Warm through Saturday, then a Sunday rain chance; air quality alert for the north

Our Twin Cities metro area high temps have been eerily consistent lately!

Over the past nine days, the highs at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have all been between 88 degrees and 92 degrees:

NWS data for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Our Friday afternoon high temp is likely to be in that range as well.

Temperature trends

Minnesota high are expected to be mainly in the 80s this Friday afternoon, but some spots in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area could touch 90 degrees.

Highs in the 80s are on tap for Saturday:

Cooler 70s are expected Sunday afternoon in about the northwestern half of Minnesota, with 80s in the southeastern half:

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the mid 70s Monday, with upper 70s Tuesday and lower 80s Wednesday and Thursday.

Rain chances

Northeastern Minnesota could see an isolated shower this Friday afternoon.

Saturday and Saturday night look dry in most areas.

On Sunday, western Minnesota has a chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. That rain chance expands eastward by Sunday evening.

Most of Minnesota will probably see periods of rain and some embedded thunderstorms overnight Sunday night into Monday morning. Rain chances continue into Monday afternoon in eastern Minnesota.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Sunday through Monday:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Sunday morning through Monday evening, 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.

Air quality alert 

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, smoke from wildfires in Canada will lead to air quality levels in the northern half of Minnesota that are unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with asthma or COPD.

An air quality alert  continues until noon this Sunday for the northern half of Minnesota:

MPCA

Here are some of the air quality alert details that were posted by the MPCA Thursday afternoon:

A large area of Canadian wildfire smoke is moving into far northwest Minnesota and will move south and east covering much of the northern half of the state by early Friday morning. Air pollution monitors show a rapid rise in fine particles with values exceeding an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100 along with weather observations showing visibility dropping to 2-5 miles in this plume of smoke and expected to continue over northern Minnesota.

The smoke plume is from fires in British Columbia and Alberta and from wildfires north of Kenora in western Ontario. Periods of smoke are expected to remain in this area through Sunday morning. During this time, fine particle pollution is expected to remain at, or above, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

By Saturday afternoon winds will begin to decrease the transport of smoke into the affected region. The southern half of Minnesota will be monitored for an air quality alert Friday night into Saturday.

People whose health is affected by unhealthy air quality:  There are people who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level.

  • People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • People who have heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Children and older adults
  • People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors

Health effects: Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider.

Take precautions: Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy.

  • Take it easy and listen to your body.
  • Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity level.
  • If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.
  • If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
  • People with asthma should review and follow guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider if you don’t have an asthma action plan.

Pollution reduction tips: The main sources of fine particle pollution is any activity that uses fuel. Conserving energy and buying clean, renewable energy are great lifestyle choices to help reduce overall pollution.

  • Reduce vehicle trips.
  • Encourage use of public transport, or carpool, when possible.
  • Postpone use of gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment on air alert days. Use battery or manual equipment instead.
  • Avoid backyard fires.

For information on current air quality conditions in your area and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications by email, text message, phone, or the Minnesota Air mobile app visit MPCA’s Air Quality Index webpage. You can find additional information about health and indoor and outdoor air quality at the agency’s Air Quality and Health webpage.

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.