Better than average Memorial Day weekend?

A warmer weekend with a mix of sun and a few thunderstorms possible.

601 summer
Early summer sky over lake Minnetonka.
Paul Huttner | MPR News.

Many Minnesotans consider the Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of summer in Minnesota. And it looks like the weather maps may just agree this year.

Warmer temperatures and the seemingly mandatory occasional thunderstorm are on the weather menu for the first of the big three warm-season holiday weekends.

I’ve detailed our Wednesday rain system in my previous updraft post today. So let’s skip ahead toward the weekend.

A few clouds will linger Thursday, but Friday looks glorious across Minnesota. Mostly sunny skies and a milder air mass will push high temperatures well into the 70s across most of Minnesota Friday afternoon. If you can get an early start on your weekend, Friday looks like one of the 10 best weather days of the year in Minnesota.

Forecast high temperatures Friday
Forecast high temperatures Friday.
NOAA

High temperatures this weekend will approach 80 degrees across southern Minnesota, with mostly 70s up north. It’s going to feel like early summer this weekend.

Forecast high temperatures Sunday
Forecast high temperatures Sunday.
NOAA

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Spotty rain chances

The vast majority of hours will be dry this weekend. But there are signs of a few isolated showers and thunderstorms. Forecast models differ on coverage and timing this far out. But a couple of hours of scattered thunderstorms are possible from Saturday into Monday.

Don’t take this model literally this far out, but NOAA’s GFS model gives you the sense of a couple of passing thunder waves this weekend.

NOAA GFS model Saturday
NOAA GFS model Saturday and Sunday.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

If you’re camping or going out on the lake, keep an eye out for possible development this weekend.

Overall the early forecast read suggests this will be a better than average Memorial Day weekend across Minnesota.