Smoke, Smoke and more Smoke; Warm temps continue with late week/weekend rain chances

Today, Monday, August 2, 2021 marked the 34th day this summer (since June 1) with a high of at least 80 in Duluth. Normal number of 80 degree days in Duluth in a summer (June-August) is 23 days. Note: Last summer had 38 days at or above 80 in Duluth.

We’ve had 4 days at or above 90 so far this summer in Duluth. Normal number of 90 degree days in Duluth in a summer is 2 days.

If you’re tired of 80 degree temps in Duluth or elsewhere in the Northland, just remember that winter isn’t too far away. We usually get our first snow/s in October, which is only two short months away, heck some years we’ve even had some snow by mid or late September if things setup perfectly.


Air Quality Index as of 5 PM Monday, August 2, 2021 shows that much of Minnesota is under Moderate to Unhealthy air quality due to persistent wildfire smoke which continues to impact the Northern Plains and upper Midwest.

An Air Quality Alert remains in effect through 3 PM Tuesday, August 3, 2021 for all but far southeastern Minnesota, and there is a chance we could see this air quality alert be extended past 3 PM Tuesday in parts of Minnesota.

18z HRRR model smoke forecast through 1 PM Wednesday still shows smoke affecting the Northland, with higher concentrations of smoke represented by the orange, red and purple colors on the animation below. Note: A lot of this smoke will remain higher in the atmosphere leading to hazy/milky looking skies, but there will be times where the smoke mixes down to the surface.


Another warm summer day on the way for Tuesday with widespread 80s likely in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Note: Normal highs in our area in early August are in the upper 70s to around 80, so will be above normal again on Tuesday, but still below what are record highs are for this time of the year, so warm yes, but not record setting warmth.

A wetter pattern developing? Euro ensemble model is certainly leaning that direction with above normal precipitation forecast across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin over the next two weeks. Will see what happens.

Dry weather continues in the Northland through Wednesday, but this will be followed by scattered rains from Thursday all the way into early next week as we see a few different frontal boundaries and their surface lows affect the upper Midwest.

There could be a few strong to severe thunderstorms as well in parts of the area this weekend depending on where exactly those fronts setup, and also on the amount of instability, moisture and wind shear that will be present across our area.

Surface map below is valid for Friday, August 6, 2021.


So many fires burning off to our north.

The yellow outlined areas are an approximation of where the fires are based off visible satellite imagery.

Anytime we get a north or northwest wind will likely be dealing with some smoke either aloft or at the surface or both. About the only wind directions that would clear the smoke away from our area would be an east wind or southerly wind.

Also of note is a strong surface low churning over the southern shores of Hudson Bay Canada today.

Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Monday, August 2, 2021.

The good news is there really aren’t a whole lot of new fires (yellow icons) in Ontario today, but the bad news is that numerous fires continue to burn (orange fires)

Numerous fires are also burning across parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia as well (red dots)


It certainly has been an interesting temperature pattern so far this summer, as western and northern portions of the U.S. have had warmer than average temperatures over the last 60 days, while areas in the south have had cooler than average temperatures.

Total precipitation over the last 60 days has been above normal across much of the southern U.S., and also over parts of the Midwest, Eastern Great Lakes and northeast U.S., while below normal precipitation has been common for areas across the north.


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