Winter Weather Advisory issued for the North Shore Saturday; Update on next week’s storm; December 2022 running -7 to -12 degrees colder than average in the Northland

6:10 PM Friday, December 9, 2022

Some snow is on the way for Saturday with the greatest accumulations along the North Shore of Lake Superior where ESE winds crossing the lake will lead to some lake/terrain enhanced snowfall during the day on Saturday.

Snow will taper off from west to east late Saturday afternoon/evening.

Note – Patchy freezing drizzle is also possible across the Northland beginning later tonight, and then continuing on Saturday and into Saturday night.

Highs on Saturday will be close to the freezing mark (31 to 34 degrees) so the snow on Saturday will likely be wetter compared to the snow we saw earlier this week which was very fluffy.

East winds of 10 to 20 mph near Lake Superior could lead to some patchy blowing snow Saturday.

For Duluth – Some snow is likely beginning early Saturday morning (around 4 AM-6 AM) Snow tapers off Saturday evening, although some brief breaks in the snow are possible through the day. Patchy freezing drizzle is also possible in Duluth on Saturday.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast valid Midnight tonight to Midnight tomorrow night.

Here’s my snowfall forecast for Saturday.

Highest amounts of 3 to 5 inches are expected along the North Shore of Lake Superior (northeast of Duluth)

About 1 to 3 inches of snow is possible in Duluth on Saturday.

Trough responsible in bringing the next round of wintry precipitation to the Northland is crossing the Northern/Central Rockies today.

And here’s a look at the aforementioned trough via Goes-16 water vapor imagery.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Friday, December 9, 2022.

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We’ve seen quite a shift in the storm track for next week but when you look at the 500mb pattern it makes sense as to why we’ve seen the computer models shift the low further south for next week.

There is a lot of ridging setting up across Canada (especially the eastern part) and if this ridge ends up a little further south than modeled, then we could see the low shift even a little more to the south in coming days.

What’s interesting is even with this southern shift, the ensemble models (EPS, GEFS, and CMCE) continue to show a lot of precipitation affecting the Northland with QPF values of 0.50″ to 1.00″+ in much of our area.

For Duluth – Precipitation totals range from 0.90″ to as high as 1.90″ per ensemble model forecasts for next week. If this is mostly snow, then we’re looking at snow totals of around 12″ or more.

It’s a complex pattern, and the storm of interest for the upper Midwest won’t be moving ashore into the Pacific Northwest until Sunday, and then this system will move slowly ENE across the Rockies and into the Central Plains/Midwest during the middle of next week.

This system also continues to slow down which isn’t too unusual given the pattern.

If this storm does hit the Northland it looks like most of the precipitation would occur from Tuesday night through Thursday and breaks in the precipitation are certainly possible due to influences from a dry slot.

We are looking at strong NE winds developing near Lake Superior from Tuesday through Thursday with wind gusts of 25 to 45 mph.

Blowing snow will be an issue if we do indeed see snow next week.

European model wind gust forecast valid 6 AM Tuesday to 6 PM Thursday.

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December is off to a very cold start in the Northland and also across the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains.

Warmer temperatures over the next few days will likely eat away at some of the deficits, but likely won’t eliminate them totally.

Average Temperature and Departure from Normal in the Northland for December 2022 (thru the 8th)

International Falls, MN: 3.8 F; -12.7 degrees below average
Hibbing, MN: 6.7 F; -9.6 degrees below average
Duluth, MN: 11.9 F; -9.1 degrees below average
Brainerd, MN: 13.7 F; -7.4 degrees below average
Ashland, WI: 16.4 F; -7.6 degrees below average

Temperature Anomaly for the Lower 48 for December 2022 (thru the 8th)

Green, Blue and Purple – Below Average
Orange – Above Average

We’re still looking at a much colder pattern returning leading up to Christmas.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Snow on Saturday (highest totals along the North Shore) A significant storm possible Dec. 13-15; Arctic flood gates open following next week’s storm; Low Temperature Reports from Thursday AM

6:03 PM Thursday, December 8, 2022

I’ve picked up a few new followers recently on Facebook, and I’ve also noticed that my blog has had quite an increase in views over the past few days, so hello to all!

