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1/22/09: Thursday’s Weather Report

Issued at 3:19 PM CST, Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
Weather tidbits:
Since November 15th, 2008 ending on Today’s date… The Duluth Airport has had just 5 days with a high temperature reading at or above 32 degrees.
The last time the Duluth Airport had a high temperature at or above 32 degrees was back on December 26th and 27th, 2008. High temps on those days were 32 degrees and 35 degrees respectively.
December 2008 snowfall total was 37.1″ at the Duluth Airport. Normal is 14.9″. We were +22.2″ above normal for the month in the snowfall department.
December 2008 monthly temperature was 7.0 degrees which was -7.0 degrees below normal.
This January has been sort of similar to last January with both months having little snowfall. Through the 21st of this month, the Duluth Airport has had 9.0″ of snow with the bulk of that falling earlier this month. The average snowfall for January is 19.6″
Last January 2008 tied for the least snowiest on record at Duluth with just 2.8″ of total snowfall.
Remember that February 2008 turned a bit snowier with March and April 2008 having some large winter storms hitting the city.
With a La Nina in place, things could turn stormier again around the Upper Midwest, but it will likely take time for that to happen. All the bitter cold air that’s been in place has to lift out first, then we need the warm air to surge north with the jet stream. No big changes are expected for a while, but as we move into February and March this pattern may start to change.
Surface Analysis at 20z:
Low pressure averaging 1010 mb was centered near Fargo North Dakota. Low pressure averaging 1010 mb was centered over Southeast Mantioba. A stationary front extended from Eastern Ontario through Western Lake Superior to far Northern Minnesota to Southern Manitoba. A cold front extended from Southeast Saskatchewan to Central Montana. Seeing good pressure rises on the order of 3-4 mb per two hours behind this cold front This Afternoon, in other words the next arctic surge is on the move.
Upper Air Analysis at 21z:
It took over a week for the flow to change from a highly amplified one to more of a west/northwesterly flow, bad news is that the amplified flow will be coming back. Afternoon water vapor satellite imagery shows a 500 mb trough heading SE through Saskatchewan/Manitoba Province with mid and high level moisture flowing north through the Rockies then east through the Plains and up into the Northern Plains/Upper Midwest. H5 12 hour height falls of 150 meters were found over Central Saskatchewan Province Today near this strong trough. 850 mb temperatures at 21z ranged from +2 to +6 degrees C from Western Minnesota through the Southern half of Minnesota with zero to -8 degree C 850 mb temps found over Northern areas of the state. The 850 mb temperature at Duluth was zero to -2 degrees C at 3 PM Today. Arctic airmass with minus 20 to minus 24 degree C 850 mb temps were beginning to push S/SE out of Alberta and Saskatchewan Province This Afternoon while the real warm air that was associated with the big ridge out west now resides over the Central and Southern Plains Today where H85 temps ranged from +12 to +18 degrees with surface temps in the 60s, 70s, and 80s from Nebraska southeast to Missouri down through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Areas of fog which was dense in some locations burned off This Morning and during the early Afternoon hours over all but the North half of Minnesota where areas of fog lingered along with cloudy skies all day long. Sunshine was most abundant over Southern areas of the state This Afternoon with high temps in the 20s and 30s with teens and 20s common elsewhere. Winds across the state were out of the south or east Today under 12 mph.
Temperatures around Minnesota at 3 PM ranged from 27 degrees at Blaine to 14 degrees at Moorhead to 25 degrees at Crane Lake to 16 degrees at Wadena to 20 degrees at Brainerd to 32 degrees at Pipestone to 34 degrees at Slayton to 25 degrees at Dodge Center.
