Higher humidity and rainfall likely in BWCA fire zone

Showers increase in the BWCA Wednesday night into Thursday

Duluth NWS forecast
Duluth NWS forecast
Duluth National Weather Service

They’re hoping for rain in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) fire zone burning northwest of Ely. The weather maps look favorable.

A moist southerly flow is pushing dew points higher. Dew points are already in the mid-50s in the Ely area.

Weather conditions at Ely Wednesday afternoon
Weather conditions at Ely Wednesday afternoon
NOAA

Rain coverage increases

At least two waves of showers and thunderstorms are likely to move across the BWCA region overnight Wednesday into Thursday. NOAA’s North American Mesoscale Forecast System (NAM) model paints the precipitation zones moving north.

NOAA NAM 3 km model rainfall zones between 3 am and noon Thursday
NOAA NAM 3 km model rainfall zones between 3 a.m. and noon Thursday
NOAA

Rainfall totals typically show local variability during warm season rain events, so it’s tough to say how much rain will fall in the relatively small fire zone. But forecast model overall rainfall totals across northeast Minnesota and the BWCA suggest anywhere from .3 to .8 inches in many areas.

NOAA GFS precipitation output into Friday morning
NOAA GFS precipitation output into Friday AM
NOAA via pivotal weather

The rainfall forecast favors fire suppression, but additional lightning strikes and fire starts are always a concern.

Warmer and drier weather is likely Friday, but dew points should remain high. Dew points should be in the 60s Saturday across northeast Minnesota.

NOAA GFS model Dew point forecast for 7 pm Saturday
NOAA GFS model dew point forecast for 7 pm Saturday
NOAA via tropical tidbits

There is another chance for rain in the BWCA region Sunday and Monday.

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