Issued at 7:56 PM CST, Thursday, December 30th, 2010
*Blizzard number one ongoing This Evening over Western-Northern Minnesota…
*Blizzard number two ready to hit in pretty much the same areas late Friday Afternoon through Friday Night…
Snowfall reports from Today’s storm. Note: Snow continues to fall This Evening in Northcentral Minnesota so these totals listed below will continue to rise. Source: NWS Duluth, Minnesota.
7 miles south of Bigfork, MN (Itasca county) 7.3″
Walker, MN (Cass county) 6.0″
8 miles southwest of Remer, MN (Cass county) 4.0″
1 mile west of Hill City, MN (Aitkin county) 3.0″
Nashwauk, MN (Itasca county) 2.8″
Littlefork, MN (Koochiching county) 2.0″
15 miles south-southeast of McGregor, MN (Aitkin county) 3.0″
Cotton, MN (St. Louis county) 1.8″
Hibbing, MN (St. Louis county) 1.5″
Alborn, MN (St. Louis county) 1.5″
Duluth, MN (St. Louis county) 0.4″ measured at the National Weather Service. Rain turned to snow late This Afternoon, but has since switched back to rain.
Incredible temperature contrasts across Minnesota Today.
4 PM CST temperatures:
Twin Cities, MN: 40 degrees
Bemidji, MN: 16 degrees
Hallock, MN: 1 degree
Moorhead, MN: 7 degrees
International Falls, MN: 13 degrees
Duluth, MN: 34 degrees
Note: At 7 PM CST This Evening the temperature was 46 degrees at Winona, Minnesota (southeast part of the state) while it was 1 with a 23 below wind chill at Hallock, Minnesota (northwest part of the state)
Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Strong area of low pressure of 991mb was centered in Southwestern Minnesota as of 6 PM CST with an arctic front stretching from near Ely toward Lake Mille Lacs. A dangerous winter storm with heavy snow and blizzard conditions developed This Afternoon and is ongoing early This Evening in Westcentral Minnesota with heavy snow also falling in much of Northcentral Minnesota. The rain/snow line as of 6 PM CST stretched from about Lake Mille Lacs toward Forest Center, Minnesota. West of that line is where the winter storm was occurring, south-east of that line unseasonable warmth and rainy/drizzly conditions were occurring. A tremendous amount of moisture for this time of year was in place across the Upper Midwest Today with PWS ranging from 0.50-0.75″! Also, the 50 degree dewpoint contour has made it as far north as far Southern Iowa This Evening with mid 40 dewpoints reaching as far north as Cedar Rapids, Iowa! A very tight temperature gradient has become established throughout our local area Today with highs in the 30s and lower 40s across Northwest Wisconsin, the Twin Ports and Eastern Minnesota with single digits and teens from International Falls to Walker. Winds Today were out of the south, east, or north at 10-20 mph with some higher gusts.
Today’s Upper Level Analysis:
A powerful 500mb trough covered the Western U.S. with 90 meter 12 hour 500mb height falls occurring in the Southwest U.S. This Evening per RUC model analysis along with a 120 knot upper level jet streak in Western Nevada which is adding energy to this strong upper trough. A southwest flow aloft was in place across the Plains and Upper Midwest out ahead of this upper level trough with a lead system continuing to push northeast through the Northern Plains and Western Great Lakes This Evening.
Dangerous conditions will continue Tonight across Northcentral Minnesota where snow, heavy at times with one inch an hour snowfall rates persisting until around 2AM, thereafter expect lingering snow although intensities should start to decrease. Northwest Wisconsin will continue to have areas of drizzle, light rain, and locally dense fog Tonight while locations from Northeast into Eastcentral Minnesota continue to have a mix bag of weather, ranging from snow to sleet to rain to some dense fog…The precipitation in Eastern-Northeast Minnesota should gradually turn over to flurries and light snow late Tonight as colder air spreads into those areas behind strong low pressure which will reach Northwestern Wisconsin Overnight. Low temperatures Tonight will range from the 30s in Northwest Wisconsin to the single digits below to above zero west of the Iron Range, areas in between-including the Twin Ports and Interstate 35 corridor will have lows in the teens adn 20s. Winds Tonight will run the full range of compass directions from north to east to south to west. Wind speeds will range from 10-20 mph.
Note: The combination of falling and blowing snow will result in near whiteout conditions at times through at least Midnight Tonight from the Brainerd Lakes area, through Grand Rapids and Bigfork, east to Hibbing and Ely, and northwest to International Falls.