Tonight through Friday Night:
*Wind Chill Advisory* is in effect from Midnight CST Tonight until 6 PM CST Friday for all of Northwest Minnesota and parts of Westcentral Minnesota. Some cities included in the advisory are… Roseau MN… Crookston MN… Thief River Falls MN… Bemidji MN… Moorhead MN… Detroit Lakes MN… And Fergus Falls MN…
Low pressure will track east out of the Dakotas through Northcentral Minnesota This Evening with this low then exiting to our E/SE by early Friday Morning. Arctic boundary will swing S/SE across Minnesota as this low tracks east. Areas of light snow and flurries will likely occur Tonight and Friday Morning across Northern Minnesota with accumulations around an inch or less expected. Some snow flurries could fall elsewhere as this front moves through later Tonight and Friday. Areas of fog and perhaps some light freezing drizzle could also occur around parts of Minnesota Tonight until this front moves through. Arctic air and gusty winds will overspread Minnesota from NW/SE Friday and Friday Night with strong high pressure building into Minnesota from the W/NW during this period. Lows Tonight will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s with highs Friday occurring late Tonight when readings will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s. Temperatures by Friday Afternoon will fall into the single digits and teens below to above zero across Minnesota with lows Friday Night ranging from 5 below to 20 below with 20 below to 30 below readings possible up north. South, east, or north winds are expected This Evening under 15 mph, then look for north or northwest winds to develop and increase to between 15 to 30 mph with higher gusts possible over Western and Southern Minnesota on Friday. Wind speeds Friday Night will be in the 10 to 20 mph range. Wind chills will drop into the 5 below to 25 below range across most of Minnesota on Friday and will range from 20 below to 40 below Friday Night.
Extended Forecast:
Arctic high pressure will be in control of our weather this weekend with cold air and mainly dry conditions expected to continue around the state. Overrunning snow looks like it’ll stay west and southwest of Minnesota over the weekend as we remain under the influence of high pressure and the northern branch of the jet stream. High temperatures Saturday and Sunday will be in the single digits below to above zero with some teens below possible North. Lows Saturday Night and Sunday Night will range from around 5 below to 20 below with 20 below to 30 below zero temperatures possible up North.
Looks like temperatures will begin to moderate around the Upper Midwest as we head into next week, although it doesn’t look like will see any big warm-ups, but readings should get back to normal to slightly above normal levels after Monday of next week.
No signs of any big storms around the Upper Midwest through early next week…The middle or end of next week may be different if the jet streams can phase and allow a strong storm to track E/NE out of the Plains…Some forecast models Today do show this happening, but others don’t, plus one model run will show something happening, then a new model run 6 hours down the road shows something completely different. So right now confidence is extremely low for any big storm to affect Minnesota’s weather the middle or end of next week, but it bears watching.
Forecast for Duluth/Superior:
.Tonight… Cloudy. Hazy with areas of fog, flurries, and perhaps a bit of light freezing drizzle This Evening. A few snow showers possible Overnight. Low zero to 5 above. Wind east to southeast under 10 mph, shifting to the north to northwest at 10 to 20 mph after 2 AM.
.Friday… Breezy and turning colder. A few flurries possible during the Morning. Partly sunny. High 15 to 20 early with temperatures falling into the single digits. Wind north to northwest at 15 to 25 mph. Wind chills from 10 below to 20 below.
.Friday Night… Frigid. Mostly clear. Low 12 below to 18 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Wind chills from 25 below to 40 below.
.Saturday… Very cold. Mostly sunny. High 3 below to 5 above.
.Saturday Night… Frigid. Mostly clear. Low 15 below to 20 below.
.Sunday… Very cold. Mostly sunny. High 3 below to 5 above.
.Sunday Night… Frigid. Partly cloudy. Low 11 below to 17 below.
Normal High Temperature Today 18 degrees
Normal Low Temperature Today -1 degree
4 PM Thompson Hill Observation:
Current Temperature: 21.8 degrees
Dewpoint: 20 degrees
Humidity: 97%
Wind: E at 1 mph G 3 mph
Max Temperature Today: 22.7 degrees
Max Humidity Today: 97%
Min Temperature Today: 17.1 degrees
Min Humidity Today: 92%
Tim
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