Warmth to Hold Across West and Northeast US; Storms to Rattle Plains on First Official Day of Autumn

As we enter the autumn season early on Wednesday morning, above-average warmth will settle across the Northeast and West while tropical moisture will soak the Upper Midwest and Plains.

Autumn officially arrives at 4:21 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

JUMP TO: Eastern U.S. Outlook | Central U.S. Outlook | Western U.S. Outlook

Sunny Across Northeast; Spotty Thunderstorms Dot Southeast

A persistent area of high pressure will bring a dry and sunny day across the Ohio Valley and Northeast on the first day of autumn.

While many homeowners think of the first day of autumn as a time to bring out the sweatshirts and jeans from the closet, t-shirts and shorts can be worn a little while longer.

"The vast majority of the region from Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis to Washington, D.C., New York and Albany, New York, will have highs reaching from the middle 70s to near 80 F on Wednesday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

High temperatures on Wednesday will be between 5 to 10 degrees above normal across most of the region.

An onshore flow along the Northeast and mid-Atlantic coastline will limit the amount of warming for those heading to the beaches.

Sunglasses will be needed for anyone heading to Washington, D.C. to see Pope Francis on his first full day in our nations capital.

Those heading outdoors on Wednesday evening may want to bring along a jacket as temperatures will drop into the upper 40s to lower 50s overnight.

While much of the southeastern U.S., will also be dry on the first day of autumn, showers and thunderstorms could develop during the afternoon.

A spotty shower or thunderstorm could ruin any outdoor plans, mainly along the Southeast and Gulf coasts and Florida.

"The worst weather along the East Coast will be from Virginia to Georgia, AccuWeather Meteorologist Michael Doll said. "Some of those areas will see rain, but those that do not, will be under a canopy of clouds most of the day with gusty winds."

Wednesday would be the better day for the rest of the week for any outdoor activities across the Carolinas before an Atlantic storm brings rain through the end of the week

Showers and Thunderstorms to Soak Central U.S.

After bringing locally heavy rain and flash flooding to parts of the Southwest earlier in the week, the remnant low will track northeastward across the Plains on Wednesday.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Chyna Glenn, "Tropical moisture that moved into the Southwest earier this week will be brought northeastward into the central Plains and Upper Midwest for the first day of autumn."

Showers and thunderstorms will erupt from Minnesota and Wisconsin to New Mexico and western Texas. Some storms could produce locally heavy rainfall.

A wet first day of autumn will impact cities such as Duluth and Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; Hayward, Wisconsin; Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; and Wichita, Kansas.

"This northward push of moisture could create some heavy downpours throughout the day on Wednesday, creating travel delays for both the morning and evening commutes," Glenn said.

Storms will be more isolated across the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles into New Mexico.

Umbrellas and raincoats will not be needed from parts of Texas to the Missouri Valley as bright sunshine and warm air will prevail.

Excellent conditions will be in store from Dallas and Houston to Little Rock, Arkansas, Kansas City and St. Louis for anyone hoping to enjoy one last barbecue before the true feel of autumn arrives.

Warm, Dry Across West

Aside from a few showers and thunderstorms hanging around across New Mexico and parts of Colorado, a dry and warm day is in store across the West.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist and firefighter Evan Duffey, "The first day of autumn across the West might not be a very seasonable day for everyone."

"A large ridge of high pressure will instead bring above-normal warmth to a good portions of the West, especially the Rockies," he added.

Some locations could see temperatures more than 10 degrees above normal on Wednesday, including Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Salt Lake City.

"Billings, Montana, for example, will be in the mid-80s on Wednesday. The normal high temperature is near 70 F," Duffey said.

It will definitely feel like autumn across the Pacific Northwest as temperatures will be more on the seasonable side, including the cities of Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Despite a dry day across the West, conditions will be favorable for firefighters continuing to battle wildfires.

"While it will be dry and hot across a decent portion of the West, winds are not expected to be abnormally gusty," Duffey said.

Due to a pattern of calm winds across California over the past week, firefighters were able to contain the Valley and Butte fires to near 75 percent, each of which have burned more than 70,000 acres and destroyed hundreds of structures.

The Valley Fire is now the third most destructive wildfire in California history.