Autumn in a nutshell: Tropical and wintry

At this late hour, the NWS radar is full of ground clutter, so forgive me for pulling the SPC version. I want you to be able to appreciate the two major factors t work here. In the mid-Atlantic and eastern Great Lakes, there is a big mass of showers. This is partially thanks to a weakening cold front moving out of the area, but mostly thanks to the remnants of Nate, a tropical storm.

Meanwhile, take note of that band of showers from Pierre, South Dakota to Fort Collins, Colorado, and beyond, towards Craig. That is not rain. Here is a look at Cheyenne, Wyoming from the NWS:

Yikes. That cold front will move southeastward, and while the snow is really only a concern in the high Plains and central Rockies, there will be some cold temperatures making their fiirst real incursion into the continental US. Check out all the purple, pink and blue on this map, indicative of cold or wintry weather on the way.

Winter is almost here, in spirit anyways. Of course, as Brian Brettschneider notes, we’ve also just had our first 0 reading in Alaska.