1/21/09: Wednesday’s Weather Report

Issued at 3:32 PM CST, Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

February 2009 Outlook for Minnesota issued by the Climate Prediction Center on January 15th, 2009… Equal Chances to see Below Normal, Normal, or Above Normal Temperatures and Precipitation for Minnesota.

February 2009 through April 2009 Outlook for Minnesota issued by the Climate Prediction Center on January 15th, 2009… Equal Chances to see Below Normal, Normal, or Above Normal Temperatures and Precipitation for Minnesota.

Surface Analysis at 21z:

Low pressure averaging 1012 mb was centered over Western South Dakota. A trough extended from Southwest Wisconsin to Southwest Missouri to Central Oklahoma. A cold front extended from Central Ontario to Central Saskatchewan with low pressure averaging 1010 mb centered over Eastern Manitoba.

Upper Air Analysis at 21z:

Northwest flow aloft was in place over the Upper Midwest Today as the big ridge which has been in place across the Western U.S. for almost a week begins to break down thanks in part to a trough of low pressure which is heading into the Western U.S. 850 mb temperatures have finally made it above zero over most of Minnesota Today with 21z 850 mb temps ranging from zero to -6 degrees C in Northeast and far Northern Minnesota to +2 to +6 degrees C elsewhere. The 850 mb temp at Duluth was +2 degrees C at 3 PM Today. Looking at the water vapor satellite imagery reveals a potent disturbance heading E-SE across Northern British Columbia and Northern Alberta…This system will be the one that’ll help to pull down another lobe of arctic air into the Upper Midwest by Friday.

60 degree surface temperature line reached the South Dakota/Nebraska state line for the second day in a row with the 32 degree surface temperature line making it into extreme Southwest Minnesota Today.

High temperatures around Minnesota were in the 20s and 30s Today with winds out of the west or south around 15 mph or less. Plenty of low clouds along with patchy flurries, fog, and light freezing drizzle did develop over Minnesota earlier in the day, but sunshine broke out from west to east during the late Morning and Afternoon hours with the only areas still socked in by low clouds being the Northern portion of Minnesota late Today.

Temperatures around Minnesota at 4 PM ranged from 31 degrees at Bemidji to 19 degrees at Hallock to 32 degrees at Longville to 20 degrees at Duluth to 32 degrees at Wheaton to 30 degrees at Pine River to 30 degrees at Moose Lake to 33 degrees at Canby to 23 degrees at Owatonna to 19 degrees at Rochester.

Tonight through Thursday Night:

Areas of fog which could be quite dense in some spots late This Afternoon(visibilities down to 1/2 mile at Hallock at 4 PM and 1 mile at Warroad) will likely expand in coverage around Minnesota during the night, the fog could then persist in spots through Thursday as a cold front drops south from Central Canada and helps pool what moisture there is along and ahead of this boundary. Patchy flurries or light freezing drizzle could also develop later Tonight and Thursday, especially over the Northern half of the state. Look for the cold front to drop down into Northern Minnesota Thursday Night as an area of low pressure tracks along and slightly ahead of the boundary. Look for some light snow or flurries around Northern Minnesota Thursday Night with accumulations under an inch. Lows Tonight will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s with highs Thursday in the 20s and 30s. Lows Thursday Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s. Winds will be out of the west, northwest, or southwest Tonight under 15 mph. Winds Thursday and Thursday Night will be out of the south, east, or north around 10 to 20 mph.

Extended Forecast:

Cold front will be blasting to the south/east of Minnesota Friday Morning with arctic high pressure then building into Minnesota from the west/northwest through the weekend. Could be some flurries or snow showers over parts of the state on Friday with little accumulation expected. Dry weather is then expected for Saturday and Sunday, but Southern Minnesota could see a little bit of snow toward the end of the weekend as some moisture tries to lift north and overruns the arctic air in place, although at the moment it appears that the bulk of the snow will pass west and south of Minnesota.

Appears will see two shots of arctic air with one hitting Friday Night/Saturday Morning and the second (possibly stronger surge) occurring Saturday Afternoon into Sunday. 850 mb temperatures could drop to -24 to -28 degrees C at times this weekend across the North half of Minnesota. This really isn’t much different from how low the 850 mb temps were with last week’s arctic outbreak and that resulted in widespread 30s/40s below for nighttime lows across Northern Minnesota.

A period of gusty north/northwest winds will likely affect most of Minnesota Friday into Friday Night in wake of the arctic front and low passing to our east. Strong cold advection occurring behind those features will help in generating those gusty winds.

Wind speeds during the weekend will be around 20 mph or less and that combined with how cold the air temps will be could result in dangerously low wind chills over portions of Minnesota from Friday Night through Sunday.

…Wind chill headlines may be needed for some parts of Minnesota this weekend…

High temperatures around Minnesota on Friday will be in the teens, 20s, and 30s but temps will fall into the single digits below to above zero with some teens farther south by Friday Afternoon. Highs Saturday will be in the single digits below to above zero with some teens below North. Lows Friday Night and Saturday Night will range from zero to 20 below with 20 below to 30 below temperatures possible North areas.

Forecast for Duluth/Superior:

.Tonight… Some haze. Partly to mostly cloudy. Patchy fog, flurries, or light freezing drizzle possible. Low 15 to 20. Wind west under 15 mph.

.Thursday… Patchy fog, flurries, or light freezing drizzle possible. Otherwise mostly cloudy. High 23 to 28. Wind southwest under 15 mph.

.Thursday Night… Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low zero to 5 below. Wind becoming north at 10 to 15 mph.

.Friday… Breezy and colder. Flurries possible. Partly sunny. High 15 to 20 with temperatures falling through the single digits. Wind northwest at 15 to 25 mph. Wind chills falling to 10 below to 20 below during the Afternoon.

.Friday Night… Frigid. Partly cloudy. Low 15 below to 20 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Wind chills 25 below to 40 below.

.Saturday… Very cold. Mostly sunny. High 3 below to 4 above.

.Saturday Night… Frigid. Mostly clear. Low 17 below to 22 below.

4 PM Thompson Hill Observation:

Current Temperature: 23.6 degrees

Dewpoint: 18 degrees

Humidity: 79%

Wind: SW at 8 mph G 11 mph

Max Temperature Today: 24.6 degrees

Max Humidity Today: 93%

Min Temperature Today: 13.5 degrees

Min Humidity Today: 78%

Tim

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