The first few days of autumn may feel more like the first days of summer across the northern Plains as heat builds over the region.
Above-normal temperatures will be the theme through the rest of the week from Denver to Minneapolis and eastward through Detroit with highs challenging record values around the Dakotas and eastern Montana.
This warmth will eventually push eastward, replacing the cool, rainy weather over the mid-Atlantic just in time for the weekend.
People from Denver to Boston can expect dry and warm conditions through a majority of the weekend with highs within a few degrees of 80 F.
Football fans heading out to college and professional games this weekend shouldn't need a raincoat or umbrella, although early morning tailgaters may want to take a sweatshirt or light jacket.
Despite the changing of the seasons, the sun can still be harmful for those spending time in the outdoors. If you are planning on being outdoors for an extended period of time this weekend, you should apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
These dry and sunny conditions will also be welcome by hikers and sightseers heading into the woods to view the early season fall foliage.
This weekend could turn out to be the best weekend of the year for viewing the vibrant colors of the changing leaves across northern New England, including the White Mountains, the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.
The trend of above-average temperatures from the Plains to the Northeast is forecast to continue through the balance of September as cold air remains trapped over northern Canada.
This pattern may also persist into the opening days of October before the next shot of chilly air dives southward over the Great Lakes and into the Northeast.
Weather patterns like this are not uncommon for autumn, where there are stretches of warmer days followed by a shot of cool air, then replaced by warm air once again.
However, as the season presses on and the days become shorter and shorter, temperatures will continually trend downwards as the Northern Hemisphere nears the next season of winter.