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A dry Monday in most areas; update on Canadian wildfire smoke

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It was a beautiful Sunday across most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The high temp at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 84 degrees, which is exactly our average high temp in the Twin Cities this time of year. Average feels great in July!

Wildfire smoke is moving away

The thickest smoke from Canadian wildfires has shifted northward and eastward, and covered portions of Lake Superior, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and parts of northeastern Wisconsin by late Sunday afternoon. You'll notice that smoke from Canadian wildfires lingered over parts of northwestern Minnesota, including the Red River Valley at 5 p.m. on Sunday:

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NOAA satellite from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 7, via College of DuPage

Portions of north-central and northeastern Minnesota closest to the Canadian border had lingering smoke as well.  As southerly winds increase on Monday, the smoke in portions of northern Minnesota is expected to move back into Canada.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the air quality at Ely, Minnesota was in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" category:

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Ely air quality at 5 p.m. on July 7, via MPCA

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency updates air quality readings throughout the day and night.  A statewide map of the most recent air quality conditions is posted here.

An explanation of the various air quality categories can be found here.  For instance, the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category is described this way:

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” AQI is 101 to 150. Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.

Temperature trends

Monday highs will be in the 80s across most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin:

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There will be some 70s in parts of the northeast, especially near Lake Superior. Dew points will creep up into the sticky range Monday afternoon.

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to be in the lower 80s Tuesday, then around 80 on Wednesday, followed by lower 80s Thursday and mid 80s on Friday.

Rain and thunder chances

Most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin will have a rain-free Monday.  A few scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm could move into west-central and northwestern Minnesota on Monday, with a good chance of some showers and thunderstorms in those same areas Monday night.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Monday morning through the overnight hours of Monday night:

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NOAA NAM simulated radar Monday through Monday night, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Shower and thunderstorm chances will spread across most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin as we go through Tuesday, with off and on showers and thunderstorms a good bet in most areas Tuesday night into Wednesday.

I hope that you have a good week!