Your friends that are spending Saturday in northern Minnesota made a wise choice.
We’ll see rain at times this Saturday and Saturday evening in central and southern Minnesota plus western Wisconsin. There could be a thunderstorm too. The northern third of Minnesota will have a dry day, although parts of northwestern and north-central Minnesota could see scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday evening.
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible overnight Saturday night in far northern Minnesota, and a few of those could linger into early Sunday up there.
You can see the recent local NWS radar loop here. The recent radar loop for southwestern Minnesota can be found here, and the southeastern Minnesota loop here. The northeastern Minnesota radar loop and the northwestern Minnesota radar loop are also available.
Saturday highs will range from the lower 80s in northwestern Minnesota to the lower 70s in the south. Sunday highs will reach the 70s north and lower 80s in parts of the south:
Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to be in the mid 70s Monday and Tuesday, followed by upper 70s Wednesday. Highs rebound to the lower 80s next Thursday and Friday.
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center shows a tendency toward warmer than normal temperatures in Minnesota and Wisconsin from the end of next week through next weekend:
Monday rain potential
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible on Monday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Monday and Monday evening:
Duluth radar repair
The Duluth NWS office has announced that the Duluth NWS radar will be undergoing several days of upgrade work, beginning around August 19:
Beginning on or around August 19, 2019, the KDLH WSR-88D operated by the National Weather Service in Duluth, Minnesota will be down for approximately 10 to 12 days for an important hardware upgrade. KDLH is expected to return to full operational service sometime around August 31, 2019. Technicians will refurbish and replace the radar pedestal, which is one of the most critical components of the radar necessary for antenna rotation and elevation positioning to capture accurate weather data in all directions from the radar site. The components are extremely heavy and will require removal of the protective radome by crane, replacement of the radar pedestal assembly, and finally, reinstalling the dome when the work is completed.
The KDLH radar and pedestal were designed to last 25 years when installed in the mid-1990s, and as of 2019 the KDLH radar pedestal has exceeded its original life expectancy. The pedestal replacement is necessary to keep the KDLH radar functioning well into the 2030s.
The pedestal refurbishment is the third major phase of the WSR-88D Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), a series of upgrades that will keep all of our nation’s weather radars viable into the 2030s. The National Weather Service, the United States Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration are investing $150 million in the 8-year program. The first phase of the SLEP was the installation of the new signal processor, and the second phase was the refurbishment of the transmitter unit - both of these upgrades have already been successfully completed on the Duluth, Minnesota radar. The fourth phase will be the refurbishment of the equipment shelters, and this should be completed by 2023.
During the radar downtime, data from adjacent WSR-88D radars will be available, including: Grand Forks, ND (KMVX), Twin Cities/Chanhassen, MN (KMPX), La Crosse, WI (KARX), Green Bay, WI (KGRB), and Marquette, MI (KMQT). For direct access to any of these surrounding radar sites, please visit the following web page: https://radar.weather.gov/ -or- any number of websites and mobile/tablet apps where WSR-88D weather radar data is freely available in real time.
The KDLH WSR-88D is part of a network of 159 operational weather radars. The Radar Operations Center in Norman, Oklahoma provides lifecycle management and support this entire network of WSR-88Ds.
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.