Residents of the Midwest may be wondering what month the calendar flipped to later this week as a November-like air mass plunges in with gusty winds, spotty showers and perhaps even some snowflakes.Following a modest cooldown which will push high temperatures 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit below late September averages at the start of the week, the region will be plunged into conditions more typical of the latter part of fall for the second half of the week. Heating demands are likely to ramp up, and jackets and sweatshirts will be needed attire for those that venture outdoors.While average temperatures are beginning their rapid descent at this point in the year due to the decreasing sun angle and shorter amount of daylight, the magnitude of this cold spell is still likely to be significant in terms of departures from normal. However, forecasters say record cold is not in the cards.An amplified jet stream pattern will set up across the country this week, with a northward bulge bringing intense heat to the West and a southward dip allowing for chilly waves farther east. "Temperatures will be 10-20 degrees below normal across the Upper Midwest and western Great Lakes by Friday, and then widespread highs of 10-15 degrees below normal will occur Saturday across the Great Lakes, Midwest and Ohio and Tennessee valleys," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.This will put daytime highs mainly in the 50s F over the Midwest, with some 40s likely over the northern tier during the second half of the week. Factoring in a biting wind, extensive cloud cover and spotty showers in some cases, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be in the 40s and even the 30s at times. "AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will struggle to get out of the 40s in Chicago on Friday despite some sunshine," Pydynowski said.Given the magnitude of the cold air spilling over the still warm Great Lakes, it is not out of the question for waterspouts to form. In addition, any heavier showers could contain graupel, or soft hail.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"With this blast of cold air, the first snowflakes of the season may fly across the Arrowhead of Minnesota into parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin, inland away from the shore of Lake Superior on Thursday into Friday," Pydynowski said."By the weekend, the chill will also begin to reach the Eastern Seaboard with highs a general 5-10 degrees below normal from Georgia and the Carolinas northward into D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia," Pydynowski said.The eastern part of the country will first have to contend with rounds of drenching rain into the middle of the week before the chill lunges into the region.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
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House Republicans Call on Attorney General Barr to Investigate Recent Spike in Anti-Catholic Hate Crimes
A group of House Republicans led by Representative Jim Banks (R., Ind.) on Friday called on attorney general William Barr to investigate a recent rise in anti-Catholic hate crimes.There have been 70 instances of anti-Catholic violence in North America this year — with 57 crimes being reported since May alone — according to a letter sent to the attorney general by Banks and 15 other House Republicans.By contrast, in all of 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, the FBI reported 53 incidents of anti-Catholic hate crimes in the U.S.“Bigoted criminals are threatening Catholics and undermining America's core ideal of religious liberty,” Banks said in a statement. “The DOJ’s Civil Rights Division exists to combat spikes in targeted violence. It needs to fulfill its duty, determine who is behind this pattern of attacks and bring them to justice.”Beginning in early July, reports of “horrific and brutal attacks on Catholic and Church properties” spiked, the letter says, including in Boston where a statue of the Virgin Mary at Saint Peters Parish Church was set ablaze. One day earlier, the letter says, a man in Florida allegedly drove a van into a church with parishioners inside before spilling gasoline in the church’s foyer and attempting to set it on fire.That same day, San Gabriel Mission in California was burned down. The letter calls the issue “ongoing,” citing an incident in September where a man was videotaped toppling an Our Lady of Guadalupe statue in Coney Island, N.Y.“As in any other instance of a rapid spike in hate crimes targeted at a specific group, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has an obligation to investigate the perpetrators of this violence and any organizational or ideological connections between them,” the letter states.“Crimes like these aren't just targeted at individuals and their property; they are targeted at American society as a whole,” it continues. “They are motivated by a destructive impulse to harm property and persons, but also the equally warped desire to undermine America's constitutionally guaranteed rights and social trust within our communities.”The Republicans' call to investigate concludes in saying the attacks threaten the physical safety of Catholics as well as the integrity of the American system, and saying the Department of Justice has an obligation to uphold both. The letter was co-signed by Representatives Andy Harris (R., Md.), Greg Steube (R., Fl.), Ted Yoho (R., Fl.), Jackie Walorski (R., Ind.), Doug Collins (R., Ga.), Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.), Rick Allen (R., Ga.), Pete Olson (R., Texas), Glenn Grothman (R., Wisc.), Chuck Fleischmann (R., Tenn.), Ron Wright (R., Texas), Paul Gosar (R., Ariz.), Mike Kelly (R., Pa.), Ken Buck (R., Colo.), and Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas).
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