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Pattern shift means big change Monday night into Tuesday morning

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Sep 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-23 10:55:13-04

The direct rays of the sun, which have been in the northern hemisphere for the summer, will be directly over the equator Monday evening at 10:29 p.m.  This marks the autumnal equinox, or the start of astronomical fall.

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Highs temperatures on Sunday, the final full day of summer, reached 90° at Richmond International Airport, which was the 45th day of the year of 90° or hotter.blogsnap5

A passing cold front, and an overall pattern change, will push the coolest air since early June into our area by Monday night into Tuesday morning.blogsnap6blogsnap7

Morning lows on Tuesday will drop into the lower 50s in the Richmond metro area, with widespread 40s north and west of downtown.  Lows temperatures Tuesday night into Wednesday morning will be in similar territory.

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Rainfall deficits for September are about 2.5″ below normal, and around 6.75″ below normal for the year.

Dry weather has an impact on fall foliage, affecting the level of vibrant color and potentially the timing of peak colors.  In a typical year, western Virginia peaks towards mid-October; central Virginia usually peaks by the end of October or early November; eastern Virginia peaks typically in early to mid November.