Air quality warning until midday tomorrow

It was a Mother’s Day-like summer with sunshine at the start and temperatures reaching the mid-80s. Just like a hot summer day, we saw a few showers and storms this afternoon before a weak cold front moved north to south. The biggest issue with this was the development of more clouds and winds with gusts of 20-30 mph as it is a very dry cold front. Most of the precipitation did not reach the surface because it is very dry at low altitudes and the precipitation evaporates as it falls from the clouds. The remainder of the evening showers and thunderstorms will remain along the Minnesota-Iowa border before disappearing overnight. Some storms currently in Worthington and approaching Fairmont and east of Albert Lea are more likely to have precipitation reaching the surface as they record stronger radar signals, indicating heavier precipitation that does not completely evaporate before reaching the reach surface. As showers and mid-level clouds move in, we can expect more sunshine by the end of the evening, especially north of I-90. Due to the dry and sometimes windy weather conditions, there is still an increased risk of fire in our area. So be careful with any outdoor plans involving fire. The next big story behind this cold front: Winds aloft will blow devastating smoke tonight and into the morning. We have an air quality advisory until midday tomorrow due to this smoke. So be calm if you plan to be outside tonight and tomorrow morning. Especially people with lung disease or children and older adults. These wildfires have started in British Columbia and the current in the air is carrying them into our area this evening. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn out to be a story like last summer.

Tonight will be another pleasant night with temperatures in the 50s and winds of 10-15 mph coming from the northeast with the cold front moving through. With wildfires breaking out again in Canada, there will be areas of smoke and the airflow will blow in some of that smoke this evening and continue into tomorrow. I was in Michigan last year and every sunny day we had last summer turned hazy due to the wildfires in Canada last summer. So let’s hope this doesn’t become a pattern again this summer. I would try to keep the windows closed when I sleep tonight to keep the smoke out of the house. The worst of the smoke will continue into the early afternoon tomorrow.

As we start the work week, Monday and Tuesday will be beautiful spring days with highs in the 70s and sunny conditions. This will give us almost a week of just nice weather before the next system arrives on Wednesday. There will be areas of smoke on Monday, especially early in the day, so it could be hazy, but it should clear up by Tuesday. From Wednesday into Wednesday evening it looks like mostly scattered showers, with the possibility of a few thunderstorms. Right now it doesn’t look like the conditions are there for stronger storms and it looks like a pretty weak system. The weather team will keep you updated as the working week begins. For now, enjoy a spectacular Mother’s Day and a wonderful start to the week.

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