Warmth and areas of smoke linger; meteor shower details

The official high temp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 88 degrees Saturday afternoon, but Blaine in Anoka county came in with a high of 90 degrees.

Our Sunday will be a tad warmer than Saturday, and dew point temps will be a bit higher.

Temperature trends 

Sunday afternoon highs are expected to reach the low to mid 90s in northwestern Minnesota, with upper 80s to around 90 elsewhere in our favorite state:

Some low to mid 80s are possible near Lake Superior.

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to be around 91 degrees on Sunday and Monday, followed by mid 80s Tuesday and around 80 Wednesday. High temps rebound to the lower 80s Thursday and mid 80s on Friday.

Air quality alert

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control agency, smoke from wildfires in western Canada is causing air quality levels in Minnesota that are unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with asthma or COPD.

An air quality alert continues through this Saturday night and Sunday morning for all of Minnesota:

MPCA

Details of the air quality alert were posted Friday by the MPCA:

Smoke from wildfires in western Canada will continue to affect Minnesota Friday afternoon and evening. Air Quality Indices (AQIs) in the orange category will spread eastward across northern Minnesota Friday evening, making air quality unhealthy for sensitive groups. AQIs will also be orange across far western Minnesota Friday evening as smoke continues to sit over that region.

Meanwhile a thick blanket of smoke is expected to arrive in the upper-levels of the atmosphere this afternoon and evening across southern parts of the state. However, smoke is not expected to impact air quality from St Cloud, to the Twin Cities and Rochester until midday Saturday. Periods of smoke and orange AQIs will linger over the state Saturday night before a south wind brings in cleaner air by Sunday afternoon.

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.

Perseid meteor shower

We’ll have an opportunity to see the Perseid meteor shower this Saturday night and Sunday night.

Sky & Telescope describes this annual interaction between the Earth’s atmosphere and the path of the comet Swift-Tuttle:

When Earth crosses Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, bits of dust and rocks left behind by the comet hit the planet’s atmosphere, creating the light show we know as the Perseid meteor shower.

This is the prime weekend to view the Perseid meteor shower:

 The shower’s predicted peak falls on the evening of August 12th, soon after new Moon (9:58 UT August 11th). Weather and light pollution (and possibly mosquitoes) should be the only impediments to a good show. The best viewing will certainly be early on the mornings of August 12th and 13th, but don’t wait for the predicted peak to go outside.

You’ll want to look to the northeast:

Sky & Telescope

If smoke makes it hard to see the Perseid meteor shower this Saturday night, you might want to try again Sunday night.

Rain chances

Our next chance of rain in Minnesota will be late Monday night and Tuesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern late Monday night and Tuesday:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from late Monday night through Tuesday, via tropicaltidbits

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

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.