Some may have noticed that my background theme has been changing around a bit lately as I’m trying to find a new layout/theme for my blog, but I think I’ve finally found the one I plan on sticking with, so will see how that goes.

Let’s talk weather

  • Some snow on the way for Saturday with the highest amounts along the North Shore of Lake Superior
  • There is a potential for some patchy fog late tonight through Friday morning, and again Friday night-Saturday and this is when we may also see some patchy freezing drizzle
  • A major storm could impact the Northland next week (Dec. 13-15) time frame

Saturday Snow Chances

An inverted trough will move across the area on Saturday bringing some snow to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Heavy snow amounts are unlikely with this system, but there could be enough snow to cause some travel issues especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior where terrain enhanced snowfall is likely with ESE winds crossing Lake Superior.

Most of the snow on Saturday falls during the day with snow tapering off Saturday evening/overnight.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast valid Midnight Saturday to Midnight Sunday.

Here’s my snowfall forecast for Saturday.

2 to 4 inches possible along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

For Duluth – About 1 to 2 inches of snow.

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Update on Next Weeks’ Storm

A large and slow-moving mid/upper-level trough and low is forecast to move ashore in the Pacific northwest later this weekend. This system is then expected to track ENE through the Rockies and into the Plains and Midwest and eventually into the eastern Great Lakes by late next week.

This is the system that could impact the Northland in a big way during the December 13-15 time frame.

500mb Height Anomaly Forecast valid December 11-16, 2022

Lower heights/troughs in blue and green

Higher heights/ridging in orange, red and gray

Ensemble models continue to be in good agreement as they all show a strong area of low pressure moving northeast out of eastern Colorado on Monday, however, there continues to be some differences on timing, and just how far north the area of low pressure will track, with the CMCE (Canadian ensemble model) furthest north, while the EPS and GEFS models have trended further south, especially the EPS model compared to 24 hours ago.

Note – One of the main takeaways from today’s model runs is that this system has slowed down quite a bit meaning that a lot of the precipitation that we may see in the Northland would occur more in that Tuesday night to Thursday time frame. Whether or not these slower trends continue the next few days remains to be seen.

All three ensemble models are still showing a significant amount of QPF (precipitation) across the Northland next week, centered on the Tuesday-Thursday time frame, and this has been consistent now for a few model runs.

What type of precipitation we see in the Northland will depend on the storm track, and how much warm air is drawn north ahead of this system.

Heavy snow is possible, but so is the potential for some rain and sleet, and a dry slot could also affect some parts of the Northland which could cut down on precipitation totals.

The next few days will continue to be all about the model trends on how they handle this system, but hopefully by Sunday the models will converge on a solution in regard to timing and precipitation types and amounts.

12z GEFS model (20 members) Precipitation Type Forecast for 6 AM Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Snow – Blue
Rain – Green

Only 1 of the 20 members shows next week’s storm missing us to the south, the other 19 members show either snow or rain in the Northland.

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Temperature Trends

The arctic air is done for now as a warmer weather pattern sets up in the Northland through the middle of next week.

GEFS model temperature anomaly trend for December 11-16, 2022.

Orange and Red – Above Average Temperatures
Blue and Purple – Below Average Temperatures

A major shift in the pattern is possible in wake of next week’s storm with a potential for widespread arctic air to spread south/east into much of the U.S. leading up to Christmas.

