Sunday evening lunar eclipse; Monday looks nice, then rain chances return

Update on flood warnings in parts of Minnesota

Blossoms in St. Paul May 15, 2022
Ron Trenda/MPR News

It was a beautiful weekend, and you can top it off by viewing a lunar eclipse.

A total lunar eclipse will happen Sunday evening, with the full moon passing through the earth’s shadow.

Depiction of total lunar eclipse

Times on the eclipse image above are in Universal time; subtract 5 hours to get Central Daylight Time. For example: 03:29 a.m. Monday Universal time is 10:29 p.m. Sunday Central Daylight Time.

According to NASA, this is why the moon will look coppery-red during the total eclipse phase:

The Moon moves into the inner part of Earth’s shadow, or the umbra. Some of the sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere reaches the Moon’s surface, lighting it dimly. Colors with shorter wavelengths ― the blues and violets ― scatter more easily than colors with longer wavelengths, like red and orange. Because these longer wavelengths make it through Earth’s atmosphere, and the shorter wavelengths have scattered away, the Moon appears orangish or reddish during a lunar eclipse. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon appears.

According to the timing of the lunar eclipse looks like this in Minneapolis:

9:27 p.m. partial eclipse begins.

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10:29 p.m. total eclipse begins (moon is coppery red)

11:53 p.m. total eclipse ends.

12:55 a.m. partial eclipse ends.

Times will be slightly different in other parts of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The linked location also has an excellent animation of how the eclipse will progress.

NASA also has several excellent eclipse animations. You can select Central Daylight Time or just subtract 5 hours from each image at the NASA site that uses Universal Time.

If you miss Sunday’s lunar eclipse, when is the next one?

According to, the next total lunar eclipse visible in the Twin Cities is Nov. 7 into Nov. 8. After that date, the next total lunar eclipse visible here is in March of 2025.

Temperature trends

Our Sunday high temp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 75 degrees; that’s 6 degrees warmer than our average May 15 high in the Twin Cities.

Monday highs in the metro area and southern Minnesota will reach the lower 70s, with 60s in central Minnesota and 50s to the north:

highs MON
Forecast high temperatures Monday
National Weather Service

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the upper 60s on Tuesday, followed by lower 70s Wednesday, then upper 70s Thursday and mid 60s on Friday.

Rain chances

A few spotty sprinkles are possible in Minnesota and western Wisconsin early Sunday evening. Monday looks dry in most areas. Shower and thunderstorm chances return to the southern half of Minnesota on Tuesday. A batch of strong to severe thunderstorms could arrive on Thursday and linger into Thursday night.

You can hear updated weather information for Minnesota and western Wisconsin on the Minnesota Public Radio News network, and you can see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Flooding update

Flood warnings (shaded green) continue in portions of northeastern Minnesota and a small part of north-central Minnesota:

Flood warnings are shaded green
National Weather Service

Snowmelt plus generous rains the past couple of weeks are causing very high river and stream levels in some areas and lake levels are also high in many locations.  According to the NWS, the Pigeon River near Grand Portage exceeded its record water level a few days ago.

This video was posted Sunday by MPR’s Andrew Krueger:

The Cascade River (about midway between Lutsen and Grand Marais, Minn.) is still very high, this video is from Saturday:

The Rainy River and Rainy Lake Basin have very high water levels:

Update on Rainy Lake/Rainy River Basin flooding
National Weather Service

Updates on the flooding in portions of northeastern and north-central Minnesota can be found at the NWS Duluth site.

Flood warnings continue along the Red River in northwestern Minnesota and in several additional locations:

Flood warnings are shaded green
National Weather Service

Updates on the flooding in portions of northwestern Minnesota can be found by clicking on any location on the NWS Grand Forks site.

Several small areas in the remainder of Minnesota have flood warnings:

Flood warnings are shaded green
Ron Trenda/MPR News

Updates on the flooding warnings can be found by clicking on any location on the NWS Twin Cities site.

Hydrographs of river levels

Map of river stages on May 15
NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

NOAA’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service site shows river gauges across our region. You can click on any gauge at that site to get recent and current river levels plus the forecast levels over the next few days.

Here’s the hydrograph for the Minnesota River at Montevideo, Minnesota, which is now at moderate flood stage and is expected to reach major flood stage by Monday evening:

Minnesota River at Montevideo
NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

The Mississippi River at St. Paul is expected to approach minor flood stage on Saturday:

Mississippi River at St. Paul
NOAA/NWS/U.S. Geological Survey

River level forecasts are updated by NWS hydrologists.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on MPR News at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:39 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.