Welcome to Fall! (Wait, what season is it?)

Sep. 21, 2016: Autumn 2016 officially kicks off Thursday at 9:21 AM!

Tomorrow’s weather, however, is a good reminder that the season outside usually has trouble lining up with the season the calendar.

1st of fall

The “official” start to fall occurs during the autumnal equinox, or when the Earth is lined up straight up and down on its axis. Night and day are roughly equal, and we are at the halfway point between the solstices (the longest and shortest day of the year). That point occurs at 9:21 am this year. Because of the way light bends through our atmosphere, sunrise and sunset don’t line up exactly on this date, but within a day or two we’ll see them as close as possible before we slip under the 12 hour mark for daylight and night becomes longer than day.

1st of fall OR NOT

As you can see, we usually still have highs in the low 70’s, with some brisk nights flirting with the 40’s. At least this time around, it will still feel like summer outside. Highs should be about 10 degrees above average, and conditions will feel even warmer than that with the humidity. We can even see days in the low 90’s, if we get the right setup to set a record, like the one for Thursday set in 1937.

Cold Blast 2

So, what gives? Where did fall go? We are in the midst of a weather pattern that we typically see more during the summer months. The jet stream is arching well into Canada, allowing very warm and definitely humid air to flood the region. Right along the boundary of the warm, humid air mass are rounds of thunderstorms, which we saw plenty of today, and our neighbors to the north in Wisconsin will see plenty more of those (flash flooding will plague the area, due to all of the storms and rain they’ll get through the end of the week).

AC forecast

Starting this weekend, this pattern does break down, allowing the heat and humidity to relax a little this weekend. By next week, we’ll be getting our first good does of fall air, as there potentially may be some days in the 60’s coming soon. Hold on for now; the A/C doesn’t have to be on for too much longer!

-Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on September 21, 2016

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