Low Temperature Reports from Thursday morning, December 8, 2022
Source: NWS Duluth, MN

2 E Celina, MN: -21 F
Grand Marais Airport: -20 F
Crane Lake, MN: -20 F
3 E Orr, MN: -20 F
Embarrass, MN: -19 F
Eveleth, MN: -18 F
Cook, MN: -18 F
Brimson, MN: -18 F
Cotton, MN: -17 F
International Falls, MN: -17 F
Orr, MN: -17 F
Hibbing, MN: -15 F
Floodwood, MN: -14 F
Ely, MN: -13 F
Bigfork, MN: -13 F
Duluth Airport: -10 F (coldest temperature since March 12, 2022, low of -13 F)
Grand Rapids, MN: -10 F
Solon Springs, WI: -9 F
Siren, WI: -9 F
Butternut, WI: -9 F
Superior Airport: -8 F
4 W Clam Lake, WI: -8 F
Duluth Sky Harbor Airport: -4 F
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Heads up!

There is a rather strong but small system moving ENE across Nebraska tonight. This system will go on to produce several inches of snow and some mix precipitation across southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and northern Iowa late tonight and during the day Friday.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Thursday, December 8, 2022.

Winter Storm Warning (pink)
Winter Weather Advisory (purple)

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Fog potential Thursday night/Friday morning; Some snow Saturday; Update on a potential storm for next week; Fall 2022 Climate Summaries

6:17 PM Wednesday, December 7, 2022

  • A break in the snowfall is on the way for Thursday and Friday with milder temperatures
  • Areas of low clouds and fog are possible Thursday night into Friday
  • Snow chances return Saturday along with a chance for some patchy freezing drizzle
  • A major storm could impact the Northland next week bringing a variety of precipitation types to the area

A milder southerly flow moving over the colder snowpack could lead to the development of low cloudiness and areas of fog in much of the Northland Thursday night through Friday morning.

HRRR model visibility forecast valid 6 PM Thursday to Noon Friday

Visibility <1 mile in the purple shaded area.

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SATURDAY SNOW CHANCES

A trough of low pressure approaching from the Northern Plains will produce some weak lift as it moves across the Northland on Saturday which will lead to some light snow and possibly some patchy freezing drizzle.

Snow totals should remain on the light side on Saturday with totals somewhere in that half inch to 2-inch range, although some higher snow totals are possible along the North Shore due to a possibility for terrain enhanced snowfall with ESE winds in place.

European model radar forecast valid 6 AM Saturday to 9 PM Saturday (snow in blue)

Another round of snow in parts of the Northland this morning

Here are a few snowfall reports from Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Source: NWS Duluth, MN

1 WNW Hayward, WI: 2.0″
3 N Amnicon Falls State Park, WI: 1.4″
7 WSW Pine River, MN: 1.0″
Duluth, MN: 0.5″ (Official NWS Total) SLR of 10:1
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STORM POTENTIAL NEXT WEEK

A strong and potentially slow-moving low-pressure system and upper-level trough is forecast to eject NE out of the Rockies next week. This storm may affect the Northland next week bringing all kinds of weather to the area.

Precipitation types and amounts will depend on the storm track, as well as where a dry slot ends up.

With all that said, this storm has the potential to be a significant event in the Northland.

GEFS ensemble model precipitation type forecast valid for 6 PM Tuesday, November 13, 2022

Snow (blue)
Rain (gree)

Seeing very good agreement at this point in regard to precipitation totals for next week, and wow that is a lot of precipitation per ensemble model data.

If all this falls as snow, then we’re talking about at least a foot or more of snow given the QPF totals.

Will see how the models trend over the next few days as there is still plenty of time for things to change.

