Update on the system for late this week, less rain for the Northland?

Seeing quite a few changes in some of the computer models today regarding a late week system and its timing for the Northland, and whether or not it will even affect our area, and if it does how much rain will we get?

–The biggest change I’ve seen is with the European computer model, as today’s run (12z) has slowed down the onset of rain in our area.

–NAM model shows little if any rain for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late this week, and whatever rain does fall wouldn’t be until later Thursday night or Friday (similar to what this model was showing on Monday).

–GFS model has been going back and fourth between rain and very little rain for the Northland late this week, with the latest run (18z) siding more with the NAM guidance with a later arrival time and lower rainfall totals in most of our area.

So that’s where we stand as of Tuesday afternoon, I would expect a few more changes in the days ahead as computer models get a better handle on the system for late this week.

12z European computer model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 AM Thursday to 7 AM Friday.

Note: Rain would reach Duluth and Superior Thursday evening (~8 to 10 PM) per latest Euro model forecast. This is roughly 6 hours later than what this model was showing 24 hours ago.

Note the changes in the European ensemble guidance on where the highest probabilities are for getting a half inch or more of rain Thursday-Friday morning.

New model run today shifted things much further south, with only low probabilities for rainfall to exceed a half inch now in place in most of the Northland, except around the Brainerd Lakes area. Now this doesn’t mean it won’t rain at all in our area late this week, it simply means that any rain we get would mostly be on the light side, amounting to a quarter inch or less per Euro ensemble model guidance.

Yesterday’s run had much higher probabilities for over a half inch of rain much farther north to include all of northern Minnesota.

Setup for late this week includes dual lows approaching from the west with a cold front and warm front moving east into the upper Midwest.

Although we do have a few rain chances ahead starting late this week and carrying over into early next week, none of them look very significant in terms of rainfall amounts for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, so in the end most of the Northland is looking at below normal to near normal precipitation totals for the next 7 days. Good news, bad news as any rain is obviously a good thing since our area remains in a drought, and any rain would help reduce fire danger, but bad news since the rain we could get really doesn’t look like a whole lot to cut into the deficits we have for the year, and also to help in lessening the severity of the ongoing drought in our area.


The stabilizing effect of winds off Lake Superior was in full display today by a lack of cloud cover closer to Lake Superior (stable air mass) while cumulus clouds form farther inland from the lake today.

Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

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