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Bright and dry for most of Minnesota

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Can you handle some May warmth? I think the answer to that is a loud yes!

Most of Minnesota will see highs in the 70s this Friday afternoon, with some 60s in parts of northeastern Minnesota.

Northeastern Minnesota could also see some scattered showers and even an isolated thunderstorm this afternoon and evening.

Weekend highs near normal

On Saturday, highs dip back into the 60s for most of Minnesota:

rt0506h2

Northeastern Minnesota will see highs in the 50s Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday highs will be in the 60s in most areas, but southwestern Minnesota could touch 70 degrees:

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Our average high temp is 67 degrees in the Twin Cities area this time of year.

Twin Cities highs are expected to range from the upper 60s to lower 70s Monday through Wednesday of next week.

Dry stretch

Other than a chance of a shower/isolated thunderstorm Friday afternoon and evening in northeastern Minnesota, most of Minnesota will stay dry from Friday afternoon through Monday.

This is a timely dry stretch.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported this week that through the end of April in Minnesota:

Corn planting was 12 percent completed, 13 days behind last year and 9 days behind average.

This weather will give many farmers a chance to get back into the fields.

Wet elsewhere

The forecast maps show periods of wet weather today through this weekend in the Ohio River valley and the northeastern part of the U.S.:

rt0505fronts
NOAA

Parts of the western U.S. will see generous rains and mountain snow.

Total precipitation amounts look like this:

rt0505precip
Precipitation Friday morning through Sunday night, via NOAA

You'll notice some one to two inch precipitation amounts from Ohio into New England.

Red  flag warning

Because of low relative humidity and gusty winds Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for much of northern Minnesota:

rt0505flag
NWS Duluth

More details of the red flag warning, from the NWS:

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE

National Weather Service Duluth MN

455 AM CDT Fri May 5 2017

...LOW HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS DEVELOPING TODAY...

.An area of low pressure and cold front will move through the

Northland today creating a period of low humidity and gusty winds.

The wind will start out southerly today but will increase behind a

cold front with gusts around 25 mph expected this afternoon. Some

locally higher gusts will also be possible. A few showers or a

thunderstorm will also be possible with the front most likely over

far northern Minnesota including the Iron Range and Border

Region. Locally higher gusts will occur with any showers.

MNZ010-011-018-019-025-026-033>036-051800-

/O.NEW.KDLH.FW.W.0001.170505T1800Z-170506T0000Z/

Koochiching-North St. Louis-North Itasca-Central St. Louis-

North Cass-South Itasca-South Cass-Crow Wing-Northern Aitkin-

South Aitkin-

455 AM CDT Fri May 5 2017

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 PM

CDT THIS EVENING FOR LOW HUMIDITY AND GUSTY WINDS FROM THE

BRAINERD LAKES AND AITKIN REGIONS NORTH THROUGH THE IRON RANGE TO

THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER..

The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued a Red Flag

Warning for low humidity and gusty winds...which is in effect

from 1 PM this afternoon to 7 PM CDT this evening.

* Affected Area...In Minnesota...Fire Weather Zones 010...011...

018...019...025...026...033...034...035 and 036.

* Winds...Southerly winds will occur this morning but switch to

the northwest behind a cold front and be from 10 to 16 mph with

gusts around 25 mph with some locally higher.

* Relative Humidity...As low as 22 percent.

* Temperatures...69 to 75.

* Impacts...Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

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

contribute to extreme fire behavior.

A red flag warning also covers northwestern Minnesota, from around Detroit Lakes northward, from 1 p.m Friday to 7 p.m. Friday.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 and 9:35 a.m., plus 4:35 p.m., each Saturday and Sunday.