Snow chances late Monday afternoon/night

6:38 PM Saturday, February 4, 2023

Snow is possible over much of the Northland late Monday afternoon/night as a low-pressure system and trough move east out of the Northern and Central Plains.

A strong low-level jet out of the south at around 40 to 60 knots is forecast to develop out ahead of this system on Monday with increasing amounts of moisture with precipitable water increasing to around 1/2″.

There are even some hints of weak instability showing up on the computer models over parts of Minnesota late Monday with CAPE to around 100 j/kg along with an area of steep mid-level lapse rates of 7.0 to 8.0 c/km. What this implies is that we could see some convective like snow bursts over portions of the Northland late Monday afternoon into Monday evening.

The limiting factor for a more significant snow event on Monday is the quick movement of this system, with most of the snow falling in a 3-to-6-hour window.

As for temperatures — They will be hovering around 30 to 33 degrees while it’s snowing Monday evening so the snow that falls and accumulates could be that wet slushy type of snow, and there is even a possibility that we could see more of a mix of rain/snow if precipitation rates aren’t heavy enough.

An area of enhanced lift, albeit quick moving is forecast to spread northeast out of southern Minnesota late Monday afternoon out ahead of a disturbance marked by an X on the map. As this stronger lift moves over the Northland, we could see some heavier snow bursts for a few hours late Monday afternoon/evening.

Monday morning into at least mid-afternoon Monday look dry across the Northland with snow chances increasing from SW-NE late Monday afternoon/early Monday evening the way it looks now.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast valid Noon Monday to Midnight Monday night.

Snowfall accumulations ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 inches are expected in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from late Monday afternoon through Monday night.


Comparing the two arctic outbreaks we’ve seen this winter in Duluth.

December 18-26, 2022

9 subzero nights

Average Temperature: -2.9 degrees
Departure: -18.1 degrees below average

Lowest temperature: -18 degrees on Dec. 21st.

January 28-February 4, 2023

8 subzero nights

Average Temperature: -5.2 degrees
Departure: -16.5 degrees below average

Lowest temperature: -22 degrees on Feb. 3rd.

Arctic air mass continues to retreat to the north/east today, and this arctic air won’t be moving back into the Northland at least through the upcoming week the way it looks now.

500mb heights are on the rise across the upper Midwest as a milder air mass moves in.

Thanks for reading!


Warming trend on the way; Highs around 40 possible next Wednesday; A little snow at times in northern MN this weekend; Low Temperature Reports from Friday morning

5:07 PM Friday, February 3, 2023

We saw widespread 30s below zero for lows this morning across northern Minnesota with the coldest temperature of -39 F at Kabetogama, but no -40s, and no new record lows were set or tied anywhere in the Northland this morning.

Temperatures tonight won’t be nearly as cold as they were last night with lows ranging from around zero to 10 below, but tonight should be our last subzero night at least through next week.

Daytime temperatures will climb into the 20s this weekend with 30s likely on a few days next week, with next Wednesday looking like the warmest day of the week when we could see a few 40s in the Northland.


The center of an upper-level low (Polar Vortex) has moved to just north of Maine late this afternoon with the heart of the epic arctic air mass also moving farther off to the east this afternoon compared to where it was 24 hours ago.

Here’s a look at the surface analysis, temperatures and 500mb analysis from late Friday afternoon.

Core of the arctic air mass has moved into eastern Canada and the northeast U.S. today with a milder air mass farther off to the west.

850mb temperatures late this afternoon ranged from as low as -41C over southern Quebec Province to around +11C in southeast Montana.

Low Temperature Reports from Friday morning, February 3, 2023
Source: National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

