Smoke from Canadian fires blankets MN; heat and humidity return; Weekend thunder threat

Smoky Skies

Our normally deep blue July sky is a whiter shade of pale these days.

Smoky skies cast a whitish tint over Minneapolis. Image: MNDOT

Smoke from numerous Canadian wildfires has drifted over Minnesota. Here’s NOAA’s smoke mapper which show the plume thickness over Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Image: NOAA

Numerous fires are burning across Canada west of Hudson Bay.

Multiple smoke producing fires across Canada. Image: natural Resources Canada

One large fire is cranking out an impressive smoke plume east of Lake Winnipeg and north of Lake Of The Woods and the Minnesota border. Here’s the GOES 1km shot Thursday PM.

Image: NOAA/College of Dupage

The smoke is affecting air quality in Minnesota. MPCA measuring elevated “fine particulates” (ie smoke particles) and is monitoring, but smoke levels have not reached advisory criteria yet. Most of Minnesota is in the “moderate” (yellow) category.

Image: MPCA

Smoke from below…and above

Here’s another perspective from NASA’s MODIS Terra high res satellite shot. Note the smoke plumes over Lake Superior.

Image: NASA via UW Madison

 Good News? Southerly winds may improve air quality Friday

A shift in wind direction to the south will likely push some of the smoke back into Canada Friday. Here’s the NAM model surface map showing gusty south winds…which will also bring back a warmer & more humid air mass into Minnesota.

Image: NOAA

On the edge of rain & thunder

A slow moving front will stall in the Dakotas this weekend. That means scattered thunderstorms return…with the focus for storms favoring west central and northern Minnesota. Storms may dump 1″ to 2″ rainfall totals up north this weekend.

Image: Twin Cities NWS

The Twin Cities rides  the southern edge of the thunder threat this weekend. The best chance for storms in the metro appears to be late Friday night & early Saturday AM…then again Saturday night…but the better chances for storms will be to the north and west.

512 hot htermo

Heat builds next week

A nudge in the jet stream north next week should allow a dome of heat to edge into Minnesota. Look for more humidity…and highs in the upper 80s and low 90s into next week. The Euro model is cranking out the potential for mid-90s next week.

Image: Norwegian Met Institute

Where’s the beach?

Stay cool!

Paul Huttner