Very Warm and Muggy weather continues; Areas of fog near Lake Superior tonight and Wednesday

*June 2020 will go into the record books as the 3rd Driest June on record at Duluth, Minnesota with just 0.69″ of rain for the entire month! The driest June on record in Duluth was in 1910 with 0.11″ of rain. Note: It also looks like June 2020 will finish in the top 5 warmest Junes on record in Duluth, either at number 3 or number 4 warmest on record!

*It’s been 139 years since the last time Duluth, Minnesota hit 90 degrees on the 4th of July, this happened on July 4th, 1881 with a high temperature of 95 degrees! There is a chance we could hit 90 degrees in Duluth on the 4th of July this year.

*The last time Duluth, Minnesota had a 90 degree or warmer temperature was in 2018 on August 11th. Looks like we have a shot at hitting 90 degrees in Duluth later this week.

*The warmest 4th of July since 2000 at Duluth, Minnesota was in 2013 with a high temperature of 86 degrees.

Quite an amplified weather pattern for late June with a strong ridge from Ontario province, south to the Midwest while mid/upper level lows and troughs covered the northeast U.S. and Northern Rockies today.

Source: RAP model;

Here’s how the mid and upper level pattern looks on water vapor imagery today.


500mb forecast valid thru 1 AM Saturday, July 4, 2020.

Not a whole lot of change to the weather pattern through late this week with the strongest winds aloft stretching from the Northern Rockies into Canada while ridging and weaker winds aloft dominate the Plains and Great Lakes, all in all a classic/warm summer pattern.

Highs in the Northland for Thursday, Friday and Saturday should be in the 80s to lower 90s with overnight lows in the 60s as we remain under an upper level ridge late this week.

Source: 18z NAM model 6.30.2020;

Cold front which is over the Dakotas this afternoon will wash out as it moves farther east into Minnesota on Wednesday while it bumps into an upper level ridge which causes most of the forcing with this system to lift north into Canada. What this all means for the Northland is widely scattered shower and thunderstorm potential on Wednesday, mainly during the afternoon and evening, but widespread all day rains are unlikely, in fact many of us probably won’t get much rain at all with this weakening cold front on Wednesday.

Highs in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on Wednesday will mainly be in the 80s to around 90 degrees with cooler temperatures near Lake Superior. It’ll be another muggy day as well with dew points on Wednesday in the 60s to lower 70s.

Showers and thunderstorms erupting over North Dakota late this afternoon will build SE into eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota tonight, but as these storms move farther east they are expected to weaken as they reach far western portions of the Northland (along and west of a International Falls to Brainerd line) late tonight-Wednesday morning.

Then we could see a few showers and thunderstorms redevelop Wednesday afternoon or evening over parts of the Northland as what’s left of tonight’s system over the Dakotas heads east into our area. The air mass looks plenty unstable on Wednesday with lots of instability and warm/humid air in place, but winds aloft look fairly weak (stronger winds to our NW) while mid level lapse rates look pretty poor, so although a few storms may develop on Wednesday, the chances for severe weather appear to be on the low side at this time.

Source: 18z NAM 3km model 6.30.2020;

There is a Marginal Risk for isolated severe thunderstorms on Wednesday across north-central Minnesota (dark green area on map) main threat is from gusty winds.

Isolated thunderstorms are possible in the light green shaded area on map, but severe weather is not expected for these areas.



24 Hour Rainfall Reports from June 29-30, 2020 ending at 4 PM on the 30th.


Brainerd, MN: 1.39″

McGregor, MN: 0.86″

Grand Marais, MN: 0.80″

Bigfork, MN: 0.52″

Moose Lake, MN: 0.42″

Littlefork, MN: 0.34″

Hayward, WI: 0.29″

Hinckley, MN: 0.24″

Minong, WI: 0.18″

Solon Springs, WI: 0.18″

Washburn, WI: 0.17″

Ashland, WI: 0.13″

Superior Airport: 0.13″

Clam Lake, WI: 0.11″

Isabella, MN: 0.10″

Duluth Airport: 0.04″

Cloquet, MN: 0.04″

July begins on Wednesday – Here are the Climate Normals for the month of July at Duluth, Minnesota

Normal High and Low Temperatures

1st: 75/54
31st: 77/56

Normals for July

Temperature: 65.8 degrees
Precipitation: 3.85″

Number of 80 degree days: 11
Most: 25 days set in 2012
Least: 0 days set in 1992

Normal number of 90 degree days: 1
Most: 9 set in 1936

Records for July

Warmest: 71.9 degrees set in 2009
Coldest: 59.4 degrees set in 1992

Wettest: 10.83″ set in 1909
Driest: 0.47″ set in 1875

Astronomical Data for July

Sunrise on the 1st: 5:19 AM CDT
Sunrise on the 31st: 5:47 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st: 9:06 PM CDT
Sunset on the 31st: 8:40 PM CDT

Thanks for reading!


