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1/28/09: Wednesday’s Weather Report

Issued at 4:48 PM CST, Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Weather History:

On this date one year ago, the high temperature reached 41 degrees at Duluth Minnesota.

Surface Analysis at 22z:

Low pressure averaging 1002 mb was centered over Western Ontario Province. A warm front attached to this low was over Western Minnesota with a cold front over Northern North Dakota.

Upper Air Analysis at 22z:

Northwest flow aloft was evident on water vapor satellite imagery around the Upper Midwest Today with three disturbances passing east-southeast across the region. Disturbance number one was tracking through the Southern half of Minnesota attm. Disturbance number two was moving through Eastern North Dakota into Northwest Minnesota attm. Disturbance number three was tracking through Western Ontario and Southern Manitoba. Each one of these disturbances has been generating areas of light snow and flurries Today over portions of North Dakota and Minnesota with visibilities falling to around one mile at times, snowfall amounts have been extremely light though. H85 temperatures around Minnesota at 4 PM Today ranged from -12 degrees C in Northeast and far Northwest Minnesota to -6 degrees C in Southwest Minnesota with -8 to -10 degree C temperatures in between.

Today’s Weather:

Skies around Minnesota were partly sunny to mostly cloudy Today with areas of light snow and flurries falling at times over parts of the state. There was also some lake effect snow along the North Shore of Lake Superior thanks to a southerly flow and cold temperatures in place. Visibilities around the Grand Marais area have dropped to 3/4 to one mile at times Today in the lake effect snow. High temperatures around Minnesota were in the teens and 20s Today with a few spots in Southwest Minnesota in the low 30s. Winds across the state were out of the south or west Today around 20 mph or less.

Temperatures around Minnesota at 5 PM ranged from 16 degrees at St. Paul to 18 degrees at Roseau to 12 degrees at Grand Rapids to 13 degrees at Duluth to 28 degrees at Wheaton to 28 degrees at Ortonville to 9 degrees at Pine River to 14 degrees at Mora to 31 degrees at Canby to 12 degrees at Owatonna to 9 degrees at Rochester.

Tonight through Thursday Night:

Low pressure will be passing to the north/northeast of Minnesota through Thursday while an upper level trough and a couple disturbances track southeast through our area during this forecast period. Areas of light snow and flurries will persist around parts of Minnesota into Thursday with mainly dry conditions expected for Thursday Night. Snow amounts will only add up to a few tenths to possibly an inch during the next 24 hours. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will cover the state this period with lows Tonight in the single digits, teens, and 20s with some subzero readings possible Northwest. Highs Thursday will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s with lows Thursday Night in the single digits below to above zero with teens and 20s below possible over North and East areas of the state as a brief shot of colder air pushes into Minnesota behind the exiting upper trough and low. Winds Tonight and Thursday Night will be out of the southwest, west, or northwest with northwest winds on Thursday. Wind speeds will generally range from 10 to 20 mph, but some higher gusts will occur Tonight and Thursday.

Extended Forecast:

An area of low pressure will pass off well to the north of Minnesota Friday and early Saturday with a stronger low around 988 mb heading east across Central Canada this weekend. A warm front and cold front attached to this second low will be sweeping across Minnesota from Friday Afternoon into Saturday Night. Could see some flurries over parts of Minnesota in the strong warm advection regime Friday through Saturday Morning, then some more flurries or snow showers could occur Saturday Night and Sunday over parts of Minnesota as a virgorous upper level trough heads east out of the Northern Rockies. High temperatures around Minnesota will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s on Friday with lows Friday Night holding fairly steady from Friday’s high temperatures. Highs on Saturday will be in the 20s and 30s with some 40s possible Southwest. Lows Saturday Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s.

Still looks like H85 temperatures will spike into the +2 to +8 degree C range over most of Minnesota for a time on Saturday, and if enough of this warm air can make it to the surface, then high temps over most of Minnesota will make it to at or above 32 degrees, the usual difficulty in getting this warm air down to the surface this time of year is the thick snow pack that’s in place around Minnesota, but surface winds look to be in a favorable W/SW direction on Saturday, so if we can stay away from low cloud development, then high temps on Saturday could soar…If not, then temps will likely stay below 32 degrees.

-Note: The 12z Global (GEM) forecast model from Today has the Friday and early Saturday low on a more southward track compared to the other models, if this happens…Then cold advection could be stronger around Minnesota most of Saturday with the next strong low then causing warmer temperatures from late Saturday through Sunday Morning, this is the only model hinting at this solution at the moment, but it bears watching.

Looking further out into the future…The early to mid part of next week could feature a monster storm for the East Coast while a surge of arctic air drops down behind this possible storm into the Upper Midwest, doesn’t appear that this arctic air surge will be any worse than the two outbreaks we had to deal with in January, but it still could get pretty cold for a time early next week around Minnesota. This big storm for the East Coast could then lead to a big shift in the overall weather pattern for the Upper Midwest as we head into the early and middle parts of February as we could finally see the cold air shift more into Northwest Canada/Alaska and possibly the Western U.S., which could eventually lead to a more active storm track for the Upper Mississippi Valley. But, the way this Winter has been going so far, chances of this actually occurring seem pretty low, since the NWRLY flow and arctic air has been having a very difficult time in leaving Minnesota.

Locally for Duluth/Superior:

.Tonight… Snow showers and flurries. Accumulations under an inch. Mostly cloudy. Low zero to 5 above. Wind southwest at 10 to 15 mph, becoming northwest after Midnight.

.Thursday… A few flurries possible. Partly sunny. High 11 to 16. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday Night… Partly cloudy. Low 6 below to 13 below.

.Friday… Partly sunny. High 10 to 15.

.Friday Night… A few flurries possible. Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 5 to 10 with slowly rising temperatures.

.Saturday… Mostly cloudy. High 26 to 31.

.Saturday Night… Flurries possible. Mostly cloudy. Low 10 to 15.

5 PM Thompson Hill Observation:

Current Temperature: 13.3 degrees

Dewpoint: 6 degrees

Humidity: 74%

Wind: SW at 6 mph G 12 mph

Max Temperature Today: 16 degrees

Max Humidity Today: 89%

Min Temperature Today: -4.9 degrees

Min Humidity Today: 63%

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 20 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow zero degrees

Tim

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