A dry Saturday; rain chance holds off until late Sunday in the metro area

Rain chance begins Sunday morning in western Minnesota

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This has been a nice stretch of weather for Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Rain chances in the metro area hold off until late Sunday, but western Minnesota could see some showers as early as Sunday morning.

Temperature trends

Most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin will see highs in the 70s Saturday afternoon, with a few lower 80s possible in far northwestern Minnesota. A few spots up along the North Shore of Lake Superior could peak in the upper 60s. Most of the Twin Cities metro area will top out in the upper 70s. Our average metro area high for Aug. 24 is 79 degrees.

Sunday highs will be mainly in the 70s:

Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the mid 70s Monday, followed by lower 70s Tuesday and Wednesday and mid 70s Thursday and Friday.

Rain chances

Here’s the latest thinking on rain chances:

  • Saturday should remain dry

  • Parts of western Minnesota could see scattered showers and a thunderstorm as early as Sunday morning. The chance of scattered showers and a thunderstorm expands to include portions of north-central and central Minnesota as we go through Sunday afternoon. The metro area should stay dry through Sunday afternoon.

  • Most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin will have a chance of scattered showers/thunderstorms Sunday evening and overnight Sunday night.

  • Off and on showers are likely in Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Monday, and there could be a few embedded thunderstorms.

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

NOAA NAM simulated radar Sunday morning through Monday morning

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

State Fair rainfall history

On Thursday, I told you about the temperature extremes that we have seen at the Minnesota State Fair over the years. Let’s look at rainfall.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office has compiled detailed info about our official Twin Cities temps and rainfall during past Minnesota State Fairs. Here are some State Fair rainfall highlights, from the Climatology Office:

On average it rains about three to four days during the Fair's 12-day run. The wettest Fair was in 1977 with 9.48 inches, and the driest Fair was 2003 with only .02 inch of rain.

The largest rain event in the State Fair's history was August 30, 1977. At 8:20pm heavy rains hit the State Fairgrounds. The U of M St. Paul Campus climate observatory one mile north of the Fairgrounds reported 4.06 inches of rain. This caused some of the worst street flooding seen at the Fairgrounds. The bulk of the rain fell in a 3 1/2 hour period from 8:15pm to 11:45pm. The grandstand show was cancelled, and people had great difficulty trying to leave the Fair. The Twin Cities International Airport saw 7.28 inches from this event, second all-time only to the July 1987 "Superstorm" total of 10.00 inches. People driving on I-94 leaving the Fair found water "up to their hood ornaments" in low areas under bridges.

We have yet to see any rain at the Minnesota State Fair this year.

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.