Turning breezy and cooler near Lake Superior the next few days (warmer inland) Chances for a few showers/t-storms thru Saturday AM

Average monthly temperatures for July 2021 have been running slightly above to slightly below average in the Northland.

Days have been warm, but not record warm, humidity levels have been on the tolerable side for the most part, and nights have been on the cool side, so all in all not too bad this month in the temperature department.

Listed below are the average temperatures and their departure from normal for July 2021 (thru the 18th)

Brainerd, MN: 70.0 F; +0.4 degrees above average

International Falls, MN: 68.5 F; +3.9 degrees above average

Duluth, MN: 67.3 F; +0.8 degrees above average

Ashland, WI: 64.9 F; -1.3 degrees below average

Hibbing, MN: 64.8 F; +1.4 degrees above average

One sure sign you know you’re in a drought is when temperatures cool off quite a bit at night. No moisture or little to no moisture results in a quick cool down once the sun sets, but also allows for a quick recovery in temperature during the day assuming there is sunshine.

Although daytime highs have been pretty warm this month in Duluth, the overnight lows have been on the cool side for July, and this all results in the average monthly temp for July 2021 being just +0.8 degrees warmer than average thru the 18th.


Northern Minnesota saw a nice complex of thunderstorms move through this morning into early this afternoon. These storms produced torrential rainfall, lightning and gusty winds, but no severe weather was reported. This complex of storms weakened considerably to nothing more than a passing shower or sprinkle once it reached the Twin Ports and eastern Minnesota this afternoon.

Radar loop from 7:46 AM Monday to 3:43 PM Monday, July 19, 2021.

Here’s a look at rainfall estimates from today’s complex of storms which impacted much of northern Minnesota.

Rainfall Totals from Monday, July 19, 2021

  • Orr, MN: 1.27″
  • Chisholm-Hibbing Airport: 0.59″
  • Bigfork, MN: 0.56″
  • Littlefork, MN: 0.53″
  • Walker, MN: 0.46″
  • International Falls, MN: 0.44″
  • Aitkin, MN: 0.34″
  • Eveleth-Virginia, MN: 0.30″
  • Longville, MN: 0.26″
  • Ely, MN: 0.07″
  • Hill City, MN: 0.07″
  • McGregor, MN: 0.04″
  • Pine River, MN: 0.03″
  • Skibo, MN: 0.02″
  • Saginaw, MN: 0.02″
  • Brainerd, MN: 0.01″

The pattern won’t be changing much this week, but the core of the heat will remain farther off to our west thanks in part to an upper low near Hudson Bay Canada which will carry a backdoor cold front through the Northland tonight which switches our wind direction from SW to NE, and those NE winds look to continue near Lake Superior at least through Friday, so temps near Lake Superior will only reach the 60s to lower 70s Tuesday and Wednesday. Note: There are some indications that temperatures will warm back up this weekend into next week, but how warm TBD…

Note: With the Northland being on the N-NE side of an upper ridge, this opens up the possibility for some thunderstorm clusters which could impact some parts of the our area as they move SE across the area through early Saturday, these storm clusters will bring some needed rains where they hit, but not everyone will get hit by this rain.

High temperature forecast valid for Tuesday, July 20 through Thursday, July 22, 2021 shows the hottest temperatures remaining SW of the Northland where 90s are likely the next few days, while here in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin we’re looking at daytime highs mostly in the 80s, except for 60s and 70s closer to Lake Superior.

Goes-16 sandwich loop from Monday, July 19, 2021 showing the first of what should be a couple more storm clusters this week across parts of the upper Midwest. This first cluster of storms impacted portions of eastern North Dakota, northwest, west-central and northern Minnesota today.


There’s good agreement between the 18z NAM 3km model and 18z HRRR model for the next round of scattered showers and thunderstorms to affect mainly western/southwest portions of the Northland late tonight through the day Tuesday, while it stays dry near Lake Superior through Tuesday evening.

Thunderstorms that occur are not expected to be severe tonight or Tuesday, but heavy downpours and lightning will occur with these storms, with a chance for some gusty winds and small hail in the strongest storms.

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 1 AM Tonight to 1 AM Wednesday.

18z HRRR model simulated radar forecast valid from 1 AM Tonight to 1 AM Wednesday.

Scattered rains will be the common theme this week.

Here’s the rainfall forecast thru 7 AM Wednesday. On average we’re looking at anywhere from a trace to quarter inch of rain across the Northland, but there will be higher amounts of rain in localized areas.

With upper level winds remaining out of the NW this week, this will continue to lead to hazy/smoky skies across much of the Northland as wildfires continue to burn across parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario Canada.

Note: Some of this smoke will mix down to the surface leading to poor air quality especially over parts of northern Minnesota through Wednesday morning.

An Air Quality Alert has been issued for northern Minnesota (orange area) effective from 9 PM Monday to 9 AM Wednesday.


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