Minnesotans will enjoy plenty of sunshine and agreeable temperatures this Earth Day.

This day of focus on environmental issues first took place on April 22, 1970.

NASA

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s post about the origin of Earth Day:

On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River on the southern shores of Lake Erie caught on fire as chemicals, oil, and other industrial materials that had oozed into the river somehow ignited. Just a few months before, on January 28, 1969, an oil rig leaked millions of gallons of oil off the coast of Santa Barbara. That same year, reports surfaced that our national symbol, the bald eagle, was rapidly declining as a species due to the chemical DDT, while around the world, whales were being hunted nearly to extinction. These and other incidents caught the attention of the national media and galvanized public awareness of the many environmental insults being hurled at the nation and the planet.

In response to the public outcry, Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson, who served as the Governor of Wisconsin (1958-1962) and in the U.S. Senate (1963-1981), organized a nationwide “teach-in” about environmental issues to take place on April 22, 1970. More than 2,000 colleges and universities, 10,000 public schools, and 20 million citizens participated—nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population at that time.

This outpouring of grassroots environmental activism marked the first Earth Day—a recognition of the importance of caring for the environment and accepting stewardship responsibility for the nation’s resources. It also helped establish a political climate conducive to forming both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on October 3, 1970.

The Earth Day Network is a good source of information about worldwide Earth Day activities

Water is a key part of environmental quality. Minnesota Public Radio is focusing on water resources this entire month, with a series of special programs and activities designed to raise public awareness of water resources.

Temperature trends

Most of Minnesota will see Sunday afternoon high temps in the 60s.

Parts of southwestern and south-central Minnesota that have plenty of snow cover will top out in the 50s.

Monday will be the warmest day of the coming week, with 60s in most areas and some spots reaching the upper 60s:

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to reach the upper 60s on Monday, and a few spots in the metro could touch 70.

Metro area highs are expected to be in the upper 50s to around 60 Tuesday through Thursday, followed by mid 50s on Friday.

Highs next weekend are expected to be in the 60s.

That’s not a bad stretch of weather for April!

Fire danger up north

Low relative humidity and gusty winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue Red Flag warnings in parts of northwestern and north-central Minnesota from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Sunday:

NWS

Details of the red flag warnings:

URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
555 AM CDT Sun Apr 22 2018

MNZ005-006-230000-
/O.UPG.KFGF.FW.A.0001.180422T1500Z-180423T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KFGF.FW.W.0001.180422T1500Z-180423T0000Z/
Roseau-Lake Of The Woods-
555 AM CDT Sun Apr 22 2018

…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 PM CDT
THIS EVENING FOR DRY FUELS STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES FOR
PORTIONS OF NORTHWESTERN MINNESOTA…

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks has issued a Red Flag
Warning for dry fuels, strong winds, and low humidities, which is
in effect from 10 AM this morning to 7 PM CDT this evening. The
Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* AFFECTED AREA…In Minnesota…Fire Weather Zones 005 and 006.

* WINDS…Southwest 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* TIMING…Sunday morning through Sunday evening.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…As low as 19 percent.

* TEMPERATURES…In the upper 50s.

* IMPACTS…Any fires that develop may spread quickly.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of
strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can
contribute to extreme fire behavior.

 

URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Duluth MN
610 AM CDT Sun Apr 22 2018

…CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH
CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

.Critical fire weather conditions will develop across parts of
north-central Minnesota on Sunday as southwest winds develop ahead
of a very weak cool front. Ahead of the front, very low humidity
and wind gusts to 25 mph will create critical fire weather
conditions.

MNZ010-018-230000-
/O.UPG.KDLH.FW.A.0001.180422T1500Z-180423T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KDLH.FW.W.0001.180422T1500Z-180423T0000Z/
Koochiching-North Itasca-
610 AM CDT Sun Apr 22 2018

…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 PM CDT
THIS EVENING FOR WIND AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR KOOCHICHING AND NORTH
ITASCA COUNTIES…

The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued a Red Flag
Warning for wind and low humidity, which is in effect from 10 AM
this morning to 7 PM CDT this evening. The Fire Weather Watch is
no longer in effect.

* Affected Area…In Minnesota, Koochiching and North Itasca.

* Winds…Southwest 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.

* Relative Humidity…As low as 12 percent.

* Temperatures…Middle to upper 60s.

* Impacts…Any fires that develop may spread quickly.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions
are expected. A combination of strong winds, low relative
humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire
behavior.

Rain opportunities

Scattered showers are possible in Minnesota on Tuesday and Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern from Tuesday through Thursday:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Tuesday through Thursday, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the precipitation rate (mm per hour), not to the total amount of rain.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.