2/5/09: Thursday’s Weather Report

Issued at 3:37 PM CST, Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Updated 30 day outlook for February 2009…Issued by the Climate Prediction Center on January 31st, 2009…

Temperatures for Minnesota have equal chances of being Above Normal, Normal, or Below Normal with a 33% to 40% chance of having Above Normal Precipitation statewide.

Surface Analysis at 21z:

A warm front was over Western Minnesota with a stationary front stretching from Northeast Montana to Southwest North Dakota to Southeast South Dakota.

Upper Air Analysis at 21z:

Northwest flow aloft continued around the Upper Midwest Today, but it’s not nearly as amplified as previous days. H5 heights and H85 temperatures have risen quite well across Minnesota over the past 24 hours indicative that this very amplified upper level pattern is starting to relax. Seeing a well defined shortwave on water vapor satellite imagery track east-northeast through California and Nevada Today as a Western trough begins to take shape. Broad area of 90 meter H5 12 hour height falls were noted This Afternoon per RUC model from Washington down to California east through Nevada and Idaho. 850 mb temperatures around Minnesota at 3 PM Today ranged from zero to -2 degrees C in extreme Northeast Minnesota to +2 to +8 degrees C for the remainder of the state.

Today’s Weather:

Sunshine covered the majority of Minnesota with areas of low clouds before Noon across Northeast Minnesota with just some passing high level clouds out West. High temperatures Today climbed into the 20s and 30s with low 40s showing up in Southwest Minnesota. Temperatures in the 60s made it as far north as Southern South Dakota Today. Winds across the state were calm, or from the south, west, or east under 10 mph.

Temperatures around Minnesota at 4 PM ranged from 34 degrees at Crystal to 19 degrees at Warroad to 35 degrees at Park Rapids to 22 degrees at International Falls to 28 degrees at Duluth to 36 degrees at Madison to 30 degrees at Aitkin to 32 degrees at Cambridge to 43 degrees at Granite Falls to 36 degrees at St. James to 27 degrees at Dodge Center.


Quiet weather is expected with clear to partly cloudy skies. Lows will bottom out in the single digits, teens, and 20s with light winds under 12 mph.

Friday and Friday Night:

An area of low pressure will move into the Northern Plains…Reaching Minnesota Friday Night. This system will not have a great deal of moisture to work with and the best influx of moisture into this system still looks like it’ll occur to the east of Minnesota Friday Night. The potential still exists for some freezing drizzle, drizzle, or snow flurries to develop Friday Night over Northern, Central, and Eastern areas of the state, although right now this doesn’t look to be a big deal. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will cover the state during this period with highs Friday in the 20s, 30s, and 40s with lows Friday Night in the teens, 20s, and low 30s. Winds will be out of the south or east on Friday at 10 to 20 mph with south, east, or west winds at 10 to 20 mph Friday Night.

Extended Forecast:

Low pressure will exit to the east of Minnesota on Saturday, but a cold front and a pretty vigorous 500 mb trough will drop southeast across the Upper Midwest behind the departing low Saturday and Saturday Night. Snow showers or flurries could occur during that time across Northern areas of the state. High pressure will then build into Minnesota by Sunday along with a brief transition back to a northwest or west-northwest upper level flow pattern. End result will be for tranquil conditions to close out the weekend. High temperatures across Minnesota will be in the teens, 20s, and 30s Saturday and Sunday with lows Saturday Night in the single digits and teens with single digits and teens below possible in the North. Lows Sunday Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s.

Long Term:

The storm advertised for early next week is still on deck with some fluctuations noted in regards to the strength and temperatures, but overall there really hasn’t been huge extremes from one model run to the next, which is always a good thing. But, since this storm is still a good 4 days away, the track/timing/and intensity could still change…

Low pressure will pull out into Northwest Kansas late Sunday Night-Monday Morning, look for the low to reach Eastern South Dakota Monday Evening, then Northwest Minnesota by Tuesday Morning. Pressures near the center of this low should be in the 990-994 mb range, so not as extreme as what a few of the models were showing 24 hours ago, but still a healthy storm in terms of pressure for this time of year. Still appears that the whole storm itself will become negatively tilted as it lifts into the Upper Midwest early next week as well.

The biggest question marks this far out remain the temperature profiles of the atmosphere and will this storm track as far west as the models are showing it doing…Pretty hard to imagine a storm taking such a western track here in February, but with how amplified the pattern is going to get, it makes sense that this storm will take the western route.

Onto the details…

By Sunday Night, look for rain, sleet, or freezing rain to spread into Western and Southern areas of the state with a transition to rain occurring across Southern Minnesota during the night. The rest of Minnesota should stay dry Sunday Night the way it looks now.

Monday will see rain falling across Southern Minnesota with a mixture of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and rain spreading into Central, Eastern, and Northern areas of the state…Precipitation will likely switch over to mostly rain by Monday Afternoon, especially in Central and Eastern areas of the state. Western Minnesota will likely see a mix bag of snow, freezing rain, or sleet on Monday.

For Monday Night, look for some rain to continue across Southern Minnesota with a mix bag of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow across Central and Eastern Minnesota while Northern and Western areas of the state see mainly snow, sleet, or freezing rain.

Also appears there could be enough instability present with showalters dropping to around zero degrees C and elevated capes around 100 j/kg to cause embedded thunderstorms Monday across the Southern half of Minnesota with a slight possibility for a few severe thunderstorms near the dry slot down in Iowa come Monday Afternoon or Evening.

By Tuesday, the bulk of the precipitation should be pulling out of Minnesota as low pressure lifts up into Ontario Province, still could see some snow showers or flurries over parts of the state behind this low though, but again it appears that the majority of the precipitation will have ended by Tuesday, unless this system slows down.

This storm early next week has the potential to drop pretty significant amounts of snow, ice, and rain over Minnesota and winter weather headlines and or flood headlines will likely be needed for parts of Minnesota as this event gets closer.

A second storm system appears at this time that it will track far enough to the east-southeast of Minnesota during the middle and end of next week, so the potential of seeing a significant winter storm during that time period looks less than 24 hours ago, but with the atmosphere about to get into a state of flux, changes in the storm track could occur, and if it backs more to the west…Then a pretty big snow storm could hit parts of Minnesota the middle or end of next week.

Forecast for Duluth/Superior:

.Tonight… Partly cloudy. Low 10 to 15. Wind west around 10 mph.

.Friday… Partly cloudy. High 27 to 33. Wind becoming east to southeast at 10 to 15 mph.

.Friday Night… Mostly cloudy. Patchy light freezing drizzle possible. Low 20 to 25. Wind east to southeast at 5 to 15 mph, becoming southwest Overnight.

.Saturday… Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 30 to 35.

.Saturday Night… Partly to mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 5 to 10.

.Sunday… Mostly sunny. High 20 to 25.

.Sunday Night… Increasing cloudiness. Low 10 to 15.

4 PM Thompson Hill Observation:

Current Temperature: 29.5 degrees

Dewpoint: 13 degrees

Humidity: 50%

Wind: W at 4 mph G 7 mph

Max Temperature Today: 30.9 degrees

Max Humidity Today: 72%

Min Temperature Today: 6.5 degrees

Min Humidity Today: 48%

Normal High Temperature Today 22 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Today 2 degrees


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