Issued at 4:30 PM CST, Saturday, January 31st, 2009
Surface Analysis at 22z:
Low pressure averaging 982 mb was moving into the Southwest half of Ontario. A warm front attached to this low had lifted into far Northeast Minnesota with a cold front attached to this low just entering far Northwest Minnesota. A prefrontal trough or wind shift line was noted over Central Minnesota. Strong pressure rises of 2-3 mb per 2 hours were occurring This Afternoon behind the trough and cold front and on the southwest side of the deep low off to our north.
The January thaw came in with a vengenance around Minnesota Today as high temperatures soared through the 30s and 40s with even a few locations out West inching close to the 50 degree mark! The 60 and 70 degree temperature contours came as far north as far Southern Nebraska and far Southern Iowa Today. Strong warm advection partially responsible in causing these very warm temps around Minnesota Today was shifting east of the state as of late Today with strong cold advection (aloft) crashing southeast through the state.
Upper Air Analysis at 22z:
Strong shortwave was tracking into Western-Southern Ontario with the flow aloft generally from the west around Minnesota Today. This storm is causing quite a bit of snow Today to the north of the surface low with many locations in Western and Central Ontario back into Manitoba seeing their visibilities drop to fractions of a mile Today in moderate to heavy snow. Very impressive 12 hour H5 height falls of 150-270 meters were spreading east out of the Dakotas and Southern Canada Today in assocation with this powerful storm system. H85 temperatures at 22z ranged from +2 to +6 degrees C across Central, Eastern, and Southern Minnesota to zero to -6 degrees C in Northern and Western Minnesota. Even colder air with H85 temps of -20 degrees C were found over Central Manitoba. Another aspect of this big storm has been the howling winds that have affected Western Minnesota Today. 500 mb winds were up to 90 knots This Afternoon from North Dakota and Northern South Dakota through Western and Central Minnesota with 40-60 knot 850 mb winds across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. These very high winds aloft were able to mix down to the surface Today with 30 to 55 mph winds occurring across much of Northwest and Western Minnesota.
Cloudy skies with areas of fog, flurries, and a bit of light freezing drizzle did occur over portions of Minnesota late last night through This Morning as a warm front pushed east-northeast across the state. As of late Today, only far Northeast Minnesota was still seeing areas of fog and low clouds while mostly cloudy skies associated with the cold advection part of this storm were found across Northern and Northwest Minnesota, the rest of the state was still seeing clear to mostly clear skies.
Temperatures around Minnesota at 4 PM ranged from 46 degrees at St. Paul to 36 degrees at Bemidji to 32 degrees at Detroit Lakes to 43 degrees at Grand Rapids to 46 degrees at Hibbing to 39 degrees at Ortonville to 46 degrees at Aitkin to 45 degrees at Moose Lake to 46 degrees at Granite Falls to 47 degrees at Glencoe to 43 degrees at Winona.
Here are some wind speeds around Minnesota at 4 PM with the wind gusts in parenthesis.
Hallock: W at 33 mph (45 mph)
Thief River Falls: W at 32 mph (44 mph)
Flag Island: W at 43 mph (49 mph)
Alexandria: NW at 31 mph (41 mph)
Aitkin: (39 mph)
Brainerd: (35 mph)
Grand Rapids: (35 mph)
International Falls: (36 mph)
Tonight through Sunday Night:
*High Wind Warning* continues until 6 PM CST Tonight for extreme Western Minnesota.
*Wind Advisory* continues until Midnight CST Tonight for Northwest and Western Minnesota.
Strong low pressure will continue on it’s eastward track, passing north-northeast of Minnesota during this forecast period. A cold front will push rapidly to the southeast and through all of Minnesota by late This Evening which will then be followed by a secondary cold front which will drop south into Northern Minnesota by Sunday Night. Look for partly to mostly cloudy skies across Minnesota during this period with flurries or a few snow showers possible Tonight, mainly across Northern Minnesota…Then a few snow showers or flurries could occur over all but Western and Southern areas of the state Sunday and Sunday Night. Low temperatures Tonight will be in the teens and 20s with some single digits possible Northwest, but with winds staying up the whole night and the real strong push of cold air remaining aloft, it’ll be pretty difficult for readings to fall into the single digits Tonight. Highs on Sunday will be in the teens and 20s with 30s possible Southeast. Lows Sunday Night will be in the single digits and teens with subzero readings possible Northwest. Winds Tonight through Sunday Night will be out of the west, northwest, or southwest. Wind speeds will average 15 to 25 mph, but wind gusts of 25 to 50 mph will continue around the state, especially Tonight.
Colder air will move into Minnesota early next week as the flow aloft once again becomes north to northwest, it doesn’t appear that this cold blast will be too significant though, but with H85 temps falling to -18 to -24 degrees C…This could still support nighttime lows into the double digits below zero early next week for parts of Minnesota. A vigorous upper trough will be sliding south and east across Minnesota on Monday…This system could bring some snow showers or flurries to parts of the state at that time, in addition, winds aloft look to veer to the NE for a time late Monday Afternoon or Evening which could lead to a brief period of lake effect snow near Lake Superior in Northeast Minnesota. By Mid-week, temperatures should be moderating a bit as the early week cold blast shifts east of Minnesota thanks to an area of low pressure which will approach the state from the northwest, precipitation looks minimal with this system though. By later next week or next weekend we could see a low pressure system lift out of the Plains while another low moves in from the west-northwest. Right now this system looks pretty moisture starved, but it may be able to tap into a little bit of gulf moisture and cause areas of snow, rain, or freezing rain over parts of Minnesota late next week or next weekend.
High temperatures Monday and Tuesday will be in the single digits and teens with some spots up North possibly staying below zero. Lows Monday Night and Tuesday Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero.
Forecast for Duluth/Superior:
.Tonight… Windy. Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 20 to 25. Wind west at 15 to 25 mph with gusts of 25 to 40 mph possible.
.Sunday… Breezy. Considerable cloudiness with flurries possible. High 28 to 34 with temperatures falling through the 20s. Wind west at 15 to 25 mph.
.Sunday Night… A few flurries or snow showers possible. Mostly cloudy. Low 10 to 15. Wind west to northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 20%.
.Monday… A few flurries or snow showers possible. Mostly cloudy. High 15 to 20. Chance of snow 30%.
.Monday Night… A few flurries possible. Low 2 below to 7 below.
.Tuesday… Partly cloudy. High 8 to 13.
.Tuesday Night… Partly cloudy. Low 4 below to 3 above.
4 PM Thompson Hill Observation:
Current Temperature: 42.3 degrees
Dewpoint: 24 degrees
Wind: WSW at 14 mph G 24 mph
Max Temperature Today: 42.8 degrees
Max Humidity Today: 98%
Min Temperature Today: 11.5 degrees
Min Humidity Today: 47%
Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 20 degrees
Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 1 degree