Update on Sunday thunder chances in Minnesota; State Fair weather history

Many parts of Minnesota are dry, but some rain is on the way.

  • Showers and thunderstorms are expected to increase in coverage this Sunday afternoon in parts of western Minnesota.  North-central Minnesota will see scattered showers and possibly an isolated thunderstorm.
  • The rain pattern expands eastward to include more of Minnesota Sunday evening and overnight Sunday night.
  • The Twin Cities metro area will have a chance of scattered showers and a thunderstorm Sunday evening, followed by some periods of rain (with a few embedded t-storms) overnight and into Monday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Sunday evening through Monday evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Sunday evening through Monday evening, via tropicaltidbits

It’ll probably rain in some areas that look dry in the NAM radar loop, but the loop depicts the general rain pattern.

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain.

Updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and updates are also posted on the MPR News live weather blog.

Temperature trends

Sunday afternoon highs are expected to reach the 70s in about the northwestern half of Minnesota, with 80s in the southeastern half. The Twin Cities metro area could reach the mid 80s.

70s will be common on Monday:

Parts of northeastern Minnesota could top out in the 60s Monday afternoon.

Metro area highs are projected to reach the mid 70s Monday, followed by upper 70s Tuesday and lower 80s Wednesday through Friday. Our average high temp is 80 degrees this time of year in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota State Fair weather

The Minnesota State Fair begins this Thursday.

It’s our annual twelve days of celebration as summer comes to an end.

Whenever we have an August cool stretch, we hear someone remind us that the State Fair and its warmth are still ahead.

So, does it always get hot for a few days during our Minnesota State Fair?

The Minnesota State Climatology Office has posted these State Fair weather details:

There can be some spells of hot weather during the Minnesota State Fair. The hottest day in the history of the Minnesota State Fair was on September 10, 1931 with 104 degrees. The hottest average temperature for the duration of any State Fair back to 1885 is also 1931 with 92.6 degrees. Note that the Minnesota State Fair in 1931 ran eight days from September 5-12. The 2013 Fair was the third warmest on record with 88.2 degrees and also had the most 90-degree high temperatures on record with six days. 2012 had the sixth warmest average maximum temperature with 87.1 degrees. The coolest Minnesota State Fair was during the six-day run of the Fair from September 5-10 1898 with an average maximum temperature of 64.2 degrees. The coldest maximum temperature for the Fair is 52 degrees on September 7, 1911, and the coldest minimum temperature is 33 degrees on September 13, 1890. The coolest Fair morning in recent years was a chilly 36 degrees on September 1, 1974. The last four State Fairs have seen an absence of hot weather. There wasn’t a 90 degree high temperature during the State Fair from 2014-2017. The last 90+ degree temperature was August 29, 2013. The 2018 Minnesota State Fair runs August 23-September 3.

It’s interesting that we haven’t seen an official Twin Cities high temp (as measured at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport) in the 90s during the past four Minnesota State Fairs.

Of course, it can seem hot when the high temp is only in the upper 80s if the air is humid.

Our 2018 Minnesota State Fair will probably start out with highs in the comfortable lower 80s.

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.