It's too bad the Georgia Bulldogs have this Saturday off, at least from the weatherman's point of view. The weather should be nothing short of ideal for an afternoon football game in Athens (or almost anywhere in SEC/ACC country, for that matter). Auburn, who plays in the evening, will have similarly fine weather for their game, albeit without the September sunshine. Georgia Tech may get the best deal of all; for those fans who want to make it to Durham, NC for the afternoon contest, it should be about 75º at kickoff and fall from there.*
What's going on here is a front - not "the" cold front that turns us over to fall in one fell swoop, but rather allows us to take a step in that direction. The cold front is forecast to squeeze through here late Friday night with slightly cooler and drier air moving in behind. The air mass is really quite cool at its core, but with the front slowing down as it approaches our area, it appears we'll only get a taste of the cooler air for a few days. Lows should be able to make the 60s and highs will likely stay in the 80s with lower dew points. However the numbers turn out, it will definitely have a bit more of a fall-like feel to anyone venturing outdoors this weekend.
The "knockout" front, the one that will make it lights out for summer in Georgia, is still probably a couple weeks away. However, as Meteorologist Bob Jeswald pointed out yesterday on News3, this Friday's front should at least send the 90-degree temperatures packing for good. You'll really know it's fall, though, when lows start dipping into the 50s and highs reach only the 70s and low to middle 80s, with less humidity as demonstrated by dew points falling below 60º.
This map of the 8-14 day temperature outlook just screams "HOT" for almost the entire lower 48 (relative to normal, anyway). So I would look for any major change to hold off until the last week of September here. But I'll add this: quite often the models do not see this change coming very far in advance, and we may not have more than a few days lead time for it to show up in our daily forecasts.
Until then, just enjoy our little dip in temperatures and humidity this weekend, and keep in mind fall is on its way, we just don't see it on the horizon quite yet. (And we really could use a little rain - Columbus has had zero this month and there's none imminent.)
*Alabama isn't so lucky - the Tide plays in College Station, Texas, where the front won't make it and temps will likely be in the mid-90s at kickoff.