It's getting bare out there, isn't it? Think about it. We typically get about five solid months with leaves on the trees, then they're gone. More than half the year, we stare at stale trees. Sobering moment.

Yes, those crisp autumn days and nights are catching up with us. I'm starting to dress in layers and the furnace is kicking in. More is also happening on the weather maps. The sublime summer and favorable fall weather appear to be fading.

Cold air intrusions from Canada will play a role in more intense storm systems developing over the coming days and weeks, the first of which will mix with remnant moisture from Hurricane Patricia midweek. Cold, wind-whipped rain showers will be found across the Upper Midwest on Wednesday. It may even be cold enough for the first wet snowflake reports across the state by Wednesday night. The ground is still too warm for any accumulation, but don't be surprised if you see a few snow splats on the windshield.

This may be the deep breath before the plunge.

Todd Nelson