Happy New Year! Be careful on the roads! Hazardous travel conditions develop Tonight.

Issued at 3:22 PM CST, Saturday, December 31st, 2011

  • Snow with a few to several inches of accumulation Tonight
  • Precipitation may start as an icy mix in Eastcentral Minnesota-Northwest Wisconsin This Evening
  • Strong winds arrive late Tonight and Sunday
  • Heavy lake effect snow Sunday PM-Monday along the South Shore of Lake Superior

Weather Tidbits:

*Today marks the 15th day in a row (12/17-12/31) with an above normal high temperature at Duluth, Minnesota.

*Back to back storms on New Year’s Eve! Last year’s storm dropped 1-2″ of snow and some sleet accumulation in the Twin Ports with even some thunder! The storm last year also produced a severe weather outbreak with 195 severe weather reports including 66 tornadoes.  Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were affected by the severe weather (SPC)

January 2012 Climate Outlook
Source:  Climate Prediction Center

For Duluth, Minnesota:

33-40% chance for above normal temperatures with equal chances for above normal, below normal or normal precipitation.

January Climate Data for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

Average monthly temperature:  10.2 degrees
Snowfall:  19.4″
Precipitation:  0.96″

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

A band of snow with accumulations ranging from 0.5-2.5″ affected portions of Northern Minnesota Today, generally along and north of a line from Cass Lake to Ely into the Arrowhead.  Mostly cloudy skies were found in our area Today with patchy fog and light freezing drizzle, especially before Noon.  Highs were in the upper 20s to middle 30s with east winds under 15 mph.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis:

A fairly complicated 500mb pattern Today.  One disturbance was heading east into Manitoba Province…A 2nd disturbance was moving E-NE thru Northern Minnesota…A 3rd disturbance was moving E-NE thru portions of the Central Plains per water vapor satellite imagery.  100 knot mid level jet streak over Southern Colorado late This Afternoon was heading into the Western High Plains while a 120 knot upper level jet covered parts of the Northern-Central Rockies per RUC model analysis.  Impressive height falls of 90-180 meters were occurring Today in parts of Kansas and Nebraska with that Central Plains system.  850mb temperatures as of 3pm ranged from -10 degrees C in Western Manitoba Province to -4 degrees C in Central Minnesota to +4 degrees C in far Southeast Minnesota. 

Note:  Temperatures at 3pm Today ranged from 28 degrees at International Falls; 43 degrees in the Twin Cities; 54 degrees at Omaha, NE.  Widespread 60s and 70s covered Missouri and Oklahoma with even some 80s in parts of Texas.

Tonight (December 31st)

A difficult forecast ahead since were dealing with phasing issues.  How much snow accumulates, where the heaviest snow sets up and the duration of snowfall continues to be a little uncertain at this late hour.

The Northern stream low remains well to our north in Manitoba Province while the Southern stream low which was currently in Southeast Nebraska moves toward Southern Lake Michigan by dawn.  Two upper troughs will move into the region Tonight while the upper trough associated with the Central Plains low takes on a negative tilt Overnight.

Snow will be ongoing This Evening in Northern Minnesota with total accumulations of 1-3″ along and north of a line from Cass Lake to Ely to the Arrowhead…Light snow and flurries will continue in Northern Minnesota Overnight with additional accumulations of less than 1″.

Eastcentral Minnesota into Northwest Wisconsin will see precipitation develop between 5-8pm This Evening with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain all a possibility, but any mixed precipitation should turn quickly to snow by mid or late Evening.

Based on latest model data it appears that the greatest snowfall accumulations Tonight will occur in Northwest Wisconsin and possibly into far Eastern Minnesota (Pine County) The reason these areas should receive the greatest snowfall amounts is because the moderate to heavy snow should linger longer in this area compared to locations farther west.

There should also be a quick burst of moderate to locally heavy snow for the Twin Ports, Aitkin and Brainerd Lakes region, most likely between 8-11pm Tonight.

Mostly cloudy skies are forecast Tonight with lows in the teens and 20s.  Winds will become northwest at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph developing after Midnight, especially in Western parts of our area.  The snow that does fall Tonight will blow around as winds increase after Midnight.

Total snowfall accumulations by Sunday Morning:

3-6″ in Northwest Wisconsin with locally higher amounts approaching 8″.
1-4″ in Northeast-Eastcentral Minnesota.
1-3″ in Northern Minnesota.

