Though we are within two weeks of the autumn equinox, last night was hot and humid in Columbia, perhaps the warmest night of the entire summer. At 9PM last evening, it was still 89 degrees F and the dew point was in the upper seventies; our overnight low in central Missouri was 76 degrees F.
Early this morning, lightning appeared along the western horizon as a potent cold front approached from the northwest. Behind that front, the temperature was in the upper forties to low fifties while sultry air, fed by a southwest breeze, enveloped the south-central States; at sunrise, it was 83 degrees F in St. Louis.
Knifing into the soupy air, the cold front is igniting a band of thunderstorms from southeast Kansas to northwest Ohio. Since these storms, some dropping torrential rain, are training ahead of the front, flash flooding may develop in some areas. While such a clash of cold, dry air and warm, moist air is more common in spring, autumn is not without its drama. Seasonal change is rarely a gentle, gradual process.