Scattered showers and some thunderstorms will be found across the Northland tonight and Saturday, but the focus for rain on Saturday should shift farther south into east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin while northern Minnesota may end up mostly dry on Saturday.
A few lingering showers are also possible across the Northland on Sunday, but a widespread all-day rain is looking unlikely Sunday.
Note: A potential for a higher end rainfall event including a risk for flash flooding continues Saturday through early Sunday morning from southern Minnesota into western and central Wisconsin.
We’ve already seen an area of showers and thunderstorms move east across far northern Minnesota today (mainly north of a line from Bigfork to Ely) with heavy rain and lightning being the main threats with those storms today.
Radar loop ending 4:55 PM Friday, August 5, 2022.
Here’s the HRRR model simulated radar forecast through 7 PM Saturday.
Note: Rain chances for Duluth and Superior look greatest later this evening through Saturday morning with most of the rain Saturday afternoon/night setting up farther south of the Twin Ports.
HREF model ensemble max is showing a swath of about 2 to 5 inches or more of rain across parts of southern Minnesota through Sunday morning.
It’s a warm early August day with temperatures in the 90s as far east as parts of western, central and eastern Minnesota, with 100s common in parts of South Dakota.
A lake wind is keeping temperatures cooler (60s and 70s) along the North Shore of Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota today.
Cooler temperatures return this weekend with highs mainly in the 70s in the Northland on Saturday with a few 80s possible in parts of northwest Wisconsin. Highs Sunday will mainly be in the 60s. Highs get back closer to normal early next week with highs Monday in the 70s, and from the 70s to lower 80s next Tuesday.
Note: Today, Friday, August 5 marked the 19th day this year with a high temperature of at least 80 at the Duluth Airport. By this time last year, Duluth had 40 days at or above 80.
There is a corridor of very muggy air near a cold front across the eastern Dakotas and northwest Minnesota with dew points in the 70s this afternoon, but farther to the east it’s not quite as muggy with dew points generally in the upper 50s to low-mid 60s in the Northland this afternoon.
A less humid air mass will move SE out of northern Minnesota this weekend.
Soil moisture conditions currently range from dry to very dry across southern portions of the Northland, with parts of eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin running very dry, with soil moisture of just 2% to 10%, while soil conditions are running on the wet side across parts of northern Minnesota.
Total Rainfall and Departure from Normal since June 1, 2022
International Falls, MN Total 9.05″ Departure +0.96″ above normal +5.99″ more rain this summer vs. last summer.
Duluth, MN Total 8.02″ Departure -0.74″ below normal +3.48″ more rain this summer vs. last summer.
St. Cloud, MN Total 7.71″ Departure -0.11″ below normal +4.25″ more rain this summer vs. last summer.
Eau Claire, WI Total 4.11″ Departure -4.88″ below normal -4.97″ less rain this summer vs. last summer.
Twin Cities, MN Total 2.47″ Departure -6.73″ below normal -0.46″ less rain this summer vs. last summer.
4-week (August 2, 2022, compared to July 5, 2022) Drought Monitor Class Change shows worsening drought conditions stretching from parts of south-central to eastern Minnesota into parts of northern Wisconsin.
Drought continues to expand in parts of Minnesota.
4% of the state is in Severe Drought, up from 1% last week.
13% of the state is in Moderate Drought, up from around 7% last week.
34% of the state is Abnormally Dry, up from 30% last week.
Note: The hardest hit areas impacted by drought are currently centered over the Twin Cities Metro area, and adjacent portions of south-central Minnesota.
Pretty much the entire northern half of Wisconsin is in some sort of drought.
1% of the state is in Severe Drought, up from 0% last week.
16% of the state is in Moderate Drought, up from 7% last week.
48% of the state is Abnormally Dry, up from 45% last week.
Not a whole lot of change in drought conditions across the Midwest this week.
2% of the Midwest is in Extreme Drought, unchanged from last week.
7% of the Midwest is in Severe Drought, up from 6% last week.
18% of the Midwest is in Moderate Drought, up from 15% last week.
38% of the Midwest is Abnormally Dry, down from 41% last week.
Wet weather is likely at times this weekend.
-A cold front will be moving ESE across the Northland Friday evening through the day Saturday. Moisture, lift, and some instability will be present along and ahead of this front on Friday with scattered showers and thunderstorms developing across north-central Minnesota late Friday afternoon or Friday evening, with chances for showers and a few thunderstorms increasing farther south/east into northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late Friday night through Saturday.
-The potential for severe thunderstorms remains very low with this front on Friday, but locally heavy rainfall is possible as there will be abundant moisture in place consisting of precipitable water values of 1.50″ to around 2.00″!
