100 percent sunshine; cooler by the lake

This is one of those days where we’ll see near total sunshine across most of Minnesota. Cloud watching today? You might as well watch paint dry.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES visible satellite searches in vain for clouds across Minnesota today. A few wisps of smoke from the still active Canadian fires decorate the Dakotas.

NOAA, via College of DuPage

The combination of high pressure, sinking air and desert dry dew points in the 30s means few clouds today across Minnesota. Stalled high pressure over the Great Lakes continues to dominate our weather forecast this week. The Northwest and South continue to run wet.

NOAA

Your local bank thermometer flashes 70 degrees this afternoon.

NOAA

Temperatures gradually warm into the upper 70s by this weekend. This may be one of the nicest weekends of the year across the Upper Midwest. Watch the pulses of warmer air begin to push toward Minnesota this week on NOAA’s North American Mesoscale Forecast System model temperature animation.

NOAA NAM model, via College of DuPage

Monday rain?

The next chance for significant rainfall, any rainfall rolls in next Monday. Perfect timing after a perfect week of weather?

Global Forecast System model depicts rain next Monday. NOAA, via College of DuPage

The longer range outlooks continue to show a mixed bag of sun and rain for Memorial Day weekend.

NOAA GFS, via IPS Meteostar

Cooler by the lake

This is the time of year when lake breezes kick in near Lake Superior and even some of the larger inland lakes in Minnesota.

NASA’s 250-meter resolution MODIA Terra satellite shot from Tuesday afternoon is a clear example of the cooler air over Lake Superior pushing inland over norther Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The cooler more stable air mass suppresses any cumulus clouds that form from rising thermals further inland. The leading edge of that zone is called the “Lake Breeze front” and can trigger thunderstorms in summer.

NASA MODIS, via University of Wisconsin Madison

Canadian fires near Fort McMurray, Alberta, continue to burn.

A diffuse but widespread veil of smoke remains over Canada,  Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

NOAA

Meet a new twitter hero. This guy, firefighter Darby Allen has won the hearts of many in Canada with his gentle and caring approach to keeping residents informed during the blazes.