Scattered showers/t-storms this evening; Dry and seasonable Friday; Some rain possible at times this weekend

Some parts of the Northland had some rain earlier this morning which was followed by a break in the rain, but now we’re seeing a few lines of scattered showers and thunderstorms move east across parts of north-central and northeast Minnesota this afternoon, and this activity will continue to affect parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through this evening. Heavy downpours and lightning will be the primary hazards from these storms late this afternoon, but sub-severe hail (pea to dime size), and gusty winds to around 30-40 mph will be possible in the strongest storms.

Radar loop from 6:27 AM to 3:56 PM, Thursday, August 5, 2021.

Here’s a look at today’s system which brought some rain to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin as seen on Goes-16 visible satellite imagery.

Rainfall Reports from Thursday, August 5, 2021

Source: https://mesowest.utah.edu/

Note: Totals listed below are through 3 PM, August 5, 2021.

  • Saginaw, MN: 0.99″
  • Two Harbors, MN: 0.38″
  • Duluth Airport: 0.34″
  • Moose Lake, MN: 0.31″
  • McGregor, MN: 0.28″
  • Hill City, MN: 0.22″
  • Aitkin, MN: 0.13″
  • International Falls, MN: 0.12″
  • Longville, MN: 0.12″
  • Bigfork, MN: 0.11″
  • Walker, MN: 0.10″
  • Skibo, MN: 0.06″
  • Brainerd, MN: 0.01″
  • Isabella, MN: 0.01″
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Latest Drought Monitor as of August 3, 2021

Drought conditions continue to worsen in Minnesota this week.

  • 35% of Minnesota is in D3 or Extreme Drought (red) this is up from 22% last week.
  • 78% of Minnesota is in D2 or Severe Drought (orange) this is up from 75% last week.
  • 97% of Minnesota is in D1 or Moderate Drought (light orange) this is unchanged from last week.
  • 99% of Minnesota is Abnormally Dry, this is down from 100% last week.

Drought conditions continue to improve in Wisconsin this week.

  • 2% of Wisconsin is in D2 or Severe Drought (orange), this is unchanged from last week.
  • 23% of Wisconsin is in D1 or Moderate Drought (light orange), this is down from 27% last week.
  • 37% of Wisconsin is Abnormally Dry (yellow), this is down from 46% last week.
  • 6% of the Midwest is in D3 or Extreme Drought (red), this is up from 3% last week.
  • 17% of the Midwest is in D2 or Severe Drought (orange), this is up from 16% last week.
  • 26% of the Midwest is in D1 or Moderate Drought (light orange), this is down from 27% last week.
  • 34% of the Midwest is Abnormally Dry (yellow), this is unchanged from last week.
  • 13% of North Dakota is in D4 or Exceptional Drought (dark red), this is up from 10% last week.
  • 60% of North Dakota is in D3 or Extreme Drought (red), this is up from 52% last week.
  • 97% of North Dakota is in D2 or Severe Drought (orange), this is unchanged from last week.
  • 100% of North Dakota is in Moderate Drought and is Abnormally Dry.

USDA Topsoil Moisture for the week ending August 1, 2021.

Red=Very Dry

Yellow=Dry

Soil Moisture Anomaly Change from May 31, 2021 to August 4, 2021.

Brown areas=Drier

Green areas=Wetter

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The setup for this weekend includes an area of low pressure lifting ENE out of South Dakota while a warm front (red) lifts NE out of southern Minnesota.

A strong S-SW low level jet of 30-50 knots will draw a very humid air mass northward into the upper Midwest on Saturday, while instability also increases. This type of setup often leads to repeated rounds of showers and thunderstorms with heavy rainfall near the warm frontal boundary, which in this case is draped across the southern half of Minnesota into western/central portions of Wisconsin, and this is where the greatest chance for thunderstorms (some possibly strong to severe), and heavy rain will be this weekend the way it looks now.

As for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — It looks like the warm front will stay too far to the south to bring higher amounts of instability and a threat for severe weather this far north this weekend, but we should still see some rain showers at times Saturday into Sunday, along with a chance for some thunderstorms.

Forecast map valid for Saturday morning, August 7, 2021.

High temps over the next 10 days in Duluth don’t look too bad.

One of our coolest days may come on Saturday (7th) as east winds increase, this could help keep temps in the 60s to lower 70s in the Twin Ports.

Normal highs from August 6 to August 15 drop from 78 to 76 degrees, while normal lows drop from 57 to 56 degrees.

Tim

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