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Rain moves in Thursday; storms expected Sunday into Monday

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Summer will (unofficially) end the same way it began – with rain.

Luckily for those looking to spend time outside this weekend, it's not expected to rain all day every day, unlike the record-setting month of June Minnesotans endured.

A few rain events are expected throughout Minnesota Thursday and through the weekend, the National Weather Service says, with a heavy downfall expected in some areas of the state.

The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities says there's a 70 percent chance of rain in the metro Thursday, likely after 2 p.m. Heavy rain is possible, but rainfall amounts will likely be between one quarter and one half inch. There's an 80 percent chance of rain overnight, mainly before 2 a.m., which could also produce heavy rain.

Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog the rain for Thursday may miss the Twin Cities, but notes this "challenging forecast gets tougher." The weather service notes more rain is likely for southern Minnesota.

The highest rainfall amounts are expected across southern and southeastern Minnesota, KARE 11 says. A large swath of rain and storms are expected to move northeast through southeastern Minnesota Thursday. Rainfall totals could be between a half inch and 1.5 inches as rain continues in the area through the night. Localized ponding could also occur, the weather service says.

Here's a look at the forecast for southeastern Minnesota:

For northern Minnesota, showers and storms are expected to roll in late Thursday afternoon and continue through the evening. Heavier showers and storms are expected overnight, with the threat of storms continuing into Friday, the weather service says.

Labor Day weekend

"It's a holiday. Keep your expectations low – you'll never be disappointed," meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote on the Star Tribune's weather blog in reference to this weekend's forecast.

Throughout this weekend and into next week there's a slight chance for thunderstorms, the weather service says, noting more widespread activity is expected Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.

Huttner says the Twin Cities looks to be mostly dry with comfortable temperatures Saturday. Douglas agrees, saying Saturday may be the best day of the holiday weekend.

KARE 11 says during the day Sunday it's expected to be dry, but Huttner notes warmer, more humid air is expected, which could trigger the thunderstorms Sunday. Severe weather and heavy rain is possible with Sunday's storms, which will likely linger into Monday morning, the weather service says.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s and low 80s for most of the weekend throughout the state.

Northern lights

The northern lights danced in the night sky north of Duluth early Thursday morning:

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