The trees are turning in Maine with lows in the upper 40s and 50s, but summer heat grips much of the rest of the country. This photo shows Cadillac Mountain seen from Great Hill, Acadia National Park. (Photo credit: JRLibby/ Wikimedia Commons)
Autumn arrives on Thursday at 10:21 a.m. EDT, but you’d never know it most parts of the country.
West Palm Beach had its 14th day this month at 90 or better, and the seventh day in a row at 91 or hotter. It was 91 at Palm Beach International Airport, 92 in Miami; 90 in Naples and 89 in Fort Lauderdale.
Vero Beach hit 91, Orlando reached 90, and it was 91 in Tampa. Fort Myers made it to 92.
A weather observer in Palm Springs reported a high of 94 to the National Weather Service, and it was in the upper 90s in parts of inland Collier County.
The Wednesday morning weather map showed low 80s in South Florida, upper 70s in Central Florida, and low 70s in North Florida extending all the way up to Washington, DC. Even Chicago was reporting 72, and you had to go up to northern Maine to find temperatures in the mid-50s.
The only cool fall-like temperatures — outside of the Rocky Mountains — were found on the West Coast of Oregon and Washington, where it was in the 40s.
There’s no cooler weather in the National Weather Service’s long-range forecast for South Florida, and AccuWeather’s ultra-long-range forecast doesn’t show a dip below 70 for morning lows until Oct. 25.
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for above-normal temperatures throughout most of the U.S. in October.
The Farmers’ Almanac echoed that outlook with its fall forecast.
“We’ve heard from many of you that you’ve had enough of this hot summer and the cooler temperatures of fall would be a welcome relief,” the Almanac said.
“Autumn’s weather will be seasonal if not warm to start, with summer heat possibly lingering. So regardless of what the calendar says, plan on a bit of delay to the start of the season, temperature-wise.”
Luckily for South Florida, a low pressure system lingering off the South Carolina Coast has
has maintained a slight west wind component, which is pushing late afternoon thunderstorms toward the East Coast.
That’s taking the edge off the heat, and Monday and Tuesday’s rainfall totals at PBIA — 1.42 inches and 1.74 inches — have actually bumped the September totals up to about a third of an inch above average for this point in the month.
Tropical Depression Karl is “losing the battle against the hostile environment” of the tropical Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center says. Karl was downgraded to a depression Wednesday morning, but forecasters are still predicting strengthening as it moves west and then west-northwest.
The five-day Tropical Weather Outlook map is clear, and Tropical Storm Lisa is headed out into the open Atlantic.
NOAA’s GFS forecast model continues to show a storm brewing up in the Caribbean the first week of October, perhaps spinning up into the Gulf of Mexico and taking aim at the Florida panhandle.