Fall Arrives a Few Weeks Late in the Ohio Valley

Blake Hockenberry, 4, of Wheeling takes advantage of the warm weather Wednesday to roam through a pumpkin patch with his family on the lawn of the First Christian Church near Dimmeydale. Temperatures are expected to become cooler starting today. Photo by Scott McCloskey

WHEELING — Ohio Valley residents will be swapping out their T-shirts for flannels starting today after an unseasonably warm stretch of weather comes to an end.

A cold front from the west began to push into the valley Wednesday afternoon as rain associated with the front began to fall. Temperatures are expected drop about 30 degrees from the start of this week to the start of next, according to the National Weather Service.

“It’s been warm here because it’s been cold elsewhere,” said Pat Herald, a meteorologist with the weather center’s Pittsburgh office.

A trough of cold air that has brought cooler temperatures to areas west of the Mississippi River will start to do the same thing here today, Herald said. The effects of Hurricane Michael, which slammed Wednesday morning into the Florida panhandle as a Category 4 storm, is helping create a deep ridge of high pressure that will help bring the front through here.

Rain is expected to continue today, with the high temperature reaching into the upper 60s and the lows dipping to the mid 40s. That’s in contrast with Tuesday, when the temperature was 20 degrees above the normal for both the high and low at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.

In fact, today’s high temperature was expected to be about the same as the low on Tuesday, the weather service said.

By Saturday, the low temperature is expected to reach the 30s for the first time since April. At least the part of every day between now and Wednesday also is expected to have some rain, according to the weather service.

Meanwhile, Herald said the cooler weather — which will return temperatures to near or below their seasonal normals — likely is here to stay, at least in the foreseeable future.

“It was a warm end to summer and beginning of fall,” he said. “But it looks like the trough will be set up to keep cool air across the area.”

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