The setup this weekend, particularly in the Saturday night to Sunday time frame will resemble a setup we sometimes see in winter where we have a low-pressure system taking shape south of the Northland while high pressure sets up to the north across central Canada — The potential for a higher impact heavy rain/flash flood event is there Saturday and Sunday, especially from south-central Minnesota into central and northern Wisconsin as multiple rounds of rain and thunderstorms are expected in those areas.
Here in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin it does look like will get some more showers at times Saturday night and Sunday, but the heavier rain looks to be more focused farther to the south.
Sunday does have a chance to be a cool late summer day, however, with highs only in the 50s and 60s in the Northland.
A look at the NWS Blend of Models total rainfall through this weekend.
NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid 1 PM Friday to 7 PM Saturday.
Another brief spike in temperatures is likely Friday with highs ranging from the mid 80s to low 90s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but this will be short lived once again as a cooler air mass moves in this weekend before temperatures rebound back toward normal early next week.
To go along with the warmer temps on Friday, humidity will increase just a bit with dew point temperatures climbing into the upper 50s to middle 60s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
Several rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms moved through portions of the upper Midwest Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday morning. These storms produced frequent lightning, very heavy rainfall, damaging winds and large hail.
Local Storm Reports for August 2-3, 2022 Source: NWS Duluth, MN
2:55 AM 8/3: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. Hayward, WI (Sawyer County) Trees down across roads and powerlines in Hayward.
2:55 AM 8/3: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 2 W Little Round Lake, WI (Sawyer County) 60- to 70-foot-tall tree 2 feet in diameter snapped off at base.
10:08 PM 8/2: Flash Flood. 2 W Spooner, WI (Washburn County) 3.01 inches of rain in one hour.
9:53 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. Ojibwa, WI (Sawyer County) Trees across roads and powerlines.
9:45 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 3 SW Edgewater, WI (Sawyer County) Medium size pine tree snapped and fallen on house.
9:45 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 7 ENE Sarona, WI (Washburn County) Poplar tree down across driveway.
9:42 PM 8/2: Hail 1.00″ (quarter size) 5 E Hertel, WI (Burnett County)
9:37 PM 8/2: Hail 0.75″. 5 E Hertel, WI (Burnett County)
9:35 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 3 N New Post, WI (Sawyer County) Trees across roads throughout the Chippewa Flowage.
9:35 PM 8/2: Hail 0.70″. Spooner, WI (Washburn County)
9:15 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 4 WNW Reserve, WI (Sawyer County) Numerous tree limbs and trees down. Several trees up to 12 inches in diameter.
9:10 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 3 NW Stone Lake, WI (Washburn County) 20-inch diameter white pine limb down. Several other limbs down in the area.
9:10 PM 8/2: Flash Flood. Stone Lake, WI (Sawyer County) Large oak trees uprooted.
9:00 PM 8/2: Hail 1.00″ (quarter size) 6 SSW Webb Lake, WI (Burnett County)
8:52 PM 8/2: Hail 1.50″ (ping pong ball size) 5 SW Webb Lake, WI (Burnett County)
8:37 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 5 ESE Danbury, WI (Burnett County) 4 large trees across road.
8:20 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 2 N Hertel, WI (Burnett County) Numerous small to medium sized trees down. Snapped at base about 20 feet up. Observer reports a narrow swath of damage about 1000 feet wide with trees laying in many directions.
8:20 PM 8/2: Thunderstorm Wind Damage. 3 N Hertel, WI (Burnett County) Numerous trees down or snapped. Estimates 80 plus trees down on 90-acre property. Neighbors have damage to houses from trees falling on them.
Here’s a look at the Goes-16 infrared satellite loop showing the beginning stages of a cluster of supercell thunderstorms which erupted early Tuesday evening in far eastern Minnesota (south of Duluth), while an initial cluster of strong to severe thunderstorms which was over northern Minnesota early Tuesday afternoon continued to move east through upper Michigan and central/eastern Lake Superior early Tuesday evening.
One more Goes-16 infrared satellite loop showing multiple clusters of strong to severe thunderstorms stretching from south-central Minnesota to Lower Michigan early Wednesday morning, August 3, 2022.
