The first measurable rains in more than three weeks are set to wash through the Great Lakes region. It will not only scour out any lingering wildfire smoke from Canada, but it will also water a parched ground already starting to feel a tinge of drought.
In addition, those rains will eventually sweep through southern Quebec and Nova Scotia, bringing badly-needed rain to help firefighters tame dozens of wildfires that have been responsible or pushing hazardous plumes of smoke into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
"You really need (the rain)," said FOX Weather meteorologist Britta Merwin. "It’s been so bone dry across this region."
The storm will develop as part of a low-pressure system moving into the Great Lakes on Sunday, bringing rain to an area that hasn't seen it since mid-May. Green Bay, Wisconsin, hasn't had a rainy day since May 18, while the last wet day was May 20 in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
"The low is going to cut off and meander across the Great Lakes," Merwin said. "That prolongs the event and allows for days of rain changes all the way through next Tuesday or Wednesday… To have a four-day window of rain chances — that’s some pretty good stuff, and we need it."
Rainfall totals will reach 1 to 2 inches across the region, with even some isolated areas of 3-inch rainfall totals by midweek.
Rains to help fight against eastern Canadian wildfires
In addition to helping ease budding drought conditions in the U.S., a round of rainfall should reach southern Quebec into Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, where dozens of wildfires burn.
"The storm is pushing up into Canada — that’s the best news of all," Merwin said. "They’re expecting maybe more than 2 inches of rain in some of the provinces where some of these massive wildfires are burning."
For the fires in Quebec, forecasts are about a half inch to 2 inches of rain - likely not enough to end the wildfires, but welcome news to help in the firefight.
The storm will push out to sea by the middle and end of next week, ushering in drier weather. But Merwin says while the timing of the rain on the weekend could be better, overall, the storm is good news.
"All in all, this is a half-glass full, happy story -- even though it's the weekend, you need (the rain)," she said. "There are some good movies out right now, I say, embrace it."