Kabetogama, MN: -39 F
Birchdale, MN: -37 F
2 E Celina, MN: -37 F
International Falls, MN: -36 F
Littlefork, MN: -35 F
Embarrass, MN: -35 F
Cook, MN: -35 F
Ely, MN: -33 F
Orr, MN: -33 F
25 E Ely, MN: -33 F
3.7 NE Sea Gull Lake, MN: -32 F
Northome, MN: -32 F
Cass Lake, MN: -30 F
Cotton, MN: -30 F
Eveleth, MN: -30 F
Hibbing, MN: -29 F
Winton, MN: -29 F
Bigfork, MN: -29 F
Deer River, MN: -28 F
Isabella, MN: -27 F
Grand Rapids, MN: -27 F
Aitkin, MN: -27 F
3 E Wright, MN: -27 F
Longville, MN: -27 F
4 W Clam Lake, WI: -27 F
Webb Lake, WI: -27 F
Siren, WI: -26 F
Crane Lake, MN: -26 F
Brainerd, MN: -26 F
Walker, MN: -26 F
Grand Marais Airport: -26 F
Brainerd, MN: -26 F
Minong, WI: -26 F
Cloquet, MN: -24 F
Pine River, MN: -24 F
Spooner, WI: -24 F
Duluth Airport: -22 F
South Range Oakland, WI: -22 F
Shell Lake, WI: -22 F
Glidden, WI: -21 F
Two Harbors, MN: -20 F
Hinckley, MN: -20 F
Esko, MN: -20 F
Cable, WI: -19 F
Washburn, WI: -19 F
Hayward, WI: -19 F
Superior, WI: -19 F
Winter, WI: -18 F
Solon Springs, WI: -18 F
Ashland, WI: -17 F
Duluth Sky Harbor Airport: -17 F

There might be a little snow tonight and again late Saturday night/early Sunday morning over parts of northern Minnesota into the Arrowhead as a weak system with its warm front and cold front passes through the area, but we’re not looking at anything significant in terms of snowfall amounts, with locations that see snow only picking up a dusting to an inch at most.

Note — Looks like any snow this weekend will stay north of Duluth.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast through 6 AM Sunday.

Thanks for reading!


Bitterly Cold Tonight into Friday morning; Warmer times ahead this weekend into next week; A few minor snow events possible this weekend into early next week

5:37 PM Thursday, February 2, 2023

A strong upper-level low (piece of the Polar Vortex) was over Hudson Bay Canada this afternoon and this upper low will track southeast into the northeast U.S. on Friday.

An epic arctic air mass consisting of 850mb temperatures as low as -40C covered much of central Ontario today with the southern flank of this arctic air extending south into the Northland today with 850mb temperatures ranging from around -22 to -30C.

500mb heights were as low as 473m today near the center of the upper-low over Hudson Bay.

Temperatures from late Thursday afternoon.

Here are the record low temperatures for February 3rd

Brainerd, MN: -46 set in 1982
International Falls, MN: -42 set in 2022
Hibbing, MN: -36 set in 2022
Duluth, MN: -33 set in 1923
Ashland, WI: -28 set in 1946 and 1978

Lows in the 20s to 30s below zero across all of the Northland tonight.

For Duluth — Wind Chill Warning in effect until 12 PM Friday.

Wind chill forecast from the National Weather Service.

Note — The coldest temperatures and wind chills will occur overnight tonight through about mid-morning on Friday, or from around 1 AM tonight to 8 AM Friday.


This arctic air mass will cover all of central/eastern Canada south into the upper Midwest, Great Lakes and northeast U.S. Friday morning as seen on the precipitable water forecast with values less than 0.05″ which is a sign of an arctic air mass. No moisture at all!

Lots of lake effect clouds and some lake effect snow today in the NW wind favored snowbelts from far northern Wisconsin to upper Michigan.

Temperatures at 5000 feet ranged from -24 to -32C today while water temperatures on Lake Superior were sitting at around +2C, this huge difference in temperature plus a wide-open lake is generating a lot of lake effect clouds over Lake Superior today.

Ice coverage on Lake Superior was close to 10% as of February 1st. This is still well below average for this time of year (should be around 30 to 35% ice covered by now)

Goes-16 visible satellite loop ending 4:21 PM CT, Thursday, February 2, 2023.

There could be a little warm air advection driven snowfall in far northeast Minnesota (north of Duluth) Friday night, but snowfall accumulations should remain under an inch.

Another shot for a little snow comes Saturday night-Sunday morning but once again snow amounts look to remain under an inch.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast through 6 AM Saturday.


A warmer pattern takes over this weekend into next week with highs in the mid 20s to mid 30s with even a chance for warmer temperatures up around 40 degrees toward the middle of next week.

Looks like will be done (for now) with the subzero temperatures in Duluth after Saturday morning.

GEFS model temperature anomaly trend for February 6-11, 2023.

Orange and Red: Above average temperatures
Blues: Below average temperatures

And looking even further ahead to mid-February still shows warmer than average temperatures in the Northland.

Thanks for reading!


