Fall is officially here. So what does that mean for us? First and most importantly, it's a sign that cooler temperatures are on their way. Another noteworthy piece of information about our change of seasons is the fact that we have and will continue losing daylight at roughly three minutes per day through late October. Once November arrives, our rate of losing daylight slows until we reach our shortest day of the year, which is the winter solstice in late December. We are also going to begin noticing fall foliage occurring in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. As temperatures continue their decline, the leaves will begin to change color. For the Rockford area, the best viewing time for fall color occurs between October 3rd and November 6th.
So we know what fall means in a generic fashion, but what kind of weather are we actually anticipating to occur? According to the latest trends, nearly all of the lower 48 has a chance of seeing above average temperatures through fall. It is unusual, but there are no locations in the United States where below average temperatures are expected. That does not mean there won't be cool stretches spread out through the fall season, but the overall pattern looks to feature warmer than average temperatures. That will especially be true for the southwestern portion of the country.
Regarding precipitation, forecast guidance suggests that much of the United States has an equal chance of below or above average rainfall through the fall months. The southeastern United States has a moderate probability of seeing below average precipitation. Only Montana sees an above average chance of seeing more rain than normal through December.