Strong to Severe Thunderstorms possible in parts of the Northland Monday night

Tonight and most of Monday will be dry and pleasant across the Northland, but chances for showers and thunderstorms will increase late Monday afternoon into Monday night.

There is a risk for a few strong to severe thunderstorms over all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from late Monday afternoon into Monday night with the greatest chances for possible severe weather centered across north-central Minnesota including the Brainerd Lakes, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Bigfork and International Falls areas. The main hazards will be from large hail and damaging winds, and a tornado is also possible over far western portions of the Northland, mainly west of a line from Wirt to Brainerd.

Stay Weather Aware Monday afternoon into Monday night. Watches and warnings may be issued for some parts of the Northland.

This is the area I think has the greatest chance for a tornado late Monday afternoon into early Monday evening (pink outlined area on map)

Here’s a look at a simulated radar forecast valid from 1 PM Monday to 7 AM Tuesday. Again most of the day Monday looks fine in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but by late Monday afternoon or Monday evening we should begin to see scattered showers and thunderstorms develop or move into the Northland from the west.

Highs on Monday are forecast to be in the middle 70s to middle 80s with dew points in the upper 50s to middle 60s.

Source: 18z NAM 3km model 7.12.2020;

A rather potent system over western Canada and the northern Rockies today per Goes-16 water vapor imagery, this is the same system which will move into the Northland Monday night.

Strong winds in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere will spread east into the area on Monday while moisture and instability increases throughout the day. SREF model guidance is showing about 30 to 40 knots of 0-6 KM Wind Shear and Effective Bulk Shear values in our area Monday evening which is enough to sustain some stronger convection.

A low level jet is also forecast to intensify Monday evening with wind speeds of around 35 to 50 knots which should keep moisture and instability advecting N-NE into the Northland.



It’s been a very warm July thus far across the Northland.

Here are the average temperatures so far this month (thru July 11th) and their departure from normal.

Brainerd, MN: 77.1 degrees; +7.8 degrees above normal

Duluth, MN: 74.1 degrees; +9.0 degrees above normal

Ashland, WI: 72.9 degrees; +7.1 degrees above normal

International Falls, MN: 70.6 degrees; +5.9 degrees above normal

Hibbing, MN: 69.9 degrees; +6.1 degrees above normal


Here are the top 5 warmest Julys on record at Duluth, Minnesota

Note: I think there is a pretty good chance that July 2020 will finish somewhere in the top 5 warmest Julys on record in Duluth, will it be the warmest ever? Time will tell.

1) 71.9 degrees set in 2006, tied in 2012

2) 71.7 degrees set in 1881

3) 71.1 degrees set in 2019

4) 70.9 degrees set in 1921

5) 70.6 degrees set in 1936


Rainfall so far this month has been above normal for some, below normal for others – Here are the rainfall totals for July 2020 (thru the 11th)

Duluth, MN: 2.83″; +1.29″ above normal

Brainerd, MN: 1.92″; +0.39″ above normal

Ashland, WI: 1.57″; +0.39″ above normal

Hibbing, MN: 1.40″; -0.41″ below normal

International Falls, MN: 0.58″; -0.97″ below normal

Note: Last week was a wet one across most of the Northland with rainfall totals for the week some 100-300% above normal in the darker green and blue shaded areas on map.


Note: Duluth is running -2.25″ below normal in precipitation since June 1st, and -5.64″ below normal since January 1st. We’re still going to need a few more rain events to get us back to normal.

Unfortunately precipitation totals for the past 90 days are still running below normal in the areas shaded in brown on the map below.

Near to above normal precipitation is forecast across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin over the next 2 weeks.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 7.12.2020;


An active weather day on Saturday as a NW flow type of severe weather event affected areas from western and southern Minnesota to Iowa and Illinois with widespread hail and wind reports along with a few tornadoes.


EF-0 Tornado near Pine Center and Garrison, Minnesota Wednesday evening, July 8, 2020.


Estimated Peak Wind: 85 mph

Path Length: 7.4 miles

Path Width/Maximum: 50 yards

Start Time: 7:15 PM CDT on July 8, 2020

Start Location: 5 miles NW of Pine Center, MN (Crow Wing County)

End Time: 7:38 PM CDT on July 8, 2020

End Location: 3 miles NW of Garrison, MN (Crow Wing County)

Note: It looks like the temperature may fail to reach 80 degrees in Duluth today, Sunday, July 12th, 2020, if this is the case, it would be the first time since June 29th where the temperature didn’t reach at least 80 degrees in Duluth. We had a good run, nearly 2 weeks of 80 degree or warmer temperatures!

Thanks for reading!


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