, but this map shows near 50,000 lightning strokes in the period from 8 EDT last night until just after 8:30 EDT this morning.
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.
One branch of the flow will go from Oregon and northern California eastward to the Plains, then it will go around the south side of the storm we have been talking about. A second branch of the flow will run from British Columbia northeastward to northern Hudson Bay. Cold air will be north of that current...which means it won't be anywhere near the eastern U.S. later this week.