Cooler temps on the way! Haze and Smoke lingers into Wednesday morning; warmer temps return next week

It’s been a very dry September in Duluth with just 0.43 inches of rain so far this month. Below are the top 10 driest Septembers on record at Duluth, Minnesota – Will September 2020 finish in the top 10 driest on record? I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that it will based on trends in the forecast models.

1) 0.19″ set in 1952

2) 0.32″ set in 1892

3) 0.37″ set in 1948

4) 0.68″ set in 1932

5) 0.72″ set in 1939

6) 0.84″ set in 2012

7) 0.88″ set in 1953

8) 0.98″ set in 1974

9) 1.00″ set in 1896

10) 1.04″ set in 1983


Much cooler temperatures will be moving into the Northland over the next few days, but the chilly air mass off to the NW today will modify a bit once it reaches the upper Midwest, so instead of highs in the 30s and 40s, will likely be in the 50s with even a few 60s on Wednesday.

Note: Frost and Freeze risks return to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for late Wednesday night-Thursday morning, and again Thursday night-Friday morning.

Here’s a look at the expected temperatures for Wednesday afternoon.

Coolest temps across northern Minnesota (50s) but a little milder further south including in Duluth and Superior with highs in the low to mid 60s on Wednesday.

Northwest winds on Wednesday at 10 to 20 mph.

One of the bigger weather stories continues to be the massive extent of wildfire smoke which covered the U.S. once again today. Yes, there are some clouds passing through the Northern Plains, upper Midwest and Lake Superior today, but a lot of what you are seeing on visible satellite imagery is smoke today.

The smoke was thick enough to keep temperatures about 5-8 degrees cooler than what was expected for today. High in Duluth was 73 degrees today which is still nice for mid-September, just not as warm as it could’ve been if the smoke wasn’t so thick.

Loop time ends at around 3:35 PM, Tuesday, September 15, 2020.


Here’s the 12z HRRR model smoke forecast valid at 1 PM today (Tuesday) higher concentrated areas of smoke show up in orange, red and purple colors on the image below. About the only areas not seeing much if any smoke is across parts of the southern U.S. today.

Note: Smoke will continue to cover Northland skies through early Wednesday morning, but a secondary cold front dropping SE out of central Canada will help push the smoke to the south and out of our area during the day Wednesday. Most of the smoke tonight will stay in the upper levels of the atmosphere creating rather hazy conditions, but there is a chance that some of this smoke will mix down to the surface for a few hours tonight which could lead to a smoky smell in some parts of the Northland.


There is strong model agreement today on the temperature forecast for next week.

Looks like warmer temperatures will be returning to the Northland next week, with 70s or near 70 degree temps quite possible on a few days next week.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 9.15.2020;


*Hurricane Sally Update*

4 PM Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Sally was located about 85 miles south of Mobile, Alabama, or about 90 miles southwest of Pensacola, Florida with movement to the north at 2 mph.

Maximum sustained winds of 80 mph with a minimum central pressure of 979mb or 28.91 inches.

Goes-16 infrared satellite loop of Hurricane Sally from Tuesday, September 15, 2020.


Sally is expected to move over the northern Gulf Coast tonight and is forecast to make landfall sometime Wednesday morning near the Dauphin Island to Fort Morgan area.

Impacts for the Northern Gulf Coast from Hurricane Sally include

-Tropical Storm to Hurricane Force Winds

-Historic-Life Threatening Flooding and Storm Surge

Radar Image of Hurricane Sally from late Tuesday afternoon.

Bands of heavy rain rotating around Sally while easterly winds lead to a piling up of water or storm surge on the north/northeast side of Sally.

Thanks for reading!


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