Heat, humidity will drive holiday weekend weather

Scattered storms are possible Saturday and Sunday

Thursday’s forecast

Widespread fog lifted quickly Thursday morning, replaced with statewide sunshine. Highs will be right around 90 degrees for most of the state, but high humidity will make it feel warmer, especially in southern Minnesota.

Here is what temperatures are expected to feel like Thursday afternoon with the heat index factored in: 

weather graphic
Heat index forecast Thursday afternoon
National Weather Service

Because of heat index values expected to be 95 degrees or higher, the Twin Cities area is under a heat advisory from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

weather graphic
Heat advisory 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
National Weather Service

Light winds mean not even much of a breeze to give us a break from the heat.

July Fourth weekend

Because of high humidity and light winds again overnight, Friday likely starts off with areas of fog once again. 

weather graphic
Fog forecast Friday morning
National Weather Service

Temperatures through next week and possibly into mid-July remain above average, with highs in the 80s and 90s and lows mostly in the 60s and 70s. 

Humidity also stays high, which means more heat advisories are likely to be issues for heat indices near 100 degrees at times. 

Any rain chances Friday would be very spotty. Saturday and Sunday bring more scattered chances for showers and storms, especially for northern Minnesota Saturday and statewide Sunday.

weather graphic
Precipitation forecast overnight Saturday
National Weather Service

Expanding drought

Recent heavy rains were beneficial for many parts of the state that were seeing dry conditions, especially in central Minnesota. 

In the U.S Drought Monitor just issued Thursday morning, you can see a reduction of both abnormally dry areas in central Minnesota and of moderate drought in west-central Minnesota. 

However, the amount of the state considered dry did not change much, reducing only from 47 percent to 45 percent, because of worsening conditions in northeastern Minnesota. 

weather graphic
Current drought conditions compared to last week
U.S. Drought Monitor

The heavy rains earlier in the week missed that corner of the state, and drought areas have expanded significantly.

For example, Cook County (the county farthest to the northeast) went from no drought conditions last week, to most of the county now in moderate drought. Drought also expanded around the Duluth area. 

So, despite the improvements in central Minnesota, the percentage of the state in moderate drought increased over the past week, from 17 percent to a current 19 percent.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:48 a.m. Monday through Friday morning.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.