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2/25/09: Wednesday’s Weather Report

Issued at 5:02 PM CST, Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Weather History:

On this date in 2007, 11.3″ of snow fell at Duluth Minnesota with a liquid equivlant of 1.06″.

On this date in 1990, a record low temperature of -26 degrees occurred at Duluth Minnesota.

Surface Analysis at 22z:

Low pressure averaging 1004 mb was centered over Southwest Wyoming with 2 hour pressure falls of 3 mb centered over Southeast Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Low pressure averaging 1010 mb moving into Eastern Ontario. A cold front connects the two lows with this boundary extending from Eastern Upper Michigan through Lake Michigan down to Central Illinois into Central Missouri…This front then backs northwest through Central Kansas into the Western half of Nebraska up to Eastern Wyoming. Incredible temperature contrasts remain in place around the U.S. and Canada Today with temperatures Today ranging from the 60s in Southern Nebraska to far Southern Iowa with mid 80s/low 90s common over Central and Western Texas while readings remain in the single digits and teens below zero over the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Incredible!

Upper Air Analysis at 22z:

The big weather story when one looks at the upper levels Today is the amazing baroclinic zone in place around the area Today. H8 temperatures at 4 PM CT Today ranged from +2 degrees C in Southern Minnesota, generally near the I90 corridor to -12 degrees C in Northern Minnesota. H8 temps of -20 to -26 degrees C were found over Northern-Western Ontario through Central-Northern parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba Provinces with +10 to +24 degree C H8 temps covering much of the Central Plains, Rockies, and Southern U.S. late Today. H5 flow was from the west-northwest across the Upper Midwest Today with the disturbance that passed through the area last night now centered well to our east as of late Today. The next item of interest for our area is the shortwave trough heading through the Northern Rockies and toward the Western High Plains late Today per water vapor satellite imagery/500 mb analysis. There’s also an upper level low centered just off the Washington Coast late Today with 90 meter H5 12 hour height falls occurring near this feature. This upper low was drifting toward the south-southeast Today.

Today’s Weather:

First off, lets go back to the amazing temperature extremes that were found over the region Today. Here’s a temperature report from 3 PM CST Today:

Grand Forks North Dakota: 3 degrees

Minot North Dakota: 1 degree

Rapid City South Dakota: 48 degrees

Sioux Falls South Dakota: 40 degrees

Glasgow Montana: 10 degrees

Cheyenne Wyoming: 55 degrees

Scottsbluff Nebraska: 63 degrees

Dauphin Manitoba: -4 degrees

Island Lake Manitoba: -11 degrees

The Pas Manitoba: -11 degrees

Thompson Manitoba: -15 degrees

Lynn Lake Manitoba: -20 degrees

Churchill Manitoba: -27 degrees

Gillam Manitoba: -18 degrees

Wind chills across parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan were down into the minus 20s, 30s, and 40s Today.

The snow and mixed precipitation that occurred over parts of the state last night exited to our east by This Morning. Most spots that saw snow only picked up a couple tenths to one inch of snow, while just enough freezing rain and sleet caused a thin glaze of ice to form on roads, sidewalks, and vehicle tops earlier in the day. Here in Duluth, we saw a period of light freezing rain around 2:30 AM Today, then some light snow with about a dusting of accumulation by sun-up Today.

Here are some snowfall reports from earlier Today:

International Falls MN (Koochiching County) 1.4″

Kabetogama MN (St. Louis County) 1.8″

Embarrass MN (St. Louis County) 1.0″

4 miles west of Washburn WI (Bayfield County) 1.8″

Silver Bay MN (Lake County) 1.0″

Lutsen MN (Cook County) 1.8″

High temperatures around Minnesota Today ranged from the 30s and 40s in Southern areas with single digits Northwest. Partly to mostly cloudy skies were found over Minnesota with winds out of the northwest at 10 to 25 mph. Late Afternoon wind chills were down into the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero up in Northwestern Minnesota.

Note: Refer to my previous blogs for information regarding the various winter weather headlines that are in effect for Minnesota…

Tonight:

Low pressure will be heading toward the Western High Plains. Snow will develop over Western and Southwest Minnesota Tonight with some freezing rain or sleet even possible in Southwest Minnesota. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will cover the state with a strong area of high pressure centered well to our northwest. Lows Tonight will range from the single digits, teens, and 20s below in Northwest Minnesota with 20s and 30s South. Winds will be out of the north, northwest, or east at 10 to 20 mph.

Thursday and Thursday Night:

Low pressure is forecast to track from the Southern Nebraska-Northern Kansas area toward Chicago Illinois by Thursday Evening. Widespread snow, heavy at times will occur on Thursday over Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Minnesota with 1-2″ per hour snow rates quite possible on Thursday. Freezing rain and sleet could also occur in Southern Minnesota with some ice accumulations possible. Northern areas of the state could see some light snow or flurries on Thursday, but the heavier snow is expected to stay south of this area. By Thursday Night, snow will be tapering off from west to east as low pressure pulls away and strong arctic high pressure moves in from the northwest. High temperatures on Thursday will be in the single digits and teens below to above zero North and West with 20s and 30s South. Lows Thursday Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero North, Central, and West with single digits South and East.

Snowfall storm totals by Thursday Evening will range from 4 to 10 inches over Southwest, Westcentral, Southern, Central, and Eastern Minnesota with less than an inch up North.

Extended Forecast:

As one arctic high moves away late this week, a new one will invade the state from the northwest this coming weekend. In between these arctic high invasions will see an upper level trough dig south/east across the Upper Midwest which could bring some snow showers or flurries to parts of Minnesota from Friday into Saturday, but no big snow making systems are expected across the state between Friday and Sunday the way it looks now. High temperatures in Minnesota will be in the single digits and teens Friday and Saturday with some 20s possible South, while some spots up North could stay below zero. Lows Friday Night and Saturday Night will be in the single digits and teens below to above zero with some 20s below North.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior:

*Winter Weather Advisory* in effect from 6 AM CST Thursday until 12 AM CST Thursday for Douglas County Wisconsin including the city of Superior…

.Tonight… Clear skies will give way to increasing cloudiness late. Low 10 to 15. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph, becoming north.

.Thursday… Snow developing. Accumulations of 1 to 2 inches possible. High 17 to 22. Wind north, becoming northeast at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70%.

.Thursday Night… Snow showers and flurries. Additional accumulations of an inch or less. Storm totals 1-3″. Low zero to 5 below. Wind north to northeast at 10 to 20 mph. Wind chills of 15 below to 25 below zero.

.Friday… Scattered snow showers or flurries. Partly sunny. High 5 to 10. Chance of snow 20%.

.Friday Night… A few flurries possible. Partly to mostly cloudy. Low zero to 5 below.

.Saturday… Partly cloudy. High 10 to 15.

.Saturday Night… Partly cloudy. Low 2 above to 5 below.

.Sunday… Mostly sunny. High 10 to 15.

5 PM Thompson Hill Observation:

Current Temperature: 27 degrees

Dewpoint: 12 degrees

Humidity: 53%

Wind: WNW at 4 mph G 10 mph

Max Temperature Today: 32.6 degrees

Max Humidity Today: 97%

Min Temperature Today: 23.7 degrees

Min Humidity Today: 50%

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 28 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 9 degrees

Tim

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