Note: Standing water from melting snow and rain will likely turn to ice by dawn Friday in Northeast-Eastcentral Minnesota as temperatures drop after Midnight.
Note: Snowfall accumulations from Tonight’s storm will range from 6-12″ along and west-northwest of a line from Brainerd to Hibbing to Ely. Snow accumulations will be much less for Northeast and Eastern Minnesota with generally 1-3″ expected, while locations closer to Lake Superior see little if any snow accumulation Tonight.
Friday and Friday Night:
A temporary break in the storminess will take place on Friday as Tonight’s low pulls northeast away from our local area while the next storm which gave snow and sleet to Phoenix, Arizona Today pulls into the Central Plains Friday Morning. For Friday, expect mostly cloudy skies. Lingering light snow and flurries should end early in the day in Northern Minnesota with little additional accumulation expected. Patchy freezing drizzle or flurries are possible Tomorrow in Eastern Minnesota with some drizzle or fog in Northwest Wisconsin. Highs on Friday will range from the 30s in Northwest Wisconsin with single digits from Leader to Hibbing to Ely and points west from there. Winds Tomorrow will become north or east at 10-20 mph.
For Friday Night: Intense upper level low will lift northeast out of Nebraska while a deep surface low moves almost due north through the Eastern half of Minnesota. Strong lift will develop ahead of the upper low/trough which will likely cause an area of heavy snow to develop in Central-Eastern Minnesota which will then lift off to the north. It still appears that Northwest Wisconsin, the Twin Ports and Interstate 35 corridor will get dry slotted once this band of heavy precipitation moves through. The main axis of heavy snow with substanial accumulations appears to be setting up from Brainerd to Hibbing, including the Arrowhead of Minnesota, and west through Cass Lake, Bigfork, and International Falls. Those locations have the potential of picking up another 6-10″ of snow Friday Night from this second storm. 2-5″ of snow is possible from the Twin Ports through the I-35 corridor, and also in Northwestern Wisconsin. There is also a possibility for some sleet or freezing rain across Northwest Wisconsin and far Eastern Minnesota late Friday Afternoon, but at this time it doesn’t look like ice accumulations would be very significant.
Low temperatures Friday Night will be in the single digits below to above zero with gusty east winds, turning north or south late in the night. Wind speeds of 15-30 mph will be common with higher gusts. Near whiteout conditions will develop at times Friday Night due to the falling and blowing snow.
Note: Additional winter weather headlines will likely be issued for the Friday Night storm.
Low pressure exits the area to the northeast on Saturday, wrap around snow showers and flurries along with gusty winds will continue on Saturday, although any additional accumulations should be under an inch. Temperatures on Saturday will be in the single digits below to above zero, but 20s and 30s are possible just after Midnight Tomorrow Night in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin before the arctic air moves in. Lows Saturday Night will be in the single digits and teens below zero. Mainly dry conditions are expected for our local area Sunday and Sunday Night with highs in the single digits below to around 10 above zero with lows in the single digits, teens, and lower 20s below zero.
5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior
*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*
Timing: Until 6 AM CST Friday.
.Tonight… Rain and snow Inland from Lake Superior changing to light snow, freezing drizzle, and flurries. Rain closer to Lake Superior changing to flurries and light freezing drizzle Overnight. Areas of fog. Total snow accumulations around an inch over the hill, little if any accumulation closer to Lake Superior. Low 15 to 20, a little warmer near Lake Superior. Wind east to northeast at 10 to 20 mph, becoming north Overnight.
.New Years Eve… Mostly cloudy. Patchy freezing drizzle or flurries. High 30 to 35 early with temperatures falling to the 20s. Wind north at 10 to 20 mph, becoming northeast during the Afternoon.
.Friday Night… Windy with snow through Midnight with some light snow and flurries after Midnight. Sleet or freezing rain possible early. Total snowfall accumulations of 2-5″. Low 5 to 10. Wind east to northeast at 15 to 30 mph during the Evening, wind becoming south at 10 to 20 mph late. Areas of blowing and drifting snow especially through Midnight.
.New Years Day… Breezy and cold. Occasional light snow and flurries. Additional accumulations under one inch. High 25 to 30 early with temperatures falling to the single digits. Wind becoming northwest at 15 to 25 mph.
.Saturday Night… Very cold. Becoming partly cloudy. Low 5 below to 10 below.
.Sunday… Partly cloudy. High 5 to 10.
.Sunday Night… Partly cloudy. Low 5 below to 10 below.
.Monday… Snow showers or flurries possible. High 10 to 15.
Normal temperatures for Tomorrow: