Wednesday, 11:50 a.m.
I was watching a little of the U.S. Open tennis last evening, and there was a piece on Roger Federer, who is trying to win his 18th Grand Slam title, and the reporter was mentioning something about time or age never losing in reference to Roger's age and the increasing difficulty at that age with win another big title. Let's face it, we can stave off the advances of age by a healthy and active lifestyle, but sooner or later age or time always wins, and there comes a time when the body just cannot do what it once did - time marches on.
In the same way, the continual parade of the seasons is inevitable. The Earth's path around the sun combined with the axis of rotation always results in a change of seasons in most of the world. Places in the Northern Hemisphere that were getting the more direct rays of the sun over the past few months are clearly getting less and less sunlight, and that is allowing chilly air masses to gain a foothold now across the interior of Alaska and Canada.
For instance, it has been snowing early this morning in Alberta, about 100 miles south of Calgary on Highway 22. Granted, this is at elevation, but it is another indication that it's getting colder to our north. And this is in an air mass that is not exceptionally cold to begin with! Hint: There may be more snow at some point later next week up across parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan!
Meanwhile, summer isn't dead. It was a scorcher in the East yesterday, with most locations from the Carolinas to southern New England reaching past 90, including 101 in Richmond, Virginia:
While it may not get that hot there again this Friday and Saturday ahead of the cold front, it will be hot and sticky nonetheless - typical midsummer heat and humidity, the likes of which has been largely absent. And as stated yesterday, the heat this afternoon from the eastern Rockies out onto the Plains will surge across the Mississippi Valley toward the western Ohio and Tennessee valleys tomorrow, boosting temperatures to 90 or better in a number of places.
Inevitably, though, the next cold front will not be denied. Today, that front is charging across the northern Rockies. Here's the 12z Sept. 3 NAM surface snapshot for this evening:
Initially, the precipitation tied to this system will be relegated to the upper-level low rotating through Washington toward western Montana. However, a few widely separated showers and thunderstorms will begin to pop up over the Dakotas tonight, and become more notable later tomorrow into tomorrow night across the Midwest as the front pushes eastward. By Friday, the showers and strong to potentially severe thunderstorms will move into the Great Lakes but extend into Kansas as the front slows down a bit.
The front will slow down some later Friday and Friday night, but then a second upper-level feature charging across Canada will renew the push of cooler, drier air across the northern Plains and Midwest. Here's how the NAM depicts these two features Friday night:
With all of the heat and humidity in place ahead of the front, severe thunderstorms are bound to bubble up ahead of the front Saturday from the Ohio Valley to New England.
But then the air mass changes behind the front. No, it won't be a winter chill, but it will be in the 40s Saturday morning across parts of the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, and some places won't be out of the 60s later that day. Cooler air will also move into the Great Lakes and parts of the Ohio Valley later Saturday night, fully reaching the Northeast Sunday and Sunday night. A few more trees will see their leaves change color. No frost is to be expected, but residents across the northern tier of states will be needing to dig a little deeper into the drawers for some cooler weather gear this weekend as the seasons inevitably march along.
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