A refreshing change

How about that cold front that swept through Friday morning?  It passed my house around 8 a.m., clearly marked by the wind switching from the southwest to the west-northwest and bringing in a falling dewpoint.  The Canadian air meant that temperatures Friday afternoon rose into the 70s and 80s instead of the 80s and 90s.  Dewpoints in the 50s this afternoon and evening are a treat.

These pleasant temperatures will hang around for the weekend.

Cooler temperatures today will hang on through the weekend with a chance of thunderstorms by Sunday. Source:NWS Chanhassen

Visible satellite images this afternoon have been showing a lot of fair weather cumulus clouds over Minnesota, as well as showers southeast of International Falls heading for Ely and the eastern Iron Range and a few thunderstorms in North Dakota.  A few thunderstorms are heading into northwestern Minnesota around Morehead and could head toward central Minnesota and the Brainerd Lakes area tonight before dissipating.

Thunderstorms in eastern North Dakota are headed southeast. Source:NOAA/Aviation Weather Center.

Areas that have clear skies Friday and Saturday nights, especially in northern Minnesota, have the possibility of seeing northern lights.  Recent nights have been quiet as far as auroras, but a recent coronal mass ejection from the sun combined with  a freshening solar wind might kick of some auroras after dark as the energy interacts with Earth’s magnetic field.

A huge coronal hole in the sun’s upper atmosphere has allowed solar wind to escape. Credit:NOAA/Solar Dynamics Observatory.

As far as our weekend outlook is concerned, there is a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in about the southwest quarter of Minnesota on Saturday.  Atmospheric reinforcements will mean bring an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms to mainly central and southern Minnesota Saturday night and Sunday.  As of this time the threat of severe weather those days is low.

NAM model forecast 3-hour rainfall ending at 10 a.m. Sunday. Source:NWS/College of DuPage.

A little rain would be welcome for most of us.  The recent hot, breezy weather has really dried out a lot of the vegetation.  At the MSP airport, measurable rain has fallen on just three days this month, and most of that fell in the flooding storm on July 13.

Look for high temperatures on Saturday and Sunday ranging from the upper 60s in northeastern Minnesota to the low 80s in the south.  Most of us will enjoy pleasant 70s.