Thursday, 11:30 a.m.
The buzz from last night in Denver was over the first presidential debate. Had it not been for that, the big news could well have been the dramatic temperature drop that took place there late yesterday! At 4 p.m., the temperature stood at 83; by 6 p.m., it had tumbled to 59, and it fell to 35 early this morning! Boulder dropped from 81 at 5 p.m. to 63 an hour later, 54 another hour later and also ended up in the mid-30s this morning. It will struggle to get past 50 this afternoon and probably won't make it tomorrow and Saturday, and there may be some wet snow at some point tomorrow night into Saturday!
Speaking of snow, nearly a foot of it fell in the high ground of Montana yesterday in the wake of the front. And at least 2 inches is already on the ground in Grand Forks, N.D., and it continues snowing hard late this morning with winds gusting to nearly 40 mph. Say hello to winter!
Meanwhile, the fall foliage is in full bloom across the Northeast. Straight from the Foliage Network, the most recent report of the state of color around the region:
This is unquestionably a quicker pace to the changing of colors than the past two years and is more in line with the typical fall foliage change around the region. That color change will be hastened even more by the passage of a strong cold front in the next 72 hours, ushering a very chilly air mass into the region as the weekend progresses. It is not entirely out of the question that a trailing wave of low pressure may bring a very chilly rain from the Appalachians into New York and New England that, in parts of the high ground, could even mix with or change to wet snow before ending.
All this is coming on the heels of a warm air mass. It will be warm in Chicago this afternoon ahead of the front, just as it was in Denver yesterday, and as it was all the way to the Midwest. Look at the highs from Wednesday:
Yes, there were some 90-degree readings over extreme eastern Colorado and Kansas into southern Nebraska! The warmth will be erased tomorrow from the Midwest to the Great Lakes down into the Ohio Valley in the wake of the cold front, though it will hang on for dear life along the I-95 corridor on Saturday before the front finally slips through.
There is very likely going to be a wave of low pressure along this front Saturday night and Sunday, spreading rain across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, then across the mid-Atlantic up into New England. As mentioned above, it may not be all rain before all is said and done across the high ground of Pennsylvania into New York state! On the other side of the coin, though, it may mean the southern end of the Delmarva and southeastern Virginia down into the eastern Carolinas may eke out one more warm day before that very same wave draws a cold front through the region and off the coast Sunday night and Monday.
Following that, summer's warmth will largely be gone in most of the country, save in central and southern Florida.
I'll be out tomorrow, heading to Salisbury University to participate in the SeaGull Century on Saturday. It looks like I'll be riding in relative warmth, as spotty showers skirt the area in the afternoon. The drive back home on Sunday will take me from the last vestiges of summer to the harsh reality that fall is here, and winter won't be far behind. It should prove to be an interesting weekend, and I'll share my exploits on Monday upon my return!
With the storm rolling away from the Southeast this afternoon and tonight, a more typical west-to-east flow pattern will take over in much of the nation heading into the middle of October.
Heavy rains are exiting the Northeast this afternoon, but more excessive rains will return to the mid-Atlantic later tomorrow and Friday. Hurricane Joaquin is lurking near the Bahamas, and may make the situation worse this weekend.
The system along the Southeast coast will spread heavy rain from parts of Georgia into Virginia heading into the weekend, while most of the rest of the country is dry and warm.
It may now be autumn, but much of the country will be warmer than average for the rest of the week and into the weekend.
Fall begins one week from today, but there's still plenty of warmth to go around the rest of this week, with more to follow again next week.
Record heat blistered the East yesterday, but it is about to end. Still, another surge of very warm weather is likely next week to extend summer a little while longer.