What a gloomy past 5 days it's been around the Northern Plains/Great Lakes region. The culprit...something those in the weather world call a "cut-off low". A cut-off low is an area of low pressure that is removed from the main jet stream. Usually systems move along the jet stream, and are here and gone within a day or so. On occasion, areas of low pressure become removed from the main jet, therefore stalling out until a front comes through and pushes it along. This has been the case with this low, which really started affecting our weather since last Thursday. Below is an image of where the low is, and where the main jet currently is (way up in Canada).
It does look like, however, that some relief is finally on the way as a trough/cold front looks to sweep across the area, and will therefore push the low off to the east. It is still a good 48 hours away, so we are probably going to have to deal with the clouds and gloom through the day Tuesday, and likely even most of the day Wednesday before the clouds break. Below is an image of where the low is forecast to be, with the blue lines showing the trough that will push the low off to the east.
That trough will also deliver a shot of cooler air, with the European model being more aggressive than the American models, but it will certainly look and feel like fall. We will warm back up though, with the CPC predicting above average temps in their 6-10 day outlook.