Warm and muggy pattern with scattered downpours and thunder possible at times over the next few days

What looked like a potential heavy rain event impacting parts of the Northland tonight is looking less likely to happen as of late this afternoon as model guidance has been trending toward significantly lower rainfall amounts for tonight compared to what some of them had been showing this morning.

The pattern we’re in right now is very complex, however, and it’s still possible we could see heavier showers and thunderstorms train over the same location for a few hours tonight, and if this does happen there would be a chance for flash flooding, but with how dry its been in most of the Northland as of late, this may reduce the potential for flash flooding unless we see some real hefty rain totals, something like 3-5″+ in a short period of time, and the chances we see those types of rainfall amounts occur tonight look quite low at the moment.

Look at how much the HRRR model has changed in 6 hours today. The first image shows forecast rainfall totals through 7 AM Tuesday per the 12z/7 AM Monday model run, while the second image is one of the newest runs from 18z/1 PM Monday, again showing forecast rainfall totals through 7 AM Tuesday. Big change in the HRRR model for rainfall totals tonight!


Here’s a simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM Monday to 7 PM Tuesday.

Source: 18z NAM 3km model 6.29.2020;


Rainfall Reports from Sunday night-Monday, June 28-29, 2020


Note: Totals listed below are thru 1 PM Monday, June 29, 2020.

Finlayson, MN: 2.24″

6 NNW Winter, WI: 1.85″

Hinckley, MN: 1.10″

Rock Creek, MN: 1.00″

2 WSW Riverside, WI: 0.75″

Glidden, WI: 0.73″

Hayward, WI: 0.72″

Clam Lake, WI: 0.70″

Minong, WI: 0.67″

Superior, WI: 0.65″

Washburn, WI: 0.59″

Barnes, WI: 0.55″

Solon Springs, WI: 0.52″

1 SSW Barnum, MN: 0.50″

Siren, WI: 0.45″

McGregor, MN: 0.42″

Superior Airport: 0.41″

Ashland, WI: 0.38″

Buyck, MN: 0.25″

Saginaw, MN: 0.22″

Brainerd, MN: 0.20″

Duluth Airport: 0.18″

Hill City, MN: 0.18″

2 N Cloquet, MN: 0.13″

Silver Bay, MN: 0.12″

Grand Rapids, MN: 0.07″

Isabella, MN: 0.06″

Orr, MN: 0.05″

International Falls, MN: 0.04″

Flooding/Flash Flooding occurred late last night into today from portions of southern Minnesota to west-central Wisconsin where 4 to 8 inches or more of rain fell in less than 24 hours!


Here’s a zoomed in view of radar estimated rainfall amounts from Sunday night and Monday morning. Note: Those white and gray areas indicate 4 to 8″+ rainfall totals.

Several hours of torrential rain producing thunderstorms earlier today on the south/southeast side of the MCV which impacted southern Minnesota into west-central Wisconsin.

Radar loop below runs from 1 AM Monday to 7 AM Monday, June 29, 2020.


The black outlined area is where we really need the rain the most – Here’s the precipitation anomaly % of Normal over the past 30 days.

Note: Duluth’s precipitation deficit since January 1st is >6.50″.


One Mesoscale Convective Vortex lifting north into Ontario province today while another one heads ESE out of western Minnesota, these little spins in the atmosphere show up nicely on satellite imagery.

Source: Goes-16 visible satellite loop 6.29.2020;


Although it will be warm over the next few days (highs mid 70s to mid 80s, cooler lakeside) it looks even warmer late this week with widespread near 90 degree temperatures possible in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 2-4)

A big ridge parked over the Plains will extend north into the upper Midwest late this week while a trough and thunderstorm clusters erupt on the west and north side of said ridge.


Thanks for reading!


Warm and muggy this week (cooler lakeside through Wednesday) Showers/t-storms possible at times over the next few days

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible at times over northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from tonight through the middle of the week. Severe thunderstorm chances are on the low side, however, due to weak winds aloft and generally weak shear, but there will be ample amounts of instability and moisture in place for thunderstorm development, will just need some kind of trigger to get convection to develop since we will be dealing with a warm layer of air aloft or a CAP which will make it difficult for thunderstorms to develop unless we have some kind of disturbance or frontal boundary to help lift the humid/unstable air.

Thunderstorms through the middle of the week will be capable of producing torrential rainfall with a few inches of rain not out of the question for areas that get hit by these storms. Precipitable water of 1.50″ to 2.00″ will be over most of the Northland the next few days while dew points range from around 65 to 75 degrees (lower values near Lake Superior) so again a ton of moisture for a thunderstorm to tap into.

The other big story this week will be the warm temperatures. High temperatures are forecast to be in the 80s this week with 90s possible especially later on in the week, Friday-Saturday time frame the way it looks now. The combination of the warm temps and muggy dew points will make it feel a tad uncomfortable outdoors over the next several days.

A cooler lake wind (10 to 20 mph) is expected to continue near Lake Superior through Wednesday with highs for lakeside locations ranging from the upper 50s to around 70 degrees, but it looks like will get a wind shift later this week, so very warm to hot temperatures will be possible even near Lake Superior by Thursday and Friday.