New Year’s Day and Night (January 1st)

Low pressure will deepen as it moves into the Eastern Great Lakes on Sunday and to Eastern Canada Sunday Night with arctic high pressure building into the Northern and Central Plains.  Areas of light snow and flurries will be found in our area during this period with accumulations under 1″.  Mostly cloudy skies are expected with nearly steady temperatures in the teens and 20s on Sunday with lows Sunday Night in the single digits below to low teens above zero.  Strong northwest winds are forecast during this period with wind speeds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.  Areas of blowing and drifting snow will be possible Tomorrow into Tomorrow Night.

Lake effect snow update:

Heavy lake effect snow showers will develop Sunday Afternoon and will continue into Monday along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Bayfield, Ashland and Iron Counties Wisconsin.  Additional snow accumulations of 5-8″ are possible from Sunday Afternoon thru Monday with 12-18″ possible in parts of the Bayfield Peninsula and the Gogebic Range from Mellen to Hurley.  Strong winds developing on Sunday and continuing into Monday combined with the falling snow will result in very hazardous travel conditions with whiteout or near whiteout conditions at times especially in open areas near Lake Superior and along Highway 2.

Extended Forecast (January 2nd-4th)

Arctic high pressure will build into the Upper Midwest on Monday with dry conditions outside of the South Shore snowbelts where lake effect snow will persist.  Highs on Monday will be in the single digits and teens with lows Monday Night ranging from around 20 below to zero.  A clipper system is forecast to move into the Upper Midwest next Tuesday-Wednesday, some snow showers and flurries could occur in parts of our area with light accumulations.  High temperatures on Tuesday will be in the teens with highs on Wednesday in the 20s.  Low temperatures Tuesday Night will be in the single digits and teens.

Long Range Forecast (January 5th-11th)

A nice warmup is expected for late next week with high temperatures climbing back into the 30s in most of the Northland.  Low pressure will pass to our north next Thursday-Saturday with a cold front moving through our area sometime on Friday.  Doesn’t look like will see any significant amounts of precipitation as that front comes through.  Cooler temperatures should return to the Upper Midwest by next weekend into early the following week.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY* until 10am CST Sunday

.Tonight…  Patchy fog and light freezing drizzle early.  Snow developing between 6-8pm.  Bursts of heavier snow possible between 8-11pm.  Snow tapering to light snow and flurries after Midnight.  Total snowfall accumulations of 1-3″ possible.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind east around 10 mph…Becoming northwest and increasing to 15 to 30 mph late.  Areas of blowing and drifting snow are possible Overnight.

.New Year’s Day…  Windy.  Snow showers and flurries.  Accumulations less than 1″.  Considerable cloudiness.  High 25 to 30 with falling temperatures.  Wind northwest at 15 to 30 mph with occasional high gusts.  Areas of blowing and drifting snow.

.Sunday Night…  Windy.  Flurries.  Variable cloudiness.  Low zero to 5 above.  Wind northwest at 15 to 30 mph.  Wind chills of 10 below to around 20 below.

.Monday…  Cold.  Partly cloudy.  High 7 to 12.

.Monday Night…  Mostly clear.  Low 5 below to 10 below.

.Tuesday…  Partly sunny.  High 15 to 20.

.Tuesday Night…  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 8 to 13.

.Wednesday…  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  High 25 to 30.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  19 degrees
Low:    3 degrees

Sunrise Sunday:  7:54 AM CST
Sunset Sunday:   4:31 PM CST

Tim

Winter Storm Update!

Issued at 11:47 AM CST, Saturday, December 31st, 2011

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

A winter weather advisory in effect from 4pm CST Today until 10am CST Sunday for the following Counties:  In Minnesota…Crow Wing…Aitkin…Carlton…Southern St. Louis…Southern Lake…and Southern Cook.  Some cities included in the advisory:  Brainerd…Aitkin…McGregor…Hill City…Moose Lake…Cloquet…Duluth…Floodwood…Two Harbors…Silver Bay…Lutsen…and Grand Marais.

*Discussion:  Patchy fog and light freezing drizzle will continue This Afternoon.  Snow will develop by late This Afternoon or early This Evening in the Brainerd Lakes region.  Snow will then spread east and northeast across the remainder of the advisory area Tonight.  Snow could be moderate to heavy at times between 5pm-Midnight Tonight.

*Total snowfall accumulations:  2-5″

*Impacts:  Falling snow with increasing winds resulting in blowing and drifting snow.  Visibility will fall to around one half mile at times This Evening.  Roads will become snow covered and slippery Tonight.

