Some rain on Friday; nice Saturday; rain chances return Sunday night and Monday

We’ve got some rain moving in on Friday thanks to a disturbance moving east out of the Dakotas while a cold front moves SE out of northwestern Minnesota. Should be enough lift and moisture to produce some rain at times in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from Friday morning into Friday evening thanks to the aforementioned disturbance and cold front approaching from the west. A few thunderstorms are also possible Friday afternoon across northern Minnesota, and throughout the day over northwest Wisconsin. No severe weather is expected on Friday.

Note: Rain is possible in Duluth and Superior after 6-7 AM Friday with some rain possible at times into Friday afternoon followed by isolated showers Friday evening.

Rainfall totals with Friday’s system look to range from around a quarter inch over northern Minnesota to a half inch to an inch from east-central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin.

High temperatures on Friday will be in the 60s and lower 70s, and it looks a tad breezy at times, especially for a few hours near Lake Superior (NE wind) and then area-wide Friday night into Saturday morning as NW winds increase behind Friday’s system.

Goes-16 lower level water vapor loop from Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Tropical Storm Laura with 50 mph winds has moved into far southern Arkansas late this afternoon. Laura will continue moving NE reaching the Mid-Atlantic by Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile closer to home our Friday system is currently over the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains and is east bound.


That dip or where the X is marked on the map indicates lift which will be moving over the Northland during the day Friday which should help to produce some rain.

Source: 12z HREF model 8.27.2020;

Note: Model guidance is in pretty good agreement with Friday’s rain event, but at least one model that being the Canadian model keeps the bulk of the rain farther south (black outlined area on map) missing most of the Northland, although scattered showers would still occur during the afternoon and evening with a cold front moving across the area, but the steadiest rain would stay south of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin should the Canadian model verify.


Here’s a look at the NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM this evening to 7 PM Friday.


And a look at the 18z HRRR model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM this evening to 7 PM Friday.

Saturday is looking like a nice day across the Northland with some sunshine and highs in the mid 60s to low 70s, but rain chances look to return sometime Sunday night or Monday as a rather potent trough and cold front approaches from the west.

Source: 18z NAM model 8.27.2020;


Latest Drought Monitor as of August 25th, 2020.


12% of the state is in Moderate Drought (D1) this is up from 10% last week.

31% of the state is Abnormally Dry which is up from 26% last week.


Note: Moderate drought areas in orange on the map with abnormally dry areas in yellow on the map.


1% of the state is in Moderate Drought (D1) unchanged from last week.

23% of the state is Abnormally Dry which is up from 10% last week.

August 14th was the last time the Duluth Airport picked up at least a quarter inch of rain, so about 2 weeks ago.

Precipitation deficit for the year is back up to around 7″ in Duluth, so about 2 months worth of precipitation below normal.

Here’s a look at daily rainfall totals this summer from June 1st thru August 26th, 2020.

Note: Rainfall totals listed below are from the Duluth Airport.



A look at how much rain has fallen over the last 2 weeks – A familiar pattern this summer where the bulk of the rain has fallen across north-central Minnesota and over parts of northwest Wisconsin with a lot less rain closer to Lake Superior.

Rainfall totals from the major climate reporting stations across the Northland (August 13-27, 2020)

Hibbing: 3.57″

International Falls: 2.54″

Brainerd: 2.19″

Ashland: 0.72″

Duluth Airport: 0.46″


Total precipitation percent of mean during the last 2 weeks.

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