Feels like summer Thursday; cooler Friday, rainy this weekend

Thunderstorms rumbled through central and southern Minnesota early Thursday morning, waking many of us up.

The bulk of Thursday will be rain-free, with summery temps.  Savor the warmth, because it’ll fade by Friday.

Temperature trends 

Thursday afternoon highs will range from the 50s in far northwestern Minnesota to the lower 80s in the far southeast.  Many spots in the Twin Cities metro area will top out around 80.

Our average high temp is 69 degrees this time of year in the metro area.  The last time that it hit 80 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was September 17.

Highs in the 60s will be widespread on Friday:

Highs retreat a bit more on Saturday, with a lot of 50s:

Some 60s and a shot at 70 will cluster near the Iowa border Saturday afternoon, with highs in the 40s in northeastern Minnesota. There will also be a lot of highs in the 50s on Sunday, with 40s in northeastern Minnesota.

Rain chances

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible in roughly the southern third of Minnesota late Thursday night and on Friday. Periods of rain with embedded thunderstorms are expected across much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin Friday night through Saturday and Sunday.

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

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Thursday night though Friday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service has placed southwestern and south-central Minnesota in a slight risk of severe weather Friday and Friday night. Here’s a severe weather summary from the Twin Cities NWS office:

NWS Twin Cities

Slight risk means that scattered severe thunderstorms are possible:

NWS Storm Prediction Center

An isolated severe thunderstorm is possible Friday afternoon, Friday night and Saturday in the marginal risk area, which includes the Twin Cities.

Soaking rains

Scattered showers and thunderstorms Thursday night and Friday, followed by periods of rain/embedded thunderstorms this weekend, could bring rain totals of 2 inches to 3-plus inches to much of southern and central Minnesota plus western Wisconsin.

There could be some areas of flooding this weekend, so watch and listen to forecast updates, especially in flood-prone area.

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.