An enhanced threat for severe weather across parts of the Northeast. Critically dry conditions in the Great Basin and into Wyoming make for dangerous fire weather. We get a taste of fall this weekend as much of the country experiences cooler temperatures.

Welcome to the Friday edition of your WeatherOptic’s Morning Briefing. Let’s jump right in.

Severe Storm Threat in Northeast

As a shortwave trough continues to make its way across the country today, the associated surface low brings with it the possibility for severe, and possibly tornado-related, activity. This cyclone, currently making its way across Lake Superior, is dragging with it a cold front that extends from the Great Lakes all the way to Missouri and Kansas. This cyclone will move northeast throughout the day, as the cold front swings with it across much of the Eastern US. Convective storms are expected to form just ahead and along this cold front as it makes its way across the Great Lakes region. Daytime heating of air over this region will increase instability, and ultimately form severe storms with possibly damaging winds. Strong low-level shear increases the possibility of tornadoes forming within cells, especially across northeastern Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania, and western New York.

  1. A cold front associated with a surface low moving across the Great Lakes is expected to produce moderate to severe thunderstorms across many states in the Great Lakes region.
  2. This threat is enhanced for parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York due to favorable buoyancy and shear in those areas.
  3. These storms have the potential to spawn tornadoes, so watch for local alerts to be safe.

Be sure to check out an in-depth discussion of this severe weather threat by our head meteorologist, Josh Feldman, later this morning.


Great Basin Experiences Hazardous Fire Conditions

GOES-16 Low Level Water Vapor for Northwest US showing extremely dry air near Four Corners and up into Wyoming

While most of the country gets ready for storms followed by cooler weather, states like Wyoming will see thr risk for wild fires heightened this weekend. As another shortwave trough moves over the west coast at 500mb tomorrow, a surface high will still dominate much of the Great Basin and Southern Plains. Clashing with lower pressure to the north, a slight pressure gradient will produce breezy conditions from the dry, hot mountains, into northern regions of the Great Basin and Wyoming. These dry winds can easily carry even small fires to widespread areas, making them extremely destructive. Although its extremely common for dry conditions in these areas, stronger breezes from the southwest only work to enhance the dangers of the dry, fire-prone climate.

  1. High and low pressure centers at the surface in the Great Basin will clash, producing winds from pressure gradients.
  2. These winds will bring hot, dry air from the mountains to an already dry region.
  3. Even small brush fires can spread easily with very low relative humidity and winds 20-15 mph on Saturday afternoon.

Northern and Central US get a Taste of Autumn

Despite risk for severe weather, this cold front also brings some relief. With the first day of astronomical fall on its way tomorrow morning, we should see much cooler temperatures with it. Tonight, the Great Plains can expect temperatures up to 15 degrees below average, especially in South Dakota and Minnesota. As storms work their way across the Northeast, cold air will overtake the brutal summer heat that has been widespread across the country. Tomorrow night, colder temperature anomalies will be seen spanning from Texas all the way to Maine, with summer-like temperatures only remaining in the Deep South. We will be able to see temperature changes of over 20 degrees over the Great Lakes region from this morning to Sunday. As the jet stream becomes more zonal Sunday into Monday, warmer air from the West will be advected, causing more seasonable temperatures across the north and northeast.

  1. A cold front from a surface low currently over the Great Lakes will be bringing cooler air behind it, just in time for the beginning of fall.
  2. Severe storms ahead and along this cold front today should cool temperatures in the Great Lakes region and much of the Northeast.
  3. Expect temperatures across the Northern and Central US to be over 10 degrees below average this weekend, with warmer-than-normal temperatures only remaining in the Deep South.
  4. These cool temperatures will become more seasonable as other systems move through the country.

Read an in-depth discussion on this cool down and what kind of temperatures we can expect for the rest of the month here.

Make sure to subscribe to The Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article so we can send you them straight to your inbox for free.

Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.


Kathleen is a writer and meteorological consultant at WeatherOptics. A recent graduate from Stony Brook University, Kathleen has earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Previously, she has done research on the role of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification and forecasted for local pages like SBU Weather.

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