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Sunshine and 80s today; Monday rain and thunder

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We hit 80 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International  Airport on Saturday. Our Sunday high will be one notch higher, in the lower 80s:

rt522h5

Many spots in Minnesota will top out in the lower 80s today, but it will be several degrees cooler along the north shore of Lake Superior due to winds off the lake.

Red Flag Warning

Southerly winds will increase this afternoon as a high pressure system moves away.

The National Weather Service has posted a red flag warning from noon to 7pm today for much of north-central and northeastern Minnesota:

rt322red
NWS Duluth

Here are the red flag warning details:

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE...UPDATED

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN

527 AM CDT SUN MAY 22 2016

...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ACROSS NORTHEAST MINNESOTA

TODAY...

.THE WARM AND DRY WEATHER PATTERN WILL CONTINUE ACROSS NORTHEAST

MINNESOTA TODAY...WITH TEMPERATURES CLIMBING TO TO UPPER 70S AND

LOW 80S. GUSTY SOUTHERLY FLOW WILL DEVELOP BY THIS AFTERNOON. THE

COMBINATION OF DRY VEGETATION...LOW HUMIDITY...AND GUSTY WINDS

WILL RESULT IN CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ACROSS MUCH OF

NORTHEAST MINNESOTA NEAR AND NORTH OF HIGHWAY 2 THIS AFTERNOON

THROUGH EARLY EVENING.

MNZ010>012-018-019-025-026-035-037-221830-

/O.CON.KDLH.FW.W.0007.160522T1700Z-160523T0000Z/

KOOCHICHING-NORTH ST. LOUIS-NORTHERN COOK/NORTHERN LAKE-

NORTH ITASCA-CENTRAL ST. LOUIS-NORTH CASS-SOUTH ITASCA-

NORTHERN AITKIN-CARLTON/SOUTH ST. LOUIS-

527 AM CDT SUN MAY 22 2016

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 7 PM CDT

THIS EVENING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND VERY DRY CONDITIONS FOR NORTHEAST

MINNESOTA...

* AFFECTED AREA...IN MINNESOTA...FIRE WEATHER ZONES 010...011...

012...018...019...025...026...035 AND 037.

* WINDS...SOUTH 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 25 MPH.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY...20 TO 25 PERCENT.

* TEMPERATURES...UPPER 70S TO LOW 80S.

* IMPACTS...ANY FIRES THAT DEVELOP WILL LIKELY SPREAD RAPIDLY.

OUTDOOR BURNING IS DISCOURAGED.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS

ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW....OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF

STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES CAN

Foss Lake Wildfire

Firefighting efforts will continue today on the wildfire near Foss Lake in the Superior National Forest. The fire originated on Thursday about 10 miles west of Ely, Minnesota:

rt520fossmap

The wildfire is burning in part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), and the Crab Lake entry point to the BWCAW has been closed.

The U.S. Forest Service posted this wildfire update Saturday evening:

Incident Overview

Foss Lake Fire Update Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

MNICS Team C, Brian Pisarek, Incident Commander

Fire Information

Web address: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#

Email: FossLakeFireInfo@gmail.com

Phone: 218-208-4544 Location: US Forest Service office, 1393 Hwy 169, Ely, open 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

Size: 1008 acres Containment: 30 percent Fire Start Date: May 19, 2016

Resources: 6 crews, 2 helicopters, 2 engines, 1 water tender, 180 total personnel

Current Situation:

There was little growth on the fire today. Accurate mapping resulted in the large increase in acreage. Crews on the southern half of the fire walked the perimeter with handheld GPS units and aircraft flew the northern half. Crews working north along the east side of the fire installed fire hose along a quarter mile of saw line. Crews on the west side of the fire continued saw-line construction from the wilderness boundary on the south to Clark Lake on the north. Aircraft dropped water on three distinct areas of heat within the fire perimeter on the northeast side and assisted ground crews elsewhere on the fire. Two crews will camp overnight in the wilderness on Crab Lake, eliminating a long morning commute and getting to the fireline early in the morning. Local firefighters from the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade and Morse/Fall Lake Fire Department continued assessing residences on the west end of Burntside Lake.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Today’s red flag warning expired at 8:00 p.m., but conditions tomorrow will also be hot, dry, and windy. Winds will be from the south and southwest: sustained 10–15 mph, gusts to 25 mph. These high winds will start early and will continue overnight. Fire-behavior analysts say there is potential for significant fire activity tomorrow (for example, single-tree or group-tree torching and some quick fire spread). Smoke might be visible. However, smoke does not necessarily mean the fire is growing larger: smoldering “islands” of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter could burn more actively.

