Weather conditions combined to drive aggressive to extreme fire behavior on the wildfires in northeast Minnesota Monday.
Winds gusted to over 30 mph in Ely and through the fire zone, and relative humidity around 26 percent to 28 percent in the dry air mass fueled aggressive fire growth.
NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite images clearly captured the exploding smoke plumes over northeast Minnesota from the Greenwood Fire and the John Ek Fire which flared up to the northeast.
The smoke plume fanned out across the North Shore where it darkened the sky around Tofte, Schroeder, and Lutsen.
Wind shift Tuesday
Thankfully Monday’s west winds will diminish Monday night. Winds will then shift and blow lightly from the southeast around 5 to 10 mph Tuesday. Winds will not be as strong as Monday, but a shift in wind direction brings yet another challenge to firefighters.
Light rain is possible Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night in the fire zone. Lighter winds and higher humidity should ease fire behavior significantly Tuesday.
Rainfall totals will generally be less than .50” across northeast Minnesota Tuesday night. Higher rainfall totals over an inch are possible across parts of central and southern Minnesota Tuesday.
Thursday and Friday bring a chance for more significant rainfall to the fire zones in northeast Minnesota.
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