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Sunshine and warmth; Red Flag warning includes the metro area this afternoon

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Our average high is only 66 degrees this time of year in the Twin Cities metro area.

We're shooting for 80 degrees in the Twin Cities this afternoon, and most of Minnesota will see highs in the 70s.

We'll have plenty of sunshine too, so you might want to spend some time outdoors on your lunch break today!

Red Flag warnings

Winds will increase this afternoon and remain strong into early evening all across Minnesota.

The strong winds will combine with low relative humidity levels to create dangerous fire weather conditions in much of Minnesota this afternoon and early this evening. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, so outdoor burning is not recommended.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning from noon to 7 p.m. today for most of Minnersota, including the Twin Cities metro area:

Here are details of the warning:

URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE

National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN

350 AM CDT Fri May 4 2018

...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY ACROSS MUCH OF CENTRAL

MINNESOTA...

.Dangerous fire weather conditions are expected this afternoon

over much of central Minnesota . Northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph

with gusts near 30 mph are expected as humidity levels drop to

around 20 percent. The Red Flag Warning is in effect for locations

along and north of a line from New Ulm, to Le Center, and

Hastings.

MNZ041>045-047>070-073>076-041700-

/O.UPG.KMPX.FW.A.0004.180504T1800Z-180505T0000Z/

/O.NEW.KMPX.FW.W.0003.180504T1700Z-180505T0000Z/

Douglas-Todd-Morrison-Mille Lacs-Kanabec-Stevens-Pope-Stearns-

Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-Lac Qui Parle-Swift-Chippewa-

Kandiyohi-Meeker-Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-

Yellow Medicine-Renville-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-

Redwood-Brown-Nicollet-Le Sueur-

350 AM CDT Fri May 4 2018

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

EVENING FOR STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL

MINNESOTA...

The National Weather Service in Twin Cities/Chanhassen has issued

a Red Flag Warning, which is in effect from noon today to 7 PM

CDT this evening. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* AFFECTED AREA...Locations along and north of a line from New

Ulm, to Le Center, and Hastings.

* WIND...Northwest sustained near 20 mph, with gusts near 30 mph.

* HUMIDITY...Near 20 percent.

* IMPACTS...any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

Outdoor burning is not recommended.

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.

Areas of far southern Minnesota that saw soaking rains late Thursday are not in the warning.

Although northwestern Wisconsin is not in a Red Flag warning as of this Friday morning, they have an elevated fire danger this afternoon:

Special Weather Statement

National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN

544 AM CDT Fri May 4 2018

WIZ014>016-023-041245-

Polk-Barron-Rusk-St. Croix-

Including the cities of Osceola, Rice Lake, Ladysmith, and Hudson

544 AM CDT Fri May 4 2018

...ELEVATED FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON IN

NORTHWEST WISCONSIN...

Afternoon humidities falling to around 20 percent with northwest

winds gusting to near 25 mph will result in elevated fire weather

conditions northwest of where rain fell last night in northwest

WI. In these weather conditions, fires could grow and spread

quickly.

Weekend temperatures

Most of Minnesota will have highs in the 70s on Saturday:

rt0505h2

I wouldn't be surprised to see a few spots in the south touch 80 degrees.

Sunday will be cooler, with highs in the 60s over most of Minnesota:

rt0506h

The Twin Cities metro area and a few spots to the south could touch 70 degrees.

Metro area highs are expected to reach the lower 70s Monday through Wednesday of next week.

Rain opportunities

Scattered showers are possible in Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Saturday, and some areas could see and hear a thunderstorm Saturday afternoon and evening.

After a dry Sunday, we'll have to wait until Tuesday for our next rain chance.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Tuesday and Wednesday:

rt0504rad
NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Tuesday through Wednesday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the precipitation rate (mm per hour), not to the total amount of rain.

Weather spotter training

Our late spring has delayed our severe weather season a bit, but it's good to prepare for the inevitable bouts of severe weather that we'll see in the coming months.

The NWS conducts severe weather spotter training classes this time of year.

Here's a listing of classes over the next week or so:

rt0504spot
NWS Twin Cities

According to the NWS:

The Metro Skywarn group also conducts Skywarn training classes, taught by Metro Skywarn instructors. They offer several classes in the Twin Cities metro area in the spring. A schedule of their classes is available on their web site (click on classes in the upper right part of the page).

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 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.