Safety Message: The towns of Ely, Winton, Tower, or Soudan are not threatened. Fire managers are planning for Sunday’s strong winds. Residents on the west side of Burntside Lake should be aware of changing weather conditions.

Closures: Currently, just one BWCAW entry point—Crab Lake entry point #4—is closed; all other entry points remain open. The following BWCAW portages and lakes/rivers, including campsites, are closed:

  • portage Burntside Lake to Crab Lake (entry point #4)
  • portage from Cummings Lake to Korb Lake; portage from Cummings Lake to Korb River
  • lakes and associated portages: Crab, Boulder, Phantom, Battle, Sprite, Meat, Clark, Glimmer, Hassle, Saca, Little Crab, Korb, Maxine, Barefoot, Little Jig, Silaca, Coxey Pond, Lunetta, Schlamn, Soroll, Glenmore, Western, Blick, Chad, Dugout, and Pine.
  • Pine Creek east of Trout Lake

  • portage from Trout Lake to Pine Lake

Closure signs are posted at normal access points to delineate the closure area. The closure order and map are located at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#.

The Forest Service does not currently recommend BWCAW travel

south of Big Moose, Big Rice, and Bootleg Lakes.

 

Basic Information

Current as of‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2016‎ ‎5‎:‎54‎:‎27‎ ‎PM
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseHuman
Date of OriginThursday May 19th, 2016 approx. 11:00 PM
LocationNear Foss Lake; ~10 miles SW Ely, MN
Incident CommanderBrian Pisarek
Incident DescriptionEscaped Prescribed Burn

Current Situation

Total Personnel180
Size1,008 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained30%
Estimated Containment DateWednesday June 01st, 2016 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels InvolvedTimber (Grass and Understory)

Outlook

Planned ActionsSecure, anchor, and continue to secure flanks, using aircraft to cool ahead of crews.
Projected Incident ActivityWhen rH and wind activity increases, fire activity will increase in /wilderness. Next 24 hours, Potential for run to the ENE with predicted winds.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns
Red Flag warnings today, similar weather conditions forecast tomorrow with a significant shift in wind direction

Because the update was posted Saturday evening, "tomorrow" refers to Sunday.

Foss Lake Wildfire Update

Foss Lake Fire AM Update: 22 May 2016

Incident: Foss Lake Fire Wildfire

Released: 1:43 hrs. ago

Foss Lake Fire AM Update

Sunday, May 22, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

MNICS Team C, Brian Pisarek, Incident Commander

Fire Information

Web address: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#

Email: FossLakeFireInfo@gmail.com

Phone: 218-208-4544

Location: US Forest Service office, 1393 Hwy 169, Ely, open 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

Size: 1008 acres Containment: 30 percent Fire Start Date: May 19, 2016

Resources: 6 crews, 2 helicopters, 2 engines, 1 water tender, 180 total personnel

Current Situation: There was little growth on the fire yesterday. Accurate mapping data from handheld and aircraft GPS units resulted in the large increase in acreage. Along the east side of the fire, crews installed fire hose along a quarter mile of saw line. On the west side, they continued constructing saw line northward, nearing Clark Lake. Aircraft assisted ground crews with water drops. Two crews camped overnight on Clark and Crab Lakes, allowing them early access to the fireline this morning. A third crew will camp on Crab Lake tonight. Today, on both the east and west sides of the fire, firefighters expect to connect their saw lines as they work toward each other from the north and south. Four engines will be on the Wolf Lake and North Arm Roads today, prepared to respond to new fire starts that could occur. Four Forest Service wilderness rangers are on Crab and Cummings Lakes to ensure public safety for those who might be unaware of the closures. They also continue to work with firefighters who are camping by helping them with wilderness and camping protocols. Firefighters from the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade and Morse/Fall Lake Fire Department, with their two fire boats, continue to assist the firefighting efforts and Burntside Lake residents through their presence on the lake. Members of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Rescue squad continue to make contact, both by boat and road, with property owners on the west end of Burntside Lake.

