Issued at 4 PM CST, Friday, January 16th, 2009
Surface Analysis at 21z:
Arctic high pressure averaging 1040 mb was centered over extreme Northern Kentucky with low pressure averaging 1008 mb centered along the Saskatchewan/Manitoba Province line. A warm front attached to this low extended from Eastern Saskatchewan through the Southwest half of North Dakota into Central South Dakota. Good pressure falls of 2-3 mb/2 hours were noted This Afternoon across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest out ahead of that low to our northwest.
Upper Air Analysis at 21z:
Ridge of high pressure covered areas west of the Rockies Today with a NWRLY flow aloft evident out ahead of this ridge over the Upper Midwest. Main feature of interest for our area is the disturbance tracking SE out of Southeast Saskatchewan This Afternoon. Strong warm advection was occurring Today over the Northern Plains and Rockies with 850 mb temps late This Afternoon ranging from +2 to +12 degrees C while 850 mb temps under the upper ridge west of the Rockies ranged from +12 to +16 degrees C. Arctic air was slowly retreating around Minnesota This Afternoon with 21z 850 mb temperatures ranging from -4 to -6 degrees C in Southwest Minnesota to -14 to -18 degrees C in Northeast Minnesota.
With the warmer air aloft coming into contact with much colder temps near the surface, we’ve seen some areas of light snow and flurries develop Today over parts of Minnesota per hourly observations, hardly any of this snow was being picked up on radar though since it was extremely light.
Temperatures around Minnesota at 4 PM Today ranged from -2 degrees at Warroad to 8 degrees at Bemidji to 9 degrees at International Falls to 12 at Grand Marais to -2 degrees at Wadena to 1 at Little Falls to 12 at Pipestone to zero at Albert Lea to 1 at Rochester.
Temperatures have increased a good 30 to almost 50 degrees around most of Minnesota This Afternoon compared to the Morning low temperatures from earlier Today.
Saw a temperature inversion in the city of Duluth Today with surface temps running 1-2 degrees warmer at higher elevations compared to lower elevations, this inversion was breaking down though late Today as winds were beginning to increase below the hill which was helping to mix the air up causing temps to rise.
Partly cloudy to overcast conditions were found across Minnesota Today with winds out of the south, southwest, or southeast at 10 to 20 mph. Afternoon wind chills around Minnesota were in the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero.
Tonight through Saturday Night:
Low pressure will head SE from the Saskatchewan/Manitoba Province line into Northcentral Minnesota later Tonight, this low will then track toward Eastern Minnesota/Western Wisconsin Saturday Morning before exiting toward Lake Michigan Tomorrow Afternoon. This system doesn’t have much moisture to work with as PWATS peak in the .20″-.30″ range, but this system is quite dynamic and with the warmer air moving east into the arctic air, we should see snow develop during the night across Northern-Eastern portions of Minnesota. Still looks like we could see 1-3″ of new snow by Tomorrow Morning across those areas of the state with the higher totals probably found in Northeast Minnesota, mainly from around Crane Lake and Ely down toward Two Harbors and points northeast from there. The system snow will end Saturday Morning as the low exits to our east, then will be left with some lingering snow flurries around parts of Minnesota into Saturday Night. Low temperatures Tonight will hold pretty steady if not rise some through the night with readings ranging from around zero to between 10 and 20 degrees. High temperatures on Saturday will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s with lows Saturday Night in the single digits and teens with some single digit below zero readings possible Northeast. Winds Tonight will be out of the south, west, or southeast around 10 to 20 mph. Winds Tomorrow and Tomorrow Night will be out of the north or west at 10 to 25 mph.
An amplified N-NWRLY flow aloft will remain in place around Minnesota through early next week. A couple of minor disturbances dropping S-SE from Northern Canada will track toward our area on occasion and could bring some flurries or snow showers to parts of Minnesota from Sunday into Monday, doesn’t look like will see any accumulating snow with those systems though. Still appears that the big 500 mb ridge which was in place over the Western U.S. over the last few days will push east and pass through Minnesota around Tuesday of next week, this ridge will then get shunted south toward the middle and end of next week as more arctic air pushes south into Minnesota later next week. Seeing differences with the forecast models Today in regards with how cold it could get around Minnesota later next week with the 00z EURO showing 850 mb temps dropping to -25/-30 degrees C while the 00z GFS is showing 850 mb temps peaking around -20 degrees C… Either way it looks like more arctic air will be pushing into Minnesota later next week with the EURO model being the most extreme with how cold it may get around our area. Not seeing much hope for a good snowfall anywhere around Minnesota through late next week attm, but a strong baroclinic zone will be sagging south from Central Canada later next week and sometimes we can see low pressure waves form and track along those zones which often leads to some snowfall during the Winter months, a few of the models Today are showing this setup later next week, but they aren’t showing much in the way of snow as of yet.
High tempeatures around Minnesota will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s for Sunday and Monday with low temperatures in the single digits and teens with some below zero readings possible Northeast.
Forecast for Duluth/Superior:
.Tonight… Increasing clouds. Flurries possible This Evening with some snow possible Overnight. Accumulations of an inch or two possible possible by Morning. Temperatures holding steady in the single digits above zero. Wind south at 10 to 15 mph.
.Saturday… A few snow showers or flurries possible, otherwise mostly cloudy. High 13 to 19. Wind becoming northwest at 10 to 20 mph.
.Saturday Night… A few flurries possible. Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 3 below to 5 above. Wind northwest around 15 mph.
.Sunday… A few flurries possible. Partly sunny. High 14 to 20.
.Sunday Night… A few flurries possible. Low 5 to 10.
.Monday… A few flurries possible. High 17 to 23.
.Monday Night… Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 5 to 10.
4 PM Thompson Hill Observation:
Current Temperature: 6.8 degrees
Dewpoint: -12 degrees
Wind: S at 5 mph G 9 mph
Max Temperature Today: 9.7 degrees
Max Humidity Today: 79%
Min Temperature Today: -20.2 degrees
Min Humidity Today: 38%