Temps rebound; smoke says aloft but will give us a colorful sunset

Windy on Sunday

It was nice to have brilliant blue skies on Friday, but upper-level winds have now shifted and smoke from western U.S. wildfires is returning:

Because the smoke is expected to remain aloft, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is forecasting good air quality across Minnesota this weekend. Updated MPCA air quality readings and forecasts can be found here. Our Saturday sunset and Sunday’s sunrise are expected to be reddish-orange due to the elevated smoke layer.

Weekend forecast details

Saturday highs are expected to be mainly in the 70s in western Minnesota, with a lot of upper 60s in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Some spots in the Twin Cities metro area could touch 70. It’ll be a bit breezy Saturday afternoon.

Sunday highs reach the 70s in many areas, with lower 80s possible in southwestern Minnesota:

Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin may top out in the upper 60s.

It’ll be windy on Sunday, with afternoon gusts in the 30-40 mph range across much of central and southern Minnesota:

Sunday 1 p.m. forecast wind gusts
National Weather Service

Plotted values are in knots, with 32 knots equal to around 37 mph. Parts of southwestern Minnesota may see gusts over 40 mph at times Sunday afternoon.

Shower chances late Sunday

Most of the weekend is expected to be dry. A few scattered showers may develop in parts of western Minnesota Sunday afternoon, then spread eastward Sunday evening and overnight Sunday night. Any shower in the Twin Cities metro area would probably hold off until after sunset on Sunday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale (NAM) forecast model model shows the potential rain pattern Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening:

Simulated radar Sunday afternoon and evening
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

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

The week ahead

The Twin Cities metro area may see scattered showers Monday morning. Much of the week will be dry, but the metro area could see scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm late Wednesday. Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the upper 70s Monday, followed by around 80 Tuesday and upper 70s Wednesday. Our high dips to the lower 70s on Thursday then rebounds to around 80 on Friday.

Fall colors

We’re seeing spotty fall color in the Twin Cities metro area, but our peak fall colors don’t typically arrive in the metro area until sometime in October.

Fall colors are really popping in parts of northern Minnesota. Here’s the latest fall color report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

Fall colors Saturday
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The areas shaded yellow are showing the most changeover to fall colors at this point. Keep in mind that all deciduous trees are included in the fall color report, not just maples.

Here are some fall color details for Savanna Portage State Park, which is a few miles northeast of McGregor, Minn.:

What you'll see
All colors of the rainbow are on display at the park!
Maples are bright RED.
Bigtooth aspens, maples, and oaks are ORANGE.
Aspens and birch are YELLOW.
Plenty of the deciduous trees, as well as, the coniferous trees are GREEN.
The many lakes and rivers in the park are BLUE.
And blooming asters are PURPLE.

More tips
Stop for a picnic at Loon Lake! Sit under tall white pines and look out at bright red maples across the lake.

The Wisconsin fall color report can be found here.

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.

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