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Fall 2022 Climate Summaries for the Northland
September 1 through November 30

Duluth, MN

Average Temperature: 45.1 degrees
Normal: 43.7 degrees
Departure: +1.4 degrees above average

Highest Temperature: 85 on September 1
Lowest Temperature: 5 on November 20 and November 30

Total Precipitation: 7.15″
Normal: 8.35″
Departure: -1.20″ below average
Percent of Normal Precipitation: 86% of normal

Total Snowfall: 18.0″
Normal: 16.9″
Departure: +1.1″ above average
Percent of Normal Snowfall: 106% of normal

International Falls, MN

Average Temperature: 42.6 degrees
Departure: +2.1 degrees above average

Total Precipitation: 4.51″
Normal: 6.61″
Departure: -2.10″ below average
Percent of Normal Precipitation: 68% of normal

Total Snowfall: 15.5″
Normal: 13.8″
Departure: +1.7″ above average
Percent of Normal Snowfall: 112% of normal

Brainerd, MN

Average Temperature: 47.2 degrees
Departure: +2.3 degrees above average

Total Precipitation: 5.04″
Normal: 5.87″
Departure: -0.83″ below average
Percent of Normal Precipitation: 86% of normal

Hibbing, MN

Average Temperature: 41.4 degrees
Departure: +1.8 degrees above average

Total Precipitation: 5.39″
Normal: 6.50″
Departure: -1.11″ below average
Percent of Normal Precipitation: 83% of normal

Ashland, WI

Average Temperature: 45.9 degrees
Departure: +1.0 degree above average

Total Precipitation: 8.24″
Normal: 7.41″
Departure: +0.83″ above average
Percent of Normal Precipitation: 111% of normal

51% of days were warmer than average in Duluth during Fall 2022 vs. 41% of days which were colder than average.

Fall 2022 Average Temperature Ranks by Climate District.

Fall 2022 Total Precipitation Ranks by Climate District.

Note – Darker brown areas represent a top 10 driest fall on record.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Another round of snow Wednesday mainly across southern portions of the Northland; Snow chances Saturday; A larger system possible Dec. 13-14; Snowfall and Low Temperature Reports from Tuesday

6:23 PM Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Busy times ahead for forecasters

  • Another quick hitting snow Wednesday
  • Storm targets the Midwest Thursday-Friday bringing some snow/mix precipitation to southern Minnesota
  • Snow chances in the Northland Saturday (inverted trough type setup)
  • A large/strong system possible next week

Today’s (Tuesday) snow event ended up a little further south compared to where most of the computer models had it setting up, and a similar occurrence is likely for Wednesday’s snow event with computer models shifting Wednesday’s snow a little further south compared to prior model runs.

East-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin is expected to see the bulk of the snow on Wednesday, with lesser amounts of snow expected farther north including for Duluth and the Highway 2 corridor in northeast Minnesota, with that said, expect another tight snowfall gradient on Wednesday meaning any slight shift north/south in the area of snow could change the snowfall gradients just a bit.

Here’s my snowfall forecast for Wednesday.

For Duluth — Some snow is possible on Wednesday from around 6 AM to 11 AM followed by some sunshine for Wednesday afternoon.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast valid 3 AM Wednesday to 3 PM Wednesday (snow in blue)

Snowfall Reports from Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Source: NWS Duluth, MN

7 WSW Pine River, MN: 6.0″
2 NNE Duluth, MN: 3.5″
5 WSW Waukenabo, MN: 3.5″
Wright, MN: 3.0″
Duluth, MN: 2.8″ (Official NWS total) SLR 16.5:1
3 NW Duluth, MN: 2.0″
1 NNE Cloquet, MN: 1.8″
3 N Mahtowa, MN: 1.3″
International Falls, MN: 0.7″

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A frigid start to the day in northern Minnesota.

Low Temperature reports from Tuesday morning, December 6, 2022

Birchdale, MN: -21 F
Ash Lake, MN: -20 F
International Falls, MN: -19 F
Crane Lake, MN: -15 F
Littlefork, MN: -15 F
Effie, MN: -13 F
Orr, MN: -13 F
2 SE Silver Bay, MN: -12 F
Northome, MN: -11 F
Bigfork, MN: -11 F
Cook, MN: -11 F
Ely, MN: -8 F

Big time cold continues today across Canada into the Northern Plains, but the Northland continues to be on the southern flank of this arctic air mass, and this will continue to be the case through Wednesday before the arctic air begins to retreat back to the north.