That swirl moving ENE across southern Minnesota this afternoon should be one ingredient needed for thunderstorm development this evening, another ingredient is a frontal boundary which is lifting slowly north into southern Minnesota this afternoon. Storms that develop across southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin this evening should make their way north into parts of our area later tonight.

Source: Goes-16 visible satellite loop 6.28.2020;

Here’s a look at how things could play out through 7 PM Monday per two computer model forecasts.

18z NAM 3km model 6.28.2020


18z HRRR model 6.28.2020

1 to 2 inches or more of rain is possible through 7 AM Tuesday in parts of eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with half to one inch totals possible along the North Shore and Arrowhead. Lesser amounts of rain are forecast across western portions of the area, from International Falls to the Brainerd Lakes. Note: So far June 2020 is running 2nd driest June on record in Duluth (thru the 27th) will see if we get enough rain by the end of the month to get us out of a top 10 driest June on record in Duluth.


One thing we haven’t seen a lot of lately is this! There is a chance that the Northland will have above normal precipitation through July 13th, maybe this will be the start of a wetter pattern? Will see!

Source: 12z European ensemble model 6.28.2020;


A few photos from this morning’s sunrise over Lake Superior as seen from Park Point Beach in Duluth, Minnesota. Enjoy!

June 28, 2020

Thanks for reading!


Dry and warm pattern continues through the weekend; stronger lake wind (cooler temps lakeside) early next week

A warm weekend ahead, but a stronger east wind is forecast to develop by Sunday which will result in a cooling trend for lakeside locations on Sunday, but very warm temps will be found away from the lake both Saturday and Sunday with highs mainly in the 80s, and lakeside locations should also be quite warm especially on Saturday.

The last time Duluth, Minnesota had a quarter inch or more of rain was on May 26th (0.32″ of rain) A month ago! As I’ve pointed out before, typically we need around an inch or so of rain per week during the summer to avoid drought conditions, and well that just hasn’t been happening this spring and early summer, and here we are in moderate drought to abnormally dry conditions across much of the Northland with Duluth’s precipitation deficit since January 1st >6.50″ below normal! We’re going to need at least one major rain event (something like 2-4″) and then will need to stay in a wet weather pattern for a few more weeks in order to get back to normal, if this doesn’t happen, drought conditions will continue to worsen over the next month or so. Basically we’re about 2 months worth of precipitation below normal right now in Duluth, that’s quite a bit to make up, especially for this area.


Need to keep an eye on the early to middle portion of next week, that looks to be our next chance for any rain in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

The setup for that aforementioned time frame includes a very muggy air mass with dew points of 65 to 75 degrees across the upper Midwest (lower near Lake Superior) along with precipitable water values >1.50″.

Computer models are also showing a high octane level type of instability with CAPE of 3000-5000 J/kg across the region. One issue could be a warm layer of air aloft or the cap which may keep storms from developing, the other issue is the ongoing drought across the Northland, once these get going they can be very hard to break, but there is at least a chance that some parts of the Northland could see some heavy showers and thunderstorms at times next week thanks to some lift provided by a low pressure system to our west and south along with its warm front/stationary frontal boundary. Stay tuned.


Thanks for reading!


Warm through Sunday; a few showers/isolated t-storms late tonight and Friday

A warm weather pattern continues into this weekend with more 80 degree high temperatures likely for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Winds are forecast to become easterly by Sunday which will result in slightly cooler temperatures near Lake Superior by late this weekend.

There is a risk for a few showers or thunderstorms late tonight and on Friday, but overall the pattern remains a dry one through Sunday. Rainfall totals for tonight through Friday are forecast to range from around a tenth to a quarter inch, but locally higher amounts are possible if you get underneath a thunderstorm.

The potential for strong to severe thunderstorms in our area is very low for tonight and Friday. Storms that do develop will be capable of producing brief downpours and some lightning, but that should be about it.

Simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM Thursday to 7 PM Friday.

Source: 18z NAM 3km model 6.25.2020;

Strong to severe thunderstorms are erupting this afternoon over parts of the Dakotas. As these thunderstorms move farther east tonight they are expected to weaken quite a bit as they run into lesser instability, wind shear and moisture.

Source: Goes-16 sandwich loop 6.25.2020;

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 9 PM this evening (yellow shaded area on map) for eastern North Dakota and extreme northwest Minnesota.

Here’s comes tonight and Friday’s weather maker which will affect the Northland as it heads east out of the northern Rockies, unfortunately it doesn’t appear that will be getting a whole lot of rain with this one.


Not much change in this week’s drought monitor for Minnesota with 17% of the state in D1 or Moderate Drought (orange shaded area on map) 47% of the state is abnormally dry (yellow area on map)


Far northwest Wisconsin remains in abnormally dry conditions in this week’s drought monitor update (yellow area on map)

Not much relief in the dry weather pattern across the Northland with below normal precipitation forecast thru at least July 10th.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 6.25.2020;

All of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin remains in a Slight Risk area for Excessive Heat from July 3rd thru July 9th.


Thanks for reading!