Trending warmer; storms arrive again Saturday

After a spell of cool-ish,  early autumn-like weather, we begin a moderation in temperatures today and the winds will be down.

The high temperature in St. Cloud on Wednesday was 66 degrees, more typical of late September.

High temperatures this afternoon are still expected to remain below normal. The normal maximum and minimum in Minneapolis-St. Paul for today are 80 and 62.

Note the highs only in the lower 60s in northern Wisconsin today.

High pressure moves over the region today and tonight, and a push of warmer air arrives Friday to close out the work week.

mpxfritemp

We launch into the weekend with a southerly breeze kicking in and setting the stage for showers and thunderstorms through Saturday.

Northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota have been missing out on the rain this month and could use a bout of showers.  Thunderstorms are expected to develop in eastern North Dakota on Saturday and then track east.

Potential rainfall for Saturday and Saturday evening. Image: NOAA Weather Prediction Center

In the month of August so far, Grand Forks, N.D., has tallied only 0.02 inches of rainfall.  Meanwhile, Duluth has accumulated 3.31 inches of precipitation, after a couple of  rounds of showers Tuesday and Wednesday.

Image:Midwest Regional Climate Center

The rain gauge in Eau Claire, Wis., has collected nearly 7 inches (6.85) of rain so far this month.

Rainfall has been generous for parts of Minnesota during the growing season.  Here’s an observation provided Wednesday by the University of Minnesota Agricultural Research Center in Waseca.

Rainfall has been abundant this season and we have already received more rain (24.26 inches) than our normal (21.46 inches) for the entire growing season of May through September. This so far has been our 7th wettest growing season.

After the showers exit Minnesota Saturday night, another shot of chilly air arrives on brisk northwest winds Sunday.

Forecast highs for Sunday.

One of the big weather stories continues to be the high fire danger out west.  Yesterday, three grassland firefighters lost their lives when the wind abruptly changed directions.

Here’s a look at the satellite imagery (click on image) showing the plumes of smoke from the fires in Washington state.

Image: NOAA and College of Dupage

Enjoy the sunshine today.  Good day to cut the grass!