RED FLAG WARNING

Critical fire-weather conditions across northeast Minnesota prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning today—for gusty winds and very dry conditions—in effect from noon to 7 p.m. The statewide planning/preparedness level was raised yesterday to 5, the highest level.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Weather today will be dominated by high winds this afternoon, again from the south, gusting to 25 mph. Sustained winds will be 10–15 mph. Whitecaps are expected to remain on lakes after 10 p.m. as winds will continue overnight. Fire-behavior analysts say there is potential for a very active fire day (for example, single-tree or group-tree torching, short crown runs, and some rapid fire spread). Smoke might be visible to residents and visitors in surrounding communities. However, smoke does not necessarily mean the fire is growing larger: burning “islands” of unburned forest within the fire perimeter could be burning more actively.

Safety Message: The towns of Ely, Winton, Tower, or Soudan are not threatened. Residents on the west side of Burntside Lake should be aware of changing weather conditions today.

Closures: The Forest Service does not currently recommend BWCAW travel south of Big Moose, Big Rice, and Bootleg Lakes. Just one BWCAW entry point—Crab Lake entry point #4—is officially closed; all other entry points remain open. The following BWCAW portages and lakes/rivers, including campsites, are closed:

  • portage Burntside Lake to Crab Lake (entry point #4)
  • portage from Cummings Lake to Korb Lake; portage from Cummings Lake to Korb River
  • lakes and associated portages: Crab, Boulder, Phantom, Battle, Sprite, Meat, Clark, Glimmer, Hassle, Saca, Little Crab, Korb, Maxine, Barefoot, Little Jig, Silaca, Coxey Pond, Lunetta, Schlamn, Soroll, Glenmore, Western, Blick, Chad, Dugout, and Pine.
  • Pine Creek east of Trout Lake
  • portage from Trout Lake to Pine Lake

Closure signs are posted at normal access points to delineate the closure area. See the closure order and map for more information.

Incident Overview

22 May 2016

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning today that includes the fire area. It is in effect today from noon to 7:00 p.m.

For more information on today

 

Basic Information

Current as of‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2016‎ ‎12‎:‎01‎:‎28‎ ‎PMIncident TypeWildfireCauseHumanDate of OriginThursday May 19th, 2016 approx. 11:00 PMLocationNear Foss Lake; ~10 miles SW Ely, MinnesotaIncident CommanderBrian PisarekIncident DescriptionEscaped Prescribed Burn

Current Situation

Total Personnel180Size1,008 AcresPercent of Perimeter Contained30%Estimated Containment DateWednesday June 01st, 2016 approx. 12:00 AMFuels InvolvedTimber (Grass and Understory)

Outlook

Planned ActionsSecure, anchor, and continue to secure flanks, using aircraft to cool ahead of crews.Projected Incident ActivityWhen wind speed increasing, fire activity is also likely to increase with the potential to make a run to the east northeast.

Current Weather

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Weather Concerns
Red Flag warnings today from noon to 7:00 p.m. Strong south winds, gusting to 25 mph.

Updates on the wildfire can be found here.

Rain on Monday

A low pressure system moves toward us tonight and Monday, spreading showers and thunderstorms across Minnesota:

rt522allfronts

Western Minnesota could see some showers and thunderstorms tonight. All of Minnesota will see some periods of showers and thunderstorms on Monday and Monday night.

A few of the thunderstorms could be severe. The Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service shows a slight risk of severe weather Monday and Monday night for most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin:

rt523svr2
NWS Storm Prediction Center

The best chance of severe weather in the Twin Cities would tend to be later Monday afternoon and Monday evening, but be alert to forecast updates.

Rain at times through the coming week

Our weather will remain unsettled throughout the coming week, with at least a chance of showers and thunderstorms each day.  We could see widespread showers and thunderstorms Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Much of Minnesota could use the rain. In the Twin Cities, we haven't seen any rain since May 13th. Today is our ninth consecutive dry day!

I hope that you enjoy this pleasant Sunday!