Another bitterly cold night ahead for North Dakota into northern Minnesota with lows well below zero tonight.

Huge temperature contrast continues Wednesday with highs in the single digits in northern Minnesota to around 40 in southern Wisconsin.

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STORM THREAT NEXT WEEK

A large trough and an area of low pressure is forecast to move NE out of the Rockies early to mid-next week.

The track of this system will determine whether or not this system will impact northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, while the storm track will also determine what type/s of precipitation we see should this system affect our area.

Timing is from around December 12-14.

Stay tuned!

Here’s the 12z GEFS ensemble model precipitation type forecast for 6 AM Tuesday, December 13, 2022.

Snow – Blue
Rain – Green

Some GEFS members show rain, others snow, and there are even a few that keep the system away from the Northland next week.

One takeaway from the computer models is for a big western shift to the area of low-pressure next week.

Forecast below is for next Wednesday morning (December 14, 2022)

The European model (shown below) has shifted the low from over the western Atlantic to northern Ohio, and now the latest run shows the low over far northeast Nebraska! That is a huge shift over 3 model runs.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Some snow on the way at times for Tuesday and Wednesday

5:34 PM Monday, December 5, 2022

We’ve got two snow events on the way through Wednesday which should put down a few inches of snow in much of the Northland.

The first snow event arrives Tuesday morning and continues through the afternoon, but this snow will target mostly northern Minnesota, North Shore and Arrowhead with little to no snow expected for eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on Tuesday. Note: There will be a sharp southern edge to the snow on Tuesday which looks to setup pretty much right over or near Duluth.

A second snow event is possible on Wednesday from around 5 AM to Noon, but this one may setup a little further south compared to Tuesday’s, with all of northwest Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota in the zone for possible snow on Wednesday.

For Duluth – A few lake effect snow showers are possible between 6 AM-8 AM Tuesday, followed by some system snow from around 9 AM to 2 PM Tuesday. Another round of snow is possible Wednesday from around 5 AM to Noon.

18z NAM 3km model radar forecast valid 6 AM to 6 PM Tuesday (snow in blue)

Here’s my snowfall forecast for Tuesday.

Snowfall ratios look pretty high per model guidance for Tuesday and could be in that 15:1 to 22:1 range so the snow that falls should be on the fluffy side, and it’s possible that we could get an isolated 3″ total somewhere in northern Minnesota due to the fluffy nature of the snow on Tuesday.

Highest snow amounts still look to setup north of Duluth, although there has been a slight southward shift in Tuesday’s snow.

Around 1″ of snow is possible in Duluth on Tuesday.

Note – Snowfall amounts with Wednesday’s system look pretty similar to what is forecast to fall on Tuesday, but the only difference is that the snow looks to be a little further south compared to Tuesday.

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An active weather pattern is in place as several low-pressure systems move east out of the western U.S.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Monday, December 5, 2022.

One thing which is fueling this active pattern is this temperature contrast, from arctic air across Canada with temperatures in the -10s and -20s this afternoon to the 70s and even a few 80s over parts of the Southern Plains.

The Northland will be on the southern edge of an arctic air mass through Wednesday, but the coldest temperatures will remain farther to the N/NW.

Bitterly cold temperatures will be found over North Dakota, northwest Minnesota into Manitoba and Ontario over the next few days, with the coldest temperatures forecast for Wednesday morning when we could see widespread -30s and even a few -40s in parts of southern Manitoba, with -20s into far northwest Minnesota, while all of this is going on, temperatures in Kentucky will be in the 60s early Wednesday morning.

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We’re still looking at milder temperatures returning to the Northland later this week into early next week, but there continues to be signs showing up in model guidance for much colder temperatures to return mid to late next week.

EPS model temperature anomaly for December 11-16, 2022.

GEFS model temperature anomaly trend for December 11-16, 2022

Blue and Purple – Below average temperatures

Orange and Red – Above average temperatures

Thanks for reading!

Tim