/Issued 5:57 PM CDT, Thursday, August 16, 2018/
Air Quality Alert in effect through Noon Sunday, August 19 for northern Minnesota due to wildfire smoke and fine particle pollution (Orange area on map)
More information at this link https://www.pca.state.mn.us/featured/air-quality-alert-thursday-august-16-sunday-august-19
The plume of thick wildfire smoke which covered western-central Canada Wednesday has moved farther south/east today and is now covering parts of northern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota and is moving slowly south/east.
18z NAM-Nest model
12z HRW-NMMB model
Goes-16 visible satellite loop and radar imagery for Thursday, August 16, 2018 (Loop time 11:37 AM to 4:07 PM)
A rather strong mid/upper level area of low pressure continues to move slowly toward the east today, with the center of that circulation over northwest Iowa late this Thursday afternoon. Showers and thunderstorms with heavy rainfall have been occurring today near this system across southern Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois into central Wisconsin.
Here’s how today’s system looks on Goes-16 water vapor satellite imagery, impressive! Loop time: 8:07 AM to 4:07 PM, Thursday, August 16, 2018.
Latest drought monitor shows more of Minnesota in abnormally dry conditions this week (41% this week vs. 18% last week in the abnormally dry category)
Moderate drought covers parts of northwest Minnesota, the area has increased from 3% last week to 7% this week.
The main reason behind this is the lack of consistent rainfall. Typically during the summer will need on average about 1 inch of rain per week to avoid drought conditions, we just haven’t been seeing that over most of Minnesota over the past several weeks.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, abnormally dry conditions now cover 42% of the state, up from 37% last week, while moderate drought covers 3% of the state this week.
12z European Computer Model 8.16.2018
A few warm days ahead of us, but a pattern change occurs early next week which will drop our temperatures below average, especially the high temps for next Monday and Tuesday, but this cool down much like we’ve seen recently won’t last very long as warmer temperatures look to return once again by mid to late next week. It is still summer after all.
Greatest departures from average for early next week are forecast to be over parts of the northern Rockies into the western high Plains and central Plains with some areas as much as 15 below degrees average for late August!
Skies were generally partly cloudy to mostly sunny today after the low clouds and fog burned off this morning. Warm daytime highs ranging from the upper 70s to middle 80s.
Lows tonight under partly cloudy skies will range from the lower 50s to lower 60s with some patchy fog possible late.
Warm temperatures should continue through the weekend with highs Friday mainly in the 80s with 70s and 80s for Saturday and Sunday.
A cold front moves through the area Friday with a wind shift to the NE occurring once that boundary moves through, much cooler temperatures will move down Lake Superior on gusty NE winds Friday afternoon, and there could also be some low clouds/fog late Friday afternoon through Saturday morning especially near Lake Superior.
Wildfire smoke is also expected to become thicker over parts of the Northland tonight and Friday as a plume of thick smoke settles south/east out of northwestern Minnesota. Smoke could linger through the weekend.
Still looks like we could get some rain in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from Sunday through Tuesday morning. Some thunderstorms are also possible especially Sunday or Sunday night.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for August 17
Sunrise Friday: 6:09 AM CDT
Sunset Friday: 8:16 PM CDT