Rainfall Reports for August 2-3, 2022 Source: NWS Duluth, MN
2 W Spooner, WI: 3.30″ 10.6 WNW Spooner, WI: 2.22″ 3.6 NE Sarona, WI: 2.19″ 3.8 E Hayward, WI: 1.83″ 7.7 W Spooner, WI: 1.81″ Shell Lake, WI: 1.72″ 2 E Celina, MN: 1.60″ 2.0 NW Stone Lake, WI: 1.58″ 2 S Tower, MN: 1.44″ 4.4 N Babbitt, MN: 1.22″ 8.6 NE Silver Bay, MN: 1.22″ Embarrass, MN: 1.15″ Isabella, MN: 1.12″ 2.3 W Side Lake, MN: 1.09″ Winter, WI: 1.03″ Webb Lake, WI: 1.02″ Glidden, WI: 0.98″ 0.2 N Cozy Corner, WI: 0.90″ Cook, MN: 0.88″ Minong, WI: 0.75″ 4 W Clam Lake, WI: 0.72″ 9 N Bayfield, WI: 0.59″ Hurley, WI: 0.42″ Brimson, MN: 0.35″ Siren, WI: 0.27″ Ashland, WI: 0.20″ Washburn, WI: 0.20″ Grand Marais, MN: 0.18″ Cotton, MN: 0.14″ Lutsen, MN: 0.13″ Duluth Airport: 0.11″ Hayward, WI: 0.03″
Rain chances return to the Northland Friday and Saturday as will see another cold front move across the upper Midwest.
Currently it looks like northern Minnesota will have the best chance to get some rain Friday afternoon through Friday night, with chances for some rain increasing late Friday night through the day Saturday from eastern Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin.
The threat for strong to severe thunderstorms for late this week looks pretty low at this time due to only marginal amounts of instability.
Heavy rain is possible late this week especially on Saturday where there is a risk for flash flooding (yellow) from south-central Minnesota into north-central Wisconsin.
It’s been a stormy Tuesday in parts of the Northland as we’ve seen scattered strong to severe thunderstorms including a few elevated supercells move across parts of northeast Minnesota and far northern Wisconsin this afternoon.
Thunderstorms today have contained frequent lightning, large hail of up to golf ball size, and torrential rainfall which has led to some flooding issues in parts of northeast Minnesota including for the following locations, Babbitt, Isabella, Finland, Little Marais, southern Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Murphy City, Tettegouche State Park, Virginia, Mountain Iron, Hoyt Lakes, Gilbert, Aurora, Tower, Cook, Bigfork, Gheen, and Togo.
There is plenty of energy feeding into these storms today with CAPE >4500 J/kg across western and central Minnesota this afternoon, and expect these large values of CAPE to remain over the Northland through the night.
Radar loop ending 5:20 PM Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Strong thunderstorms continue to impact the Arrowhead of Minnesota and over Lake Superior late this afternoon with movement of those storms to the east.
Storms today have been focusing ENE of the +12C 700mb temperature contour which is a good threshold for a stronger capping inversion, and this layer of warm air aloft or the cap will continue to move NE deeper into the Northland tonight so it’s uncertain whether or not will get another round of convection to develop in our area after this first round exits early this evening.
Local Storm Reports for Tuesday, August 2, 2022 Source: NWS Duluth, MN
3:30 PM: Hail 1.25″ (half dollar size) 14 ESE Bigfork, MN (Itasca County)
3:22 PM: Hail 1.50″ (ping pong ball size) 4 ENE Markham, MN (St. Louis County)
3:00 PM: Hail 1.25″ (half dollar size) 4 N Makinen, MN (St. Louis County)
A look at today’s storms via Goes-16 infrared satellite imagery with the colder/deeper clouds (convection) in yellow, orange and red on the animation below.
There’s been some impressive rainfall totals from around Bigfork and Effie to the Craigville and Togo areas in northern Minnesota today with radar estimating between 1″ and 3.5″ of rain today.
The convection allowing models (CAMS) have been struggling a lot with today’s setup, and that trend may continue through tonight.
Capping issues is partly to blame for the uncertainty on when and where storms develop in this type of setup, and that capping inversion will be sticking around through the night.
Here’s the latest HRRR model run simulated radar forecast through 6 AM Wednesday.
There is a chance that we could see a few more thunderstorms develop at times through the night in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with a risk for a few additional strong to severe thunderstorms. The primary severe weather threats for tonight include large hail of up to golf ball size (1.75″ diameter) and damaging wind gusts to 60 mph.
Big time heat covering South Dakota today — 4 PM temperatures.
Widespread 90s covered western, central, and southern Minnesota as far north as Little Falls and Cambridge this afternoon, but temperatures are running a lot cooler in most of the Northland today due to the ongoing convection and cloud cover, and there are no signs that will be getting into any of that major heat which is covering areas farther to our south through early next week.
Daytime highs in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin will generally be in the 70s and 80s from Wednesday through next Monday with the coolest days looking to be on Wednesday and perhaps again one of the days this weekend.
Showers and thunderstorms are possible at times in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin Tuesday and Tuesday night as a low-pressure system with its warm front and cold front move across the upper Midwest.
