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2/26/09: Thursday Morning Winter Storm Update

Issued at 7:45 AM CST, Thursday, February 26th, 2009

*Winter Weather Advisory* is in effect for Duluth/Superior until Midnight CST Tonight… The National Weather Service in Duluth, MN has expanded the Winter Weather Advisory to include Southern St. Louis County, Carlton County, and now all of Aitkin and Cass County in Northcentral, Eastcentral, and Northeast Minnesota. Snow is already falling here in Duluth…The snow started around 7 AM Today, so far a light dusting of accumulation on roads here in the city.

Low pressure at 13z was centered over Central Kansas, near Dodge City with a pressure of 1004 mb with a solid area of 2 mb per 2 hour pressure falls noted per RUC model from Northern Missouri through Iowa, far Eastern Nebraska, on up into Southcentral Minnesota. A tight baroclinic zone remained in place over Minnesota This Morning with H8 temps as of 7 AM CT ranging from +1 to +3 degrees C across Southern Minnesota to -15 degrees C in Northwest Minnesota. Water vapor satellite imagery as of 1330z shows a well defined short wave trough progressing east through the Northern Plains into the Upper Midwest with some convective type cloud elements (bumpy appearance on the satellite) noted over a small part of Central Minnesota.

As of 7 AM Today, snow was falling across much of Minnesota with the heaviest snowfall occurring in Westcentral Minnesota, also toward Central Minnesota…Or along and north of I94. Only areas of the state void of snow attm are Southcentral Minnesota as well as parts of Northern Minnesota. The snow continued to move off toward the E/NE.

I’m still concerned that Southern Minnesota may see more of a mixed precipitation event Today since the warm layer aloft hasn’t eroded…P-types in that area will range from sleet to freezing rain to snow with some ice accumulations likely along with 1-4″ of snowfall by This Evening…Again though, if precipitation trends toward more snow rather than ice, then snowfall totals would likely be higher.

The heaviest corridor of snow should fall from Westcentral through Central to Eastern Minnesota through late This Afternoon/Early Evening with 5-10″ of total accumulation still expected. These areas of the state will be under the best warm advection and lift associated with this storm system Today.

Northern areas of the state will also see some snow Today, albeit less than what will happen farther south. Total accumulations across the North should range from a dusting to perhaps 2″.

Still looks like 2-5″ of snow will come down here in Duluth Today, but this will have to be watched closely, since we are fairly close to where some of the heavier snow bands may set-up This Afternoon…Also, will have an E/NE wind coming off Lake Superior by Noon Today through early This Evening which could cause some lake enhancement in the city.

More updates to come.

Tim

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