Our first chance for rain comes on Thursday as a cold front moves east across the area. It looks like we could see two waves of rain affect all or parts of the Northland on Thursday, with some morning rain possible, and then we could see scattered showers and thunderstorms develop Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. Severe weather is not expected on Thursday due to weak winds aloft, pool mid level lapse rates and marginal amounts of wind shear, but there will be some instability that builds up in the afternoon, and that should be enough to produce some thunderstorm activity in parts of the Northland during the afternoon and evening. Heavy downpours and lightning will be the main hazards out of any thunderstorm on Thursday, with a small risk for sub-severe hail and gusty winds to around 30-40 mph.
Note: Some rain is possible in Duluth and Superior from around 5 AM to 10 AM Thursday, and then we could see some scattered rains redevelop Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.
Rainfall deficit since June 1 of -5.03″ at International Falls, and -4.22″ in Duluth, so yes more rain is certainly needed around here.
18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM Wednesday to 1 AM Friday.
18z HRRR model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM Wednesday to 1 AM Friday.
Rainfall totals ranging from around a tenth of an inch to over a half an inch are possible in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on Thursday.
High temperatures will be turning a little cooler over the next few days in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin due to more clouds and possible rain at times, but we’re still looking at daytime highs topping out in the mid 70s to low 80s (close to normal for early August) from Thursday through Sunday, with cooler temps likely near Lake Superior on Saturday with highs in the 60s.
Weekend rain chances
We have more chances for rain in the Northland this weekend, mainly from Saturday evening into Sunday as we see a few different frontal boundaries, a trough along with an area of low pressure move across the Northern Plains and upper Midwest.
Chances for severe weather in our area look pretty low at the moment as instability looks fairly marginal this weekend, but we should still see at least a few embedded thunderstorms mixed in with the rain showers Saturday night and also on Sunday.
Surface map below is valid for Saturday morning, August 7, 2021.
Some pretty cool visible satellite imagery today showing wildfires and their smoke plumes – The first cluster of fires is over the north half of Manitoba Canada (inside the yellow outlined area)
A second cluster of fires are burning across northern California today with big time plumes of smoke pushing north.
Finally some good news on the air quality across Minnesota as the air quality alert which was in effect until 9 PM this evening has been cancelled as AQI values have improved into the moderate range (yellow on map) The bad news is that more periods of smoke/hazy skies are likely over the next few days, but whether or not the smoke is thick enough to warrant another air quality alert remains to be seen. Note: By the way, today ends 7 consecutive days of air quality alerts across Minnesota, wow!
Here is the 18z HRRR model smoke forecast through 1 PM Friday.
Higher concentrations of smoke (aloft) indicated by the orange, red and purple colors on the animation below.