Gusty and dusty today, drought hangs on

Hair spray will be in demand today in Minnesota.

A gusty southeast wind will peak close to 30 mph in much of Minnesota today. Here’s a look at the forecast winds and gusts this afternoon.

Image: NOAA

The strongest gusts in excess of 30 mph will blow in a band from the Red River Valley to west of the Twin Cities metro.

Image: NOAA

The breeze is a mild one, as temps run a good 10 to as much as 15 degrees above average. The warmest band of air, the thermal ridge, will sit over the Twin Cities Friday afternoon. Note the colder air in the 50s pooling in North Dakota behind the front. That comes rushing in Saturday afternoon. It will be a chilly day in the 60s with showers for outdoor activities.

Image: NOAA

The jet stream moves closer to Minnesota over the next week. That means occasional cooler air invasions from Canada.

Saturday looks increasingly chilly with a raw northwest wind by afternoon. Sunday is the sunnier nicer day this weekend. We warm up to the 70s again next week, but cooler temps may return as we approach next weekend.

Image: Euro data via Weatherspark

Drought hangs on

Today’s updated U.S. Drought Monitor is in. The crescent of severe drought hangs on from near Willmar to St. Cloud to the north and eastern metro.

Image: U.S. Drought Monitor

It will take anywhere from 2 to 5 inches to end the drought in Minnesota. This weekend’s rains look most productive in the northwest part of the state.

Image: NOAA Weather Prediction Center

The Twin Cities looks on line for just .25 to .50 inches Saturday. Fingers crossed for higher totals.