More arctic air on the way Thursday into Friday with gusty winds; Warmer pattern this weekend into next week

6:31 PM Wednesday, February 1, 2023

We’ve got one more shot of arctic air ahead which arrives during the day Thursday with falling temperatures and gusty north to northwest winds in the Northland. Coldest temperatures occur Thursday night into Friday morning with temperatures in the -20s and -30s over much of the Northland, and a brisk wind will continue Thursday night which will cause wind chills to drop to between -45 and -50 degrees in much of northeastern Minnesota, and from -30 to -40 degrees over east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from 6 AM Thursday to 6 PM Thursday.

A Wind Chill Warning will then go into effect from 6 PM Thursday until 12 PM Friday for northern and northeast Minnesota including Duluth.


Potential is there for temperatures at a few locations in northern Minnesota to drop to around -40 degrees Friday morning, otherwise we’re looking at widespread -20s and -30s in the Northland.

A brief period of fluffy flurries or snow showers are possible over the Northland later tonight into early Thursday morning as an arctic front blasts through the area but accumulations if any should be under 1″.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast through 6 AM Thursday.


Temperatures start off on the frigid side in Duluth, but a warming trend continues to look likely this weekend into next week with a chance for a few days with highs at or above the freezing mark next week.

Looks like our last subzero temperature in this cold stretch will occur Saturday morning in Duluth, with no subzero temps expected next week the way it looks now.

Thanks for reading!


January 2023 Climate Summaries for the Northland

5:38 PM Wednesday, February 1, 2023

January 2023 featured persistent warmth in the Northland up until the last few days of the month when arctic air finally decided to make an appearance, but even with this late month arctic blast, average temperatures for the month still finished anywhere from +5 to +8 degrees warmer than average.

Snowfall totals for January 2023 ranged from 17.2″ at Duluth to 10.3″ at International Falls. Duluth’s snowfall total for the month was 102% of normal, while the snowfall total at International Falls was 66% of normal.

Precipitation for January 2023 varied considerably, but generally far northern areas saw a dry January, while areas from east-central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin had a wet January.

The Duluth, Minnesota Climate Summary for January 2023

Average Temperature: 17.7 degrees
Mean Temperature: 11.2 degrees
Departure: +6.5 degrees above average

Highest temperature: 35 F on the 15th
Lowest temperature: -18 F on the 29th

5 nights with a subzero temperature — Mean in January is 14 subzero nights (Record is 27 subzero nights set in January 1982 and 1929)

3 days with a maximum temperature of 32 F or warmer — Mean in January is 5 days (Record is 23 days set in January 1880)

Total Precipitation: 1.56″
Normal: 0.95″
Departure: +0.61″ above normal

Greatest calendar day precipitation total: 0.31″ on the 16th

Number of days with at least 0.01″ of precipitation: 11
Number of days with at least 0.10″ of precipitation: 6

Total Snowfall: 17.2″
Normal: 16.8″
Departure: +0.4″ above normal

Greatest calendar day snowfall total: 3.0″ on the 4th

13 days with at least 0.1″ snowfall (Mean is 13 days)

7 days with at least 1.0″ snowfall (Mean is 5 days)

Departure from Normal Temperature for January 2023

Ashland, WI: 20.3 F, +6.3 degrees above average

Duluth, MN: 17.7 F, +6.5 degrees above average

Brainerd, MN: 15.9 F, +5.3 degrees above average

Hibbing, MN: 13.5 F, +7.3 degrees above average

International Falls, MN: 13.0 F, +8.0 degrees above average


January 2023 was the 7th warmest January on record at International Falls, the 9th warmest on record at Hibbing, and the 10th warmest on record at Ashland.

Precipitation Totals for January 2023

Duluth, MN: 1.56″
Ashland, WI: 1.14″
Brainerd, MN: 0.92″
Hibbing, MN: 0.39″
International Falls, MN: 0.26″

Precipitation Anomalies for January 2023

Ashland, WI: +0.64″ above normal
Duluth, MN: +0.61″ above normal
Brainerd, MN: +0.45″ above normal
Hibbing, MN: -0.12″ below normal
International Falls, MN: -0.53″ below normal

Percent of Normal Precipitation for January 2023

Brainerd, MN: 196% of normal
Ashland, WI: 178% of normal
Duluth, MN: 164% of normal
Hibbing, MN: 76% of normal
International Falls, MN: 33% of normal


Temperature Anomaly for the Lower 48 for January 2023

Lower 48 Average Temperature Ranks by Climate District for January 2023

1 is hottest out of 131 total years.

Lower 48 Total Precipitation Ranks by Climate District for January 2023

1 is wettest out of 131 total years.

Thanks for reading!