So long, summer 2014; we hardly knew you. It looks like tomorrow might be the last day of thermometer summer for much of the eastern United States. A cold front marching eastward will bring with it a line of storms followed by a long stretch of blissful autumnal crispness. Hallelujah.
As many of our polite friends up north as well as some folks in the Rockies deal with the season's first snowfall, this sudden blast of natural chillness comes as a shock to many that summer is over. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise; I mean, it is September 10 and meteorological summer expired at 11:59 PM on August 31. Even if we ignore all that seasonal nonsense and look at average temperatures, we're beyond the hump and on our way downhill:
And for our loving readers who get bent out of shape when New York is mentioned, here's Chicago:
Thursday looks like it will be the last day of warmer temperatures for much of the country's population east of the Mississippi River for at least the next week. A sudden mid- to late-September warm-up isn't out of the question, of course, but we're very likely done with temperatures warm enough to make your Facebook friends endlessly complain about the heat. It's time to move on to whining about the cold! The vicious cycle continues.
Before the passage of the cold front, tomorrow's highs are expected to reach the mid-80s around New York City, ticking up to the low 90s from D.C. southward. This should be the warmest it gets for a while, especially given our calendarial (that is a word now) position.
At Central Park, for example, the record warmest temperature in September to occur after the eleventh of September was 97°F, which occurred on September 27...1895. In Pittsburgh, the high maximum after the eleventh of September was 96° set back in 1952. In fact, of the four cities I mentioned above, D.C. is the only one prone to seeing a really warm (92 or warmer) stretch of temperatures in mid- to late-September, and even that's unlikely given the trends we've seen this year.
That's not to say there won't be some days where it'll get toasty; temperatures in areas south of the 36°30' line could exceed 85-90 degrees around this time next week. But it's safe to say that much of the uncomfortable heat for the vast majority of Americans is over until the spring. Temperatures hovering between 60 and 80 degrees is a pretty darn nice September.
Throw open your windows, fellow heat haters. Summer is dead. Unless you live in Texas. Or Florida. Or the southwest. In that case...long live summer.
[Images via AP, xmACIS2, and the NWS]