1/31/09: Incredible warmth/powerful storm

Issued at 12:50 PM CST, Saturday, January 31st, 2009

At 1830z a deep area of low pressure averaging 984 mb was centered over Eastern Manitoba with strong darkening noted on water vapor satellite imagery surging southeast across the Northeast half of North Dakota into Northwest Minnesota. This powerful low is causing temperatures to sky rocket over all but Northern and Northeast Minnesota early This Afternoon in addition to this, high winds were spreading through North Dakota and will soon move into Western Minnesota. *Note: 51 mph wind gust recently at Crookston Minnesota per 1 PM observation.

*High Wind Warning* is in effect through 6 PM CST Today for far Western Minnesota with a *Wind Advisory* in effect from 6 PM This Evening until Midnight CST Tonight for this same area. Some cities included in these headlines are… Crookston… Moorhead… Hallock… Warren… And Breckenridge.

*Wind Advisory* is in effect from 3 PM CST Today to Midnight CST Tonight for parts of Western Minnesota. This advisory includes the following cities… Baudette… Red Lake… Bagley… Bemidji… Park Rapids… And Wadena…

Wind speeds in the advisory area will be in the 20 to 40 mph range This Afternoon and Tonight with wind gusts of 40 to around 60 mph possible for several hours in the high wind warning area. Winds this strong could knock down trees and power lines. These strong winds will also cause areas of blowing snow to develop which will limit visibilities to under a mile at times.

Additional wind headlines may be needed for other parts of Minnesota later Today or Tonight as 850 mb winds increase to 40-60 knots as deep low pressure passes north of Minnesota and causes strong winds to occur west and south of the area of low pressure.

At Noon Today, surface temps had risen into the 30s and 40s across all but Northern and Northeast Minnesota where readings were still holding in the 20s thanks to low clouds and areas of fog which was dense in some locations. Some locales out in Westcentral Minnesota were even close to 50 degrees at Noon Today.

850 mb temperatures at 12 PM CST ranged from +2 to +10 degrees across all but Northeast and far Northern Minnesota.

3 hour temperature rises per RUC model have been in the 12 to 16 degree range across much of Minnesota early This Afternoon…Pretty incredible!

Here are some of the lower pressure readings as of late This Morning and early This Afternoon in response to this strong area of low pressure.

Hallock MN: 29.16″

Roseau MN: 29.08″

Warroad MN: 29.09″

Baudette MN: 29.11″

Flag Island MN: 29.06″

Winnipeg Manitoba: 29.06″

The temperature inversion which developed in Duluth This Morning has broken as of Noon Today. Fog and low clouds have burned off, giving way to sunshine as of early Afternoon. Some examples of the inversion…At 9 AM Today, the 925 mb temperature at Duluth was -5 degrees C…850 mb temperature was around zero to +2 degrees C…Surface temperature was -8 degrees C… At 12 PM CST Today, the 925 mb temperature at Duluth was around -4 degrees C…850 mb temperature was +2 degrees C and the surface temperature was -2 degrees C. This wasn’t a very strong inversion, so all we needed to do was break the sun out and cause some of the gusty winds aloft to mix down to the surface which we’ve done.

High temperatures for the rest of Today could really take off in the city as readings to our west and northwest were in the upper 30s to low and mid 40s as of 1 PM Today. 40s were as far east as Grand Rapids, Aitkin, and Brainerd.

High temperature forecast of 25 to 30 degrees for Duluth Today will have to be raised to 35 to 40 degrees, I do believe will top the freezing mark for the first time this month.


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