Thursday evening severe weather risk; chance of rain this weekend

Minnesota's driest counties are getting some rain

It’s nice to see that rain is coming to some of the driest counties in Minnesota this Thursday and Thursday evening.

The drought map (as of Tuesday morning) from U. S. Drought Monitor showed 19.46% of Minnesota in moderate drought:

Minnesota drought status as of June 16, 2020
U.S. Drought Monitor/USDA/NOAA/University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The moderate drought area is the beige-colored stripe from west-central Minnesota into parts of the northeast. The yellow-shaded areas are abnormally dry, but not in drought.

Many spots in western and central Minnesota have already seen rain today, with more on the way for most locations. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale (NAM) forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening:

Simulated radar Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening
NOAA, via

Here’s the NWS forecast for rainfall this Thursday and Thursday evening:

Thursday/Thursday evening rain forecast
National Weather Service

There could also be some severe weather, especially late Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. The NWS Storm Prediction Center shows a slight risk of severe weather today and tonight for much of southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area. Here’s the Twin Cities NWS depiction of the risk:

Severe weather outlook Thursday afternoon through Thursday night
National Weather Service

Slight risk means that scattered severe thunderstorms are possible:

Severe weather risk categories
NWS Storm Prediction Center

Isolated severe storms are possible in the marginal risk area that’s shaded dark-green and labeled “1” on the NWS map.

The main window for severe weather in the Twin Cities metro area will be this evening, but an isolated strong to severe thunderstorm is also possible late this afternoon. Areas to the west may begin to see some strong or severe storms earlier than the metro area.

You can hear updated weather information on the MPR network, and you’ll see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

A look at the weekend

Our weekend weather will be a bit unsettled, with chances for rain. We’ll have many dry hours too.

NOAA’s Global Forecast System model shows this weekend rain pattern:

Simulated radar Saturday morning through Sunday evening
NOAA, via

We’ll update the weekend precipitation outlook tomorrow.

Our average Twin Cities high temp on June 20 is 80 degrees. We’ll have a high very close to 80 this Saturday:

Saturday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Central and northern Minnesota will top out in the 70s.

Sunday highs reach the 80s in central and southern Minnesota plus much of western Wisconsin:

Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Light to moderate winds are expected this weekend.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on MPR News at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.