Winter is still several weeks away, but Mother Nature has a preview in store for the northern Plains.
Just days after rising into the 50s and 60s, snowflakes will fly across parts of North Dakota, northern Minnesota and the southern Canadian Prairie today and tonight.
There will even be enough snow to whiten the ground in many areas for a time.
For most seasoned residents, this will be nothing more than a nuisance snow typical of a weak, fast-moving "clipper system," though enough of the white stuff could fall to cause slick travel for a time.
A general swath of 1 to 2 inches is expected by early tonight across the northern and eastern part of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.
A few locales in North Dakota could see totals reach 3 or 4 inches should the storm's full potential be realized.
Since temperatures will only be within a few degrees of freezing, snow could stick on road surfaces for a time, especially toward the beginning and end of the day, impacting some prime commute hours.
In addition, a potentially dangerous mix of sleet and freezing rain could accompany the snow across a narrow part of central North Dakota for a time.
Any amount of ice accretion can make for very hazardous driving conditions. Fortunately, if any ice does accumulate, it should melt in a rather short amount of time as temperatures increase.
This nuisance event will provide a nice primer to re-accustom area travelers to winter driving, a skill which will not go out of fashion until at least April in this part of the country.
Be sure to drive slowly in snow, especially heavy snow when visibilities can be reduced. Because of this, allow more space than normal between you and the vehicle in front of you.
The chilliest air of the season so far will settle over much of the Northeast Thursday into Friday and will bring frost to more areas than experienced frost early this week.
Tropical moisture from the approaching Odile will deliver another round of heavy rain and flooding downpours to the interior Southwest by the middle of this week.
The remnants of Odile have the potential to bring heavy rain and flooding to parts of the Plains and Midwest late this week after hitting the Southwest.
On Tuesday, Edouard became the first major hurricane in the Atlantic since Sandy. While the hurricane remains at sea, rough surf will reach some Atlantic coast beaches.
A raging wildfire, which erupted Monday afternoon, has damaged or destroyed more than 100 structures and has forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in Northern California, near Weed.
Mid Atlantic (1933)
Carolina-Virginia Hurricane: 28.25 inches of rain, 76-mph winds at Cape Hatteras -- great wind damage in VA and MD. Twenty-one lives were lost; $1 million damage.
Concord, NH (1964)
27 degrees, concluded shortest growing season (100 days).
Gulf of Mexico (1988)
Hurricane Gilbert has travelled 2,050 miles since becoming a hurricane on Sept. 11. The storm was centered 130 miles south of Brownsville, TX, just 40 miles off the Mexican coast. Central pressure was 948 MB (27.99 inches), sustained winds of 120 mph and was tracking to the west at 12 mph. The storm came ashore at Tamaulipas, Mexico, during the evening.