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2/24/09: Tuesday’s Weather Report

Issued at 5:12 PM CST, Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Weather History:

On this date in 2001, 11.7″ of snow fell at Duluth Minnesota.

Surface Analysis at 22z:

Low pressure averaging 1006 mb was centered over Westcentral South Dakota. A trough attached to this low was over Northwest Minnesota into Northeast South Dakota. A cold front extended from Western Ontario to the border of North Dakota and Manitoba.

Upper Air Analysis at 22z:

A general zonal flow (west to east) aloft was present around the Upper Midwest Today with a disturbance heading east through Southern Canada and the Northern Plains. 12 hour H5 height falls on the order of 60-90 meters were occurring Today near this system over Central and Northern Montana into adjacent areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. A huge temperature contrast exists around the U.S. and Canada Today with late Afternoon H8 temperatures ranging from +6 degrees C in Southwest Minnesota to zero to -2 degrees C in far Northern-Northeast Minnesota. Bitter cold arctic air was beginning to push into Central-Western Canada Today with late Afternoon H8 temperatures of -16 to -20 degrees C found in those areas…Meanwhile, across the Central and Western U.S., temps of +10 to +24 degrees C were common Today.

Today’s Weather:

The temperature battle zone has developed…Seeing highs in the 80s and 90s across Texas with 60s as far north as Southern South Dakota with 50s into Southwest Minnesota. 20s, 30s, and 40s were common over the rest of Minnesota Today. Temperatures over Central and Western Canada were in the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero Today with a wind chill as low as 56 below at Churchill Manitoba per 5 PM CT observation. The low pressure system moving in from the west has been producing areas of snow and mixed precipitation Today over parts of North Dakota with some snow moving into Northwest Minnesota as of early This Evening. Precipitation was generally moving in a west to east direction Today.

Temperatures around Minnesota at 5 PM ranged from 38 degrees at St Paul to 23 degrees at Warroad to 30 degrees at International Falls to 34 degrees at Grand Rapids to 29 degrees at Duluth to 43 degrees at Willmar to 34 degrees at Aitkin to 36 degrees at Rush City to 50 degrees at Granite Falls to 52 degrees at Pipestone to 46 degrees at Fairmont to 37 degrees at Rochester.

Tonight:

Area of low pressure will track into Minnesota. Snow will develop across Northern Minnesota with accumulations of 1 to around 3 inches possible by Morning. Areas of snow, sleet, or freezing rain will develop over Western, Central, and Eastern areas of the state Tonight with up to an inch of snow possible by Morning. Southern Minnesota should stay mainly dry Tonight. Look for partly to mostly cloudy skies with lows in the 20s and 30s with teens and single digits Northwest. Winds will be out of the south, east, or northwest around 20 mph or less.

Wednesday and Wednesday Night:

*Winter Storm Watch* is in effect late Wednesday Night through Thursday Afternoon for a small part of Westcentral Minnesota… This includes the cities of Wheaton… And Ortonville.

Low pressure will exit to the east of Minnesota during this period while a cold front attached to this low passes northwest-southeast through the state. Any snow or mixed precipitation will end across Northern and Eastcentral Minnesota Wednesday Morning, then look for dry conditions around the state on Wednesday…Then, by Wednesday Night some snow or mixed precip may develop over Western-Southwest areas of the state ahead of the next low pressure system which will begin to organize across the Plains during this period. Highs on Wednesday will range from the 30s and 40s South and East with single digits Northwest. Lows Wednesday Night will be in the 20s and 30s South and East with single digits and teens below to above zero North and West.

Extended Forecast:

*Winter Storm Watch* is in effect Thursday Morning through Thursday Evening for parts of Southwest Minnesota. This includes the cities of Ivanhoe… Marshall… Slayton… Windom… And Pipestone.

*Winter Storm Watch* is in effect Thursday Afternoon through Thursday Evening for parts of Southeast Minnesota. This includes the cities of Rochester… Winona… And Austin.

*Winter Storm Watch* is in effect Thursday Afternoon through Thursday Evening for parts of Southcentral and Eastern Minnesota. This includes the cities of Minneapolis… St. Paul… Chaska… Shakopee… Le Sueur… Faribault… Red Wing… Waseca… Owatonna… And Albert Lea.

*Winter Storm Watch* is in effect Thursday Morning through Thursday Afternoon for parts of Westcentral, Southwest, and Southern Minnesota. This includes the cities of Madison… Montevideo… Benson… Willmar… Granite Falls… Olivia… Redwood Falls… New Ulm… St. Peter… St. James… Mankato… Fairmont… And Blue Earth.

Low pressure will deepen across the Plains on Thursday with this low heading northeast to between Milwaukee Wisconsin and Chicago Illinois by Thursday Evening based on the 12z model guidance. This low which will deepen to around 997 mb combined with a strong 1030 plus mb arctic high building into Minnesota from the northwest will lead to some gusty winds around Minnesota from Thursday into early Friday. This storm will also bring snow to most of Minnesota Thursday and Thursday Night with the heaviest corridor of snow expected to fall from Southwest and Westcentral Minnesota through the Southern half of Minnesota…Snow totals in these areas could reach 4 to 8 inches with local 10 to 12 inches amounts possible. Southeast and far Southern Minnesota will likely see snow too with rain or ice also possible for a time on Thursday…Snow totals in these areas could reach 3 to 6 inches, possibly more… Northern Minnesota should escape the brunt of the synoptic snow with this storm, but some light snow and flurries with up to an inch accumulation possible in this area. Communities near Lake Superior, along the North Shore of Lake Superior could also see some lake effect snow or lake enhanced snow from Thursday Afternoon into Thursday Night thanks to a possible wind shift toward the NE, this combined with plenty of cold air in place could lead to some lake effect snow.

This whole storm will exit into Eastern Canada by Friday with mainly dry weather expected around the state Friday and Friday Night as high pressure moves in.

High temperatures around Minnesota will be in the 30s Southeast and single digits below zero Northwest on Thursday with single digits, teens, and 20s common elsewhere. Lows Thursday Night will be in the single digits and teens below to above zero with 20s below possible Northwest. Highs Friday will be in the single digits and teens below to above zero with lows Friday Night in the single digits and teens below to above zero with some 20s below possible North.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior:

.Tonight… Increasing clouds. Snow possible Overnight. The snow could be mixed with sleet. Snow accumulations around an inch possible by Morning. Low 20 to 25. Wind east to southeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday… Mostly cloudy. Snow possible early. Snow could be mixed with sleet. Additional snow accumulations under one inch. High 28 to 33. Wind west to southwest at 5 to 15 mph, becoming northwest.

.Wednesday Night… Mostly cloudy. Low 10 to 15. Wind northwest to north at 5 to 15 mph.

.Thursday… Mostly cloudy. Snow possible. High 20 to 25. Chance of snow 30%. Some accumulation possible.

.Thursday Night… Mostly cloudy. Snow possible, mainly during the Evening. Low zero to 5 below. Chance of snow 30%. Some accumulation possible.

.Friday… Partly cloudy. High 5 to 10.

.Friday Night… Partly cloudy. Low zero to 5 below.

.Saturday… Partly cloudy. High 10 to 15.

5 PM Thompson Hill Observation:

Current Temperature: 25.2 degrees

Dewpoint: 17 degrees

Humidity: 72%

Wind: E at 3 mph G 6 mph

Max Temperature Today: 38 degrees

Max Humidity Today: 77%

Min Temperature Today: 12.2 degrees

Min Humidity Today: 42%

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 28 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 9 degrees

Tim

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