*Strong northwest winds will continue on New Year’s Day with areas of blowing and drifting snow.

A winter weather advisory for snow and blowing snow means that visibilities will be limited due to a combination of falling and blowing snow.  Use caution when traveling…Especially in open areas that are more exposed to the wind.  Roads may be slick and hazardous.  Allow extra time to reach your destination.

*WINTER STORM WARNING*
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

A winter storm warning in effect from 4pm CST Today until Noon CST Sunday for the following Counties:  In Minnesota…Pine.  In Wisconsin…Douglas…Burnett…Washburn…and Sawyer.

*Discussion:  Snow develops This Evening and continues Overnight.  Snow could be heavy at times.  Freezing rain or sleet could be mixed with the snow This Evening.

*Total snowfall accumulations:  4-6″ with locally higher amounts up to 8″.

*Impacts:  Snow becoming heavy at times with increasing northwest winds late Tonight and New Year’s Day.  Blowing and drifting snow develops Overnight into Sunday.  Visibility reduced to one half mile or less at times.  Roads will become snow covered and slippery with very hazardous travel conditions.

A winter storm warning for heavy snow and blowing snow means the combination of strong winds and falling and blowing snow will cause low visibility and some drifting snow.  Snow and ice covered roads and dangerous travel conditions can be expected.  Delay travel if possible.  If you must travel, use extreme caution and allow extra time to reach your destination.  Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle including a flashlight, food and water.  Let someone know your travel route and expected arrival time and have a working cell phone in case you become stranded.

*WINTER STORM WARNING*
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

A winter storm warning in effect from 8pm CST This Evening until 6pm CST Monday for the following Counties in Northwest Wisconsin:  Bayfield…Ashland…and Iron.  Some Cities included in the warning are:  Port Wing…Bayfield…Cable…Ashland…Mellen…Glidden…Butternut…Upson…Gile…and Hurley.

*Discussion:  Snow develops Tonight with moderate to heavy snow at times into early Sunday.  Lake effect snow showers are expected to develop Sunday Afternoon and linger through Monday with periods of heavy snow expected.  Strong northwest winds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph will occur on Sunday and Monday.

*Total snowfall accumulations:  5-8″ with 12-18″ possible in parts of the Bayfield Peninsula and the Gogebic Range from Mellen to Hurley.

*Impacts:  Snow covered and slippery roads developing Tonight.  Visibility as low as one quarter mile at times from Tonight through early Sunday…And again Sunday Afternoon into Monday.  Significant blowing and drifting snow Sunday and Monday with severely limited visibility especially in open areas near Lake Superior and along Highway 2.

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

A winter weather advisory in effect from 8pm CST This Evening until 3pm CST Sunday for Price County in Northwest Wisconsin including the Cities of Park Falls…Phillips…and Ogema.

*Discussion:  A mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow will develop Tonight with precipitation turning to all snow Overnight into Sunday.  Gusty northwest winds will develop on Sunday with wind speeds from 15 to 30 mph.

*Total snowfall accumulations:  2-5″

*Impacts:  Falling snow combined with increasing winds leading to areas of blowing and drifting snow on Sunday.  Roads will become snow covered and slippery and visibility will drop to around one half mile at times once the precipitation turns to all snow.

Tim

Snow begins Saturday Afternoon N/NW of Duluth. 1" for DLH…Heavier amounts N.Minnesota. Lake Effect Snowstorm begins Sunday in Bayfield, Ashland&Iron Counties Wisconsin.

Issued at 4:21 PM CST, Friday, December 30th, 2011

  • Quiet night Tonight
  • Several inches of snow for Northern Minnesota Saturday Afternoon-early Sunday
  • Some mixed precip and snow farther south late Saturday-early Sunday
  • Strong winds, colder temperatures and bitterly cold wind chills Sunday-Monday
  • Heavy lake effect snow and possible blizzard conditions for the South Shore Sunday-Monday

*WINTER STORM WATCH*
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

A Winter Storm Watch in effect from late Saturday Night through Monday Afternoon for Bayfield…Ashland…and Iron Counties in Northwest Wisconsin.  Some cities included in the watch are:  Port Wing…Bayfield…Cable…Ashland…Mellen…Butternut…Upson…Gile…and Hurley.

Discussion:  A mixture of precipitation is possible Saturday Evening with any mixed precipitation turning to