Although fall doesn't officially begin until Saturday, Sept. 22 at 10:49 a.m EDT, the weather will take a decidedly cool and showery turn across the Great Lakes to end the workweek.
A cold front that swept eastward through Wisconsin and Illinois Wednesday night ushered in cool air and thundershowers. The end of the workweek will feature unsettled weather across the region as a series of disturbances dives into the area.
Residents of the region will no doubt need a jacket to combat the windy, cool and showery conditions over the next several days.
A persistent, gusty, northwesterly wind through the weekend will keep temperatures well below normal with some locations toward the Canadian border struggling to reach 60 degrees.
Nighttime temperatures will be especially crisp with numerous readings in the 30s and 40s. Even the suburbs of Chicago could see temperatures in the 30s by Saturday night!
In addition to fall-like temperatures, showers will become more numerous. The most widespread wet weather is expected today across the entire region with the shower focus shifting to the typical lake-effect prone areas by the weekend. Some locations can even hear a few rumbles of thunder.
While this is a chilly air mass for September, it is not expected to be cold enough to bring lake-effect snow. However, the coldest punch of air forecast to dive into the arrowhead of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin Friday night could cause a few snowflakes to mix in with the rain showers. Although no accumulation is expected, it would certainly be a harsh reminder that winter is on the way!
Aside from the showers and cool weather, waterspouts are a possibility on the Great Lakes this weekend. The relatively warm water temperatures can interact with the cool air and spin in the atmosphere to produce funnel clouds.
By the start of next week, the brisk northwesterly flow should relax, putting an end to the showery weather regime.
The second half of the week looks to be noticeably cooler and less humid in the Chicago area.
A cold front pushing through the Southeast will bring the risk of severe weather to part of the region Thursday.
After temperatures briefly climb to typical midsummer levels, another cooldown will roll into the Midwest and expand to the East for the last part of July.
Tropical Depression Two has lost its battle to become the next Atlantic tropical storm, but it will still increase shower activity across the Caribbean to end the week.
Severe thunderstorms that blasted areas of Arkansas with damaging winds and heavy rainfall will continue to race through eastern Texas.
A potent storm system moving out of the Northwest United States will bring an elevated risk of tornadoes to parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan on Thursday.
North Carolina (1975)
Lightning killed 13 cows during a thunderstorm at Kenansville. Heavy rains elsewhere in the state forced the Tar River out of its banks at Greenville, causing 14 families to evacuate their homes.
New York (1975)
Severe thunderstorms in western and central NY: lightning struck a city park in Rochester injuring 12 children, all were playing on a metal jungle gym. One patrolman described the scene as if "someone threw a stick of dynamite in the middle of the crowd and it blew."
Southeastern MA (1990)
Torrential rains: Middleboro 7.20" Bridgewater 5.00" Tauton 4.33" Abington 3.05" Cars were stranded in high water in Fall River, MA.