Meaningful rainfall potential this weekend around Minnesota

Scattered rain and thunderstorms could add up in some locations

Twin Cities area forecast at a glance
Twin Cities area forecast at a glance
Twin Cities National Weather Service office

I can’t believe I’m actually typing the next sentence.

There’s rain in the forecast.

Dry skies persist for most of Minnesota through midweek. Thursday’s drought conditions update will likely show another week of deepening drought across Minnesota.

But several forecast models spin up a slowly moving low-pressure system across our region by next weekend. And the chances for occasional downpours that could drop meaningful rainfall totals are growing.

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It’s still too early in the forecast cycle to be precise about rainfall timing and totals. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model gives you the idea of roving bands of rain and thunder pinwheeling around a low-pressure system this weekend.

The forecast model loop below runs between 7 a.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Sunday.

NOAA GFS model
Global Forecast System model between 7 a.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Sunday
NOAA, via Tropical Tidbits

Rainfall potential

The eventual distribution and intensity of rainfall over the upcoming weekend is still evolving. But some forecast models as of Monday are suggesting the heaviest rain zone could favor western Minnesota.

Check out the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model, which cranks out a large zone of 2 to 4 inches with locally higher totals across western and central Minnesota.

European model (ECMWF) precipitation output
Precipitation output through Monday
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via Pivotal Weather

In this scenario, the Twin Cities would end up with closer to an inch of rainfall. But again it’s early, and convective rainfall is often highly localized.

Stay tuned as we watch the track and moisture feeds into the evolving low-pressure zone this weekend. Let’s see how much rain we can coax from this first fall weather system.