/Issued 4:26 PM CDT, Thursday, August 9, 2018/
Air Quality Alert has been issued for western Minnesota until 10 AM Saturday due to wildfire smoke. More information at this link: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/featured/air-quality-alert-thursday-august-9-saturday-august-11
U.S. wildfire map as of Thursday afternoon, August 9, 2018. Red dots on this map indicate fire activity as of Wednesday afternoon.
Canada wildfires map as of August 9, 2018
Smoke from western wildfires continues to drift south/east through the northern Plains and upper Midwest today. Conditions have improved a bit across the Northland compared to earlier today, but thicker wildfire smoke could move back into some parts of the Northland at times through Saturday.
Meanwhile to our west a heat wave continues to grip the Pacific northwest, northern Rockies and northern Plains.
Latest drought monitor map shows abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions affecting portions of northern Minnesota.
Latest drought monitor map for Wisconsin shows abnormally dry conditions affecting much of central Wisconsin.
Latest Midwest drought monitor map — Missouri, southern Iowa and lower Michigan under worsening drought with parts of Missouri now classified as having exceptional to extreme drought!
Severe weather reports map for Wednesday, August 8, 2018.
Just how isolated were the thunderstorms on Wednesday? I’ll use Duluth as an example, thunderstorms with heavy downpours affected the far north/northeast portion of the city of Duluth, as well as the far southern portion of Duluth in the Riverside, Morgan Park, Fond du Lac areas late Wednesday afternoon, but really nothing more than a few sprinkles occurred in most of west Duluth, west End and Downtown areas. Always amazes me how spotty these summertime thunderstorms can be.
Goes-16 visible satellite image from late Wednesday afternoon, August 8, 2018. Stronger north-northwest winds aloft helped to push the cirrus or anvil blowoff clouds far to the south from where the apparant thunderstorms were located late Wednesday afternoon.
Local Storm Reports for August 8, 2018
7:38 PM: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 2 W Solon Springs, WI (Douglas County) Tree knocked down near the intersection of County road A and Ferguson Road. Tree blocking Ferguson Road.
7:08 PM: Hail — 0.25 inch. Brule, WI (Douglas County)
7:05 PM: Hail — 0.50 inch. Iron River, WI (Bayfield County)
7:01 PM: Hail — 0.25 inch. Blueberry, WI (Douglas County)
6:43 PM: Marine Thunderstorm Wind — 49 mph. 2 SE Bayfield, WI (Ashland County)
6:38 PM: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. Port Wing, WI (Bayfield County) Tree knocked down along Highway 13 in Port Wing, Wisconsin.
6:30 PM: Marine Thunderstorm Wind — 43 mph. McQuade Harbor offshore.
6:24 PM: Heavy Rain — 2.25 inch. 1 NW Two Harbors, MN (Lake County)
6:10 PM: Hail — 0.25 inch. French River, MN (St. Louis County)
5:37 PM: Hail — 1.75 inch. 2 NE Two Harbors, MN (Lake County) Largest hail stones were Golf Ball sized. Minor damage to a few vehicles.
5:31 PM: Marine Thunderstorm Wind — 42 mph. 4 ENE Two Harbors, MN (Lake County)
5:28 PM: Hail — 1.25 inch. 6 N Two Harbors, MN (Lake County) Hail covering the road on County Road 2 approximately 6 miles north of Two Harbors. Largest hail stones were half dollar sized.
5:30 PM: Hail — 2.00 inch. 5 N Two Harbors, MN (Lake County) Hen Egg sized hail.
5:30 PM: Hail — 1.75 inch. 5 W Castle Danger, MN (Lake County) Golf ball sized hail.
5:20 PM: Hail — 1.25 inch. 6 WNW Castle Danger, MN (Lake County) Hail shredded leaves.
Half dollar sized hail.
5:20 PM: Hail — 1.00 inch. 6 SE Wales, MN (Lake County) Quarter sized hail.
5:16 PM: Hail — 0.25 inch. 6 SE Wales, MN (Lake County)
4:30 PM: Hail — 0.25 inch. 6 E Fairbanks, MN (Lake County)
Rainfall Reports for August 8, 2018
8.6 NE Silver Bay, MN: 0.84 in
Wolfridge, MN: 0.43 in
1.1 NE Esko, MN: 0.43 in
7.2 SE Iron River, WI: 0.33 in
4.7 WNW Washburn, WI: 0.33 in
3.2 NE Duluth, MN: 0.31 in
2.0 E Poplar, WI: 0.28 in
3 S Ashland, WI: 0.22 in
Ashland, WI: 0.19 in
Winter, WI: 0.19 in
Morgan Park, MN: 0.19 in
Butternut, WI: 0.12 in
Hurley, WI: 0.11 in
4 W Clam Lake, WI: 0.11 in
Hayward, WI: 0.06 in
Main weather concerns through early next week will be the high temperatures and periods of smoke. Little if any rain is expected in our area through Monday, August 13.
A massive upper level ridge covered the western U.S. today, this ridge will build east covering the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes this weekend. 925mb temperatures underneath this ridge will range from +30 to around +40C with 925mb temps of around +24 to +28C found over the Northland through Sunday. 850mb temperatures are forecast to range from +30 to +35C across the northern Rockies and northern Plains to around +20C in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
Although the Northland won’t get quite as hot as it will be farther west, it will still be plenty warm around here into early next week with daytime highs Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday in the 80s with a few locations likely hitting 90 or possibly into the lower 90s on Saturday. Note: There could be some relief from the warm temperatures near Lake Superior at times if or when a lake wind develops, most likely day for a lake wind looks to be on Sunday, although some models don’t show any lake wind on Sunday so will just have to wait and see what future model runs show for wind direction on Sunday.
As for the dew points, they weren’t bad at all day, generally in the mid 50s to lower 60s, similar dew points are expected Friday, but some muggier air looks to return this weekend as dew points climb into the 60s over most of the Northland, peaking during the afternoon-early evening hours.
Our next shot for some rain looks to come early next week in the Monday night-Tuesday time frame as a cold front moves through, but this doesn’t look like a real big deal at the moment.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for August 10
Sunrise Friday: 6:00 AM CDT
Sunset Friday: 8:27 PM CDT