A cold front moving across the state brings southern Minnesota another chance for showers and storms, some of which could be severe. Meanwhile, western and northern portions of the state have been so dry, there are now drought conditions.
The new U.S. Drought Monitor came out Thursday morning, and dry conditions have worsened for a couple portions of the state.
Compared to last week’s report, the “abnormally dry” areas are essentially the same at 56 percent of the state, with only southeastern Minnesota showing improvement and no longer having any widespread areas considered dry.
But, for the first time this year, parts of the state are in a “moderate drought.”
The drought areas currently cover 18 percent of the state, centered around north-central and west-central Minnesota.
A cold front that has been making its way through northern and western Minnesota will slowly push through the rest of the state Thursday.
It already brought a few showers and storms to northern and central Minnesota earlier Thursday morning.
As the front makes its way south, it is likely to bring scattered showers and storms across southern Minnesota Thursday afternoon and evening, and that includes a slight severe weather risk for southwestern Minnesota.
Although the front is bringing slightly cooler air, highs will stay above average in the 70s and 80s.
Despite some rain Thursday morning, conditions in northern Minnesota will be dry and breezy by afternoon, elevating the fire concern in northeastern Minnesota.
Friday will be drier and slightly cooler behind Thursday’s cold front, with temperatures ranging from the upper 60s in northern Minnesota to the lower 80s south.
Overall, temperatures stay slightly above average and in the 70s and 80s through Tuesday, with a few 90s possible, especially Monday. By the middle of next week, we’re likely to return closer to average highs in the 60s and 70s.
Another storm is likely to bring showers and storms across Minnesota from Saturday afternoon into Sunday.
That system may have the potential to bring portions of northern Minnesota a half inch or more of needed rain. However, it could also bring a severe weather risk. Currently, it looks like northwestern Minnesota has the best chance for strong storms, especially Sunday.
We will keep you updated on that potential as we get closer to the weekend.
You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:48 a.m. Monday through Friday morning.