KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: Still toasty, but fall changes are happening before our eyes

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Hot days over the last week had us sweating to the 90s and triple digits. A few spots even broke record high temperatures… for September! A cold front tracked through the region early this week, but the march of milder air is brief. We will return with a southerly flow enabling high temperatures to rebound to the 90s later this week, persisting over the weekend and into early next week.

If you look closely, signs of fall are already beginning to show signs of life. In a matter of weeks, we will say goodbye to the scorching heat and dig through our dressers for hoodies and sweatshirts. In fact, next week looks like our first potent cold front of the season that will bring highs to the 60s and 70s with widespread overnight lows in the 40s.

During the course of a year, the earth tilts on its axis either towards or away from the sun by 23.5 degrees. The tilt is the action, but warming or cooling is the ultimate reaction from this shift. The summer solstice is marked by tilting towards the sun.

The start of fall is when direct sunshine hits the equator. We drift farther away from direct sunshine by the time the Winter Solstice begins in December.

Right now, we are drastically losing minute after minute of sunlight during the day. Sunset occurs shortly after 7:30 PM – a sign of fall.

Leaves are also starting to change. Our recent heat only enabled this to occur quicker. I invite you to check out Meteorologist Erika Paige’s Storm Track 3 Digital Extra that explains this in-depth in the weather section of ksn.com.

Have you also noticed that the winds are getting stronger whenever a front approaches? This indicates a seasonal change as our transitional months in Kansas, meaning spring and fall, often promote stronger wind gusts. Get ready for next week’s cooler change as the winds will announce it first with gusts to 45 MPH!

We can thank our hot summer temperatures for our pumpkin crop. Meteorologist Warren Sears contacted several pumpkin patches to reveal a good year for Kansas. Be looking for his report on ksn.com/weather this Friday.

Animals also become more in-tune with the cooler seasonal change coming. Have you noticed more squirrels quickly collecting acorns on your afternoon walks? It is no coincidence. The other day I took my three dogs out for a walk. The youngest, Kayla, is a pup. She has not been exposed to much wildlife. You should have seen her reaction when she saw a flock of geese fly overhead! She was mesmerized. Geese, along with hawks and swallows are migrating south to prepare for winter.

My pups also have a fascination with catching crickets lately. You guessed it, an abundance of them chirping at your front door is another indication that cooler days are ahead. Spiders are also taking over the outdoors, building their webs during our longer nights. Spiders are beneficial for us because they eat other insects and keeps those pests from coming into our homes to scare us in the middle of the night.

There may be days when the temperature does not reflect our transition to fall, but it is happening. Soon the cooler air will take over and we will be wishing for warmer days again.

–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

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