US Labor Day Weekend Forecast: Warmth to Rebuild Across Northeast; Stormy Across the Southeast, Upper Midwest
By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
September 3, 2015; 5:02 AM ET
Unsettled weather for the extended Labor Day weekend will stretch across the Southeast, Upper Midwest, northern Rockies and the Four Corners.
Dry conditions and plenty of sunshine will be in the offing across the Ohio Valley, Northeast, southern Plains and West Coast.
Warmer air will build across the Northeast and West Coast while the Ohio Valley and the southern Plains remain hot throughout the weekend.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), drivers traveling this weekend to be with friends and family are expected to pay the lowest gas prices in 11 years.
Hot Across Ohio Valley; Warming up Across the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast
A large dome of high pressure from Canada will dive southward across the East Coast through the holiday weekend and provide a stretch of dry weather and sunshine for those across the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The weekend will begin cooler and pleasant across the East Coast due to a backdoor cold front that will dive southward across the region at late week.
According to AccuWeather meteorologist Michael Doll, "Saturday will feel refreshing for many across the
Northeast with seasonable temperatures and low humidity.
A backdoor cold front is defined as a front that dives southward across the Northeast from Atlantic Canada, bringing cooler and less humid air into the region.
The term 'backdoor' is used to define the non-typical path of a cold front. A cold front typically moves in a west-to-east direction across the country.
By the end of the weekend and into Labor Day, a similar weather pattern felt across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast this week will return with high temperatures running 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit above average for early September.
"Temperatures trend warmer on Sunday and Monday but the humidity will remain low," Doll said.
This cooler air from the cold front will not reach areas to the west of the Appalachians. Areas west of the Appalachians into the Ohio Valley will be dry and very warm throughout the Labor Day weekend.
Anyone heading out to the opening weekend of college football from the Ohio Valley to the East Coast shouldn't have to worry about any weather-related delays.
Thunderstorms to Develop Across Southeast; Hot Across the Southern Plains
Daily shower and thunderstorm activity will develop across much of the Southeast throughout the Labor Day weekend.
An upper-level area of low pressure will sit across the Southeast through the weekend and into early next week. With warm, humid conditions in place, spotty showers and thunderstorms will develop.
"Thunderstorms can pop up just about anywhere in the Southeast this weekend, especially during the afternoon," Doll said.
Those with any outdoor plans should keep an eye to the sky in case a thunderstorm rolls into your area.
Temperatures across a large portion of the Southeast will run 5 to 10 degrees cooler this weekend than earlier in the week due to a backdoor cold front that will sweep through the area.
While temperatures will be lower, the humidity will remain in place.
This cooler air will fail to reach the southern Plains as widespread 90s will continue through Labor Day.
"With high temperatures in the 90s each day in Oklahoma and Texas, staying hydrated will be important," Doll said.
Daytime high temperatures across the southern Plains will run around 5 to 10 degrees above average for early September.
Those with outdoor plans over the weekend should not have to worry about precipitation as the region will remain dry. A couple of thunderstorms, however, could develop across southeastern Texas throughout the weekend, mainly during the afternoon hours. Those across Kansas and Oklahoma may have to dodge a shower or thunderstorm on Labor Day as a cold front attempts to swing through.
Storm System to Spread Rain, Thunderstorms Across Upper Midwest and Northern Rockies
A storm system will develop across the Plains into the weekend and spread rounds of showers and thunderstorms across the Upper Midwest.
"The worst weather across the country this weekend may be in areas from the northern Rockies to the Upper Midwest," Doll said.
These showers and thunderstorms will fire along a slow-moving cold front and could drop very heavy rain in a short period of time.
Those traveling during the weekend should keep alert for rapidly changing weather conditions. Drivers should stay alert when traveling on wet roadways to avoid the risk of hydroplaning.
On the cool side of this storm system, a soaking rain will drench the northern Rockies. Daytime high temperatures on the cool side of this storm will run between 5 and 15 degrees below average.
A jacket and umbrella will be needed for anyone with outdoor Labor Day activities.
Monsoon Storms to Dot the Four Corners; Dry Along West Coast
Monsoonal moisture will continue across the Four Corners region with spotty afternoon shower and thunderstorm activity.
"The monsoon pattern usually starts to wind down in early September but it will stay active in the Four Corners through the holiday weekend," Doll said.
Any thunderstorm that develops has the potential to produce gusty winds and torrential downpours, leading to flash flooding.
"People camping or hiking should be prepared to seek shelter from lightning should a storm pop up nearby," Doll said.
An upper-level low that will bring a stretch of showers and cool air across the Pacific Northwest through the workweek will exit the region, bringing a period of drier conditions through the extended weekend.
Temperatures will also rebound to more seasonable values for the weekend. Jackets will be needed for evening activities, however, as temperatures will drop through the 60s and into the 50s overnight.
The eastward progression of the upper-level low will also allow temperatures to rebound closer to near-average values across California.
The wildfire threat will still be high across much of the Northwest and northern California. People are urged to be careful with campfires as they could start a new wildfire if they get out of control.