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Smoky sunsets may give way to rainstorms

The red sun next to the historic Brainerd water tower sets Saturday, Aug. 18, as smoke from western wildfires in the U.S. and Canada continue to create gray skies in the lakes area. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch1 / 2
The red sun next to the historic Brainerd water tower sets Saturday, Aug. 18, as smoke from western wildfires in the U.S. and Canada continue to create gray skies in the lakes area. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch2 / 2

Gray, smoky skies are expected to give way to thunder and lightning and some much-needed rain.

Canadian wildfire smoke originating from British Columbia, Alberta, and western Ontario continued to affect Minnesota on Friday, Aug. 17, through the weekend as it moved from north to south across the state.

After a series of dry days that turned area yards into a late summer brown, rain is back in the forecast.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely, Monday, Aug. 20, mainly before 11 a.m. Patchy fog may be an issue for the morning commute. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms between 7 p.m. Monday and 1 a.m. Tuesday.

"The threat for severe storms is low, but some of the storms will produce small hail, gusty winds, frequent lightning and heavy rain," the National Weather Service reported.

The chance for heavy rain Sunday night was the highest from the Brainerd lakes and Walker areas northeast into the Iron Range. The weather service noted the rain could leave to ponding of water or minor flooding.

"Thunderstorms are expected to continue on Monday and then taper off on Monday night. The storms are not expected to be severe," the weather service reported.

But strong northeast winds are expected Monday. Those winds are expected to increase the threat of rip currents, including the beaches of Duluth and Superior.

"Several rounds of thunderstorms are possible from Thursday night through Saturday night. A few of the storms may be strong and may also produce locally heavy rainfall," the weather service reported.

Tuesday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high in the mid-70s. By Wednesday and Thursday, skies should be sunny with highs nearing 80 degrees. The chance for rain returns Friday with showers likely Thursday night and possibly a thunderstorm after 1 a.m.

Rain continues to be in the forecast Friday. Saturday and Sunday look to be good days to enjoy the lakes area weekend with sunshine, highs near 80 degrees both days. There is a chance for rain Saturday night.

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