The severe weather parameters actually look quite good in much of the Northland on Tuesday with strong instability forecast to be in place with CAPE of 2000-3500+ J/kg along with up to 50 knots of 0-6 KM and Effective Bulk Shear. Winds aloft look strong with WNW mid/upper-level winds, and a strong low-level jet out of the SW is also forecast to setup across the upper Midwest on Tuesday.
The main unknowns at this time include timing and location of thunderstorm development, and whether or not a cap becomes strong enough to prevent thunderstorms from forming.
There is a chance that the majority of the thunderstorms that develop will only impact the open waters of Lake Superior and then into upper Michigan leaving most of the Northland generally dry on Tuesday, but there is also a potential that we see a cluster or two of storms develop on the eastern edge of a cap with storms moving S-SE across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on Tuesday.
An elevated mixed layer (EML) with an area of very warm 700mb temps of +12 to +15C will be moving ENE out of the Dakotas and western Minnesota Tuesday. Sometimes you can get clusters of storms to form on the eastern edge of these warmer temperatures which would put northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin in that zone for possible convection on Tuesday.
850mb temps also look very toasty to our west on Tuesday with values reaching +30C in parts of South Dakota to around +28C in western Minnesota.
Scattered to isolated strong to severe thunderstorms are possible in all of the Northland Tuesday and Tuesday night.
The primary severe weather threats include large hail to ping pong ball size (1.50″ diameter) and damaging wind gusts to 65 mph.
Here’s the HRRR model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 AM Tuesday to 7 AM Wednesday.
NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 AM Tuesday to 7 AM Wednesday.
A very hot day is expected on Tuesday across western, central, and southern Minnesota with highs in the 90s in those areas, with low 100s in southwest Minnesota.
It also looks pretty warm in the Northland on Tuesday but not anywhere near as hot as it will be farther to the south, with highs in the 80s expected in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with 70s along the North Shore, while highs could approach 90 around the Brainerd Lakes, Hinckley and Siren areas.
Highs Wednesday through Saturday are forecast to range from the mid 70s to mid 80s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, so once again a forecast that is void of any big-time heat for our area.
Heat Advisory is in effect for Tuesday afternoon-early Tuesday evening for parts of western, central, and southern Minnesota.
A few areas of heavy rain in the Northland Sunday night — I broke the areas down in two, with the first image centering on the northern portion of the Northland.
And here’s another image which focuses on the southern portion of the Northland.
Rainfall Reports from July 31, 2022 Source: NWS Duluth, MN
0.7 NW Chisholm, MN: 2.96″ Shell Lake, WI: 2.39″ Winton, MN: 1.83″ 9.7 NNE Two Harbors, MN: 1.74″ 3.4 NNW Iron Junction, MN: 1.67″ 25 E Ely, MN: 1.60″ 9 N Bayfield, WI: 1.51″ Aurora, MN: 1.28″ 1.2 N Knife River, MN: 1.28″ 3.8 S Tower, MN: 1.15″ 1 NE Hibbing, MN: 1.12″ Siren, WI: 1.05″ Duluth Airport: 1.03″ Silver Bay, MN: 0.94″ French River, MN: 0.92″ 10.1 NNW Grand Marais, MN: 0.91″ Saginaw, MN: 0.90″ 7.7 S International Falls, MN: 0.90″ 6.5 S Deer River, MN: 0.88″ 0.1 NE Hovland, MN: 0.86″ Two Harbors, MN: 0.84″ 1.0 ENE Maple, WI: 0.82″ 5 N Grand Rapids, MN: 0.80″ Embarrass, MN: 0.79″ Cotton, MN: 0.76″ Cable, WI: 0.76″ 7 SW Hertel, WI: 0.76″ Poplar, WI: 0.73″ Clam Lake, WI: 0.68″ Grand Marais, MN: 0.64″ Chisholm-Hibbing Airport: 0.63″ Deer River, MN: 0.61″ Esko, MN: 0.54″ Isabella, MN: 0.49″ Lutsen, MN: 0.46″ Barnes, WI: 0.42″ Walker, MN: 0.41″ Superior Airport: 0.38″ Northome, MN: 0.31″ South Range, WI: 0.30″ 1.2 W Solon Springs, WI: 0.28″ Glidden, WI: 0.22″ Webb Lake, WI: 0.19″ Hayward, WI: 0.18″ Hurley, WI: 0.18″ Danbury, WI: 0.11″ 3 NE Brainerd, MN: 0.10″ Cook, MN: 0.10″ Washburn, WI: 0.09″ Ashland, WI: 0.04″ Minong, WI: 0.02″