Issued at 4:52 PM CST, Thursday, December 31st, 2009
On this date last year the low temperature at the Duluth Airport was -16 degrees.
Headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, MN.
…Lake effect snow update…
Gile WI (Iron County) 7.0″ of snow since This Morning.
*Lake Effect Snow Warning* continues until 6 AM CST Saturday for Ashland and Iron Counties in Northwest Wisconsin. Some cities included in the warning are: Ashland WI…Odanah WI…Marengo WI…Mellen WI…Hurley WI…Upson WI…Gile WI…Iron Belt WI…And Montreal WI…
Persistent north to northwest wind blowing across Lake Superior combined with arctic air moving south out of Central Canada will continue to produce heavy lake effect snow showers in the warning area through at least Saturday Morning. Hourly snowfall rates of 1-2″ are possible at times through Saturday Morning with snowfall totals of 12-24″ with locally higher amounts possible from Tonight through early Saturday. The heaviest snow is expected to fall across Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin, near the towns of Hurley…Montreal…Gile…And Upson.
A check of the Iron Belt webcam late This Afternoon shows that snow was falling at a good clip with large fluffy snowflakes visible on the webcam and rather low visibility.
Travel along Highway 2…13…and 77 in the warning area will be very difficult due to the falling snow. Visibilities could drop to less than one quarter mile at times through Saturday Morning. Roads will be snow covered and slippery. Use extreme caution if you will be doing any traveling along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin. Make sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.
Note: The Counties of Bayfield and Douglas in Northwest Wisconsin could also see periods of lake effect snow showers at times especially from Friday into Sunday, several inches of snow could accumulate…Especially near the towns of Brule…Port Wing…Bayfield…Washburn…Iron River…And Moquah… A lake snow advisory and or lake snow warning may be needed for parts of Bayfield and Douglas County at some point over the next few days.
…Updated January 2010 outlook, issued by the Climate Prediction Center on December 31st, 2009…
Equal Chances for Above Normal, Below Normal, or Normal Temperatures.
33% chance for Below Normal Precipitation.
-Bitter cold arctic air arrives by Friday and may linger through next week.
-Very heavy lake effect snow event underway along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin.
Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Arctic high pressure of 1038 mb was centered in Southeast Alberta Province Canada late This Afternoon. Shots of cold advection have been pushing south/east through the Upper Midwest Today with 850 mb temperatures around Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin ranging from -17 to -19 degrees C as of 4 PM while an area of -20 to -28 degree C H85 temps were lurking across parts of the Northern Plains into Southwestern Canada. High temperatures Today were in the single digits and teens across our area with late day wind chills generally ranging from 5 above to around 10 below zero.
Today’s Upper Level Analysis
W/NW 500 mb flow was in place across the Upper Midwest Today per RUC model analysis with an area of 120 knot upper level winds centered over the Northern Rockies and Southwest Canada. A cold upper level trough was digging south out of Central Canada This Afternoon per water vapor satellite imagery with an area of -38 to -40 degree C H5 temperatures noted across Central Canada late Today near this 500 mb trough.
(Tonight through Friday Night)
Arctic air (coldest of the season so far) will continue to plunge south/southeast into the Upper Midwest during this period with high pressure to our west/northwest with a surface trough developing across the Northern Great Lakes. Low temperatures Tonight will be in the single digits below to above zero with some teens below mainly in Western areas. Highs Friday will range from around 10 below to 10 above with lows Friday Night dropping into the teens, 20s, and 30s below zero across all of our area with the traditional cold spots having the best shot at dropping lower than 25 below! North or northwest winds will prevail during this period generally under 20 mph. Wind chills at times will range from 5 below to 25 below Tonight and most of Friday and will range from 25 below to around 50 below zero by Friday Night. Wind chill headlines may be needed for parts of our area, especially for Friday Night.
Expect clear-partly cloudy skies across our area during this period with the possibility for some snow flurries Tonight and Friday.
The main weather story for the Upper Midwest during the extended period will be the persistent cold air which will be in place this weekend through all of next week as a stubborn north or northwest flow continues across the Upper Midwest.
The coldest weather is expected to occur this weekend with another very cold shot of air possible sometime the middle or end of next week. The latest forecast models Today bring down a 1055 mb arctic high out of Saskatchewan Province later next week which could lead to an even colder airmass across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest during that time compared to what will see through this weekend.
This type of weather pattern is a dry one for our local area with just the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin continuing to see bouts of locally heavy lake effect snow showers at times right into next week.
It’s possible for several feet of snow to have accumulated by this time next week across parts of Ashland and especially Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin.
5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior
.Tonight… Partly cloudy. Flurries possible late. Low 1 below to 6 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph. Wind chills of 15 below to 25 below.
.New Years Day… Partly cloudy. Flurries possible early. High zero to 5 above. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Wind chills approaching 20 below.
.Friday Night… Bitterly cold. Mostly clear. Low 18 below to 23 below. Wind northwest at 5 to 15 mph. Dangerous wind chills approaching 35 below to 40 below.
.Saturday… Very cold. Partly sunny. High zero to 5 below.
.Saturday Night… Partly cloudy. Bitterly cold. Low 15 below to 20 below.
.Sunday… Partly cloudy. High 2 to 7.
.Sunday Night… Partly cloudy. Low 7 below to 12 below.
.Monday… Partly cloudy. High 5 to 10.
Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 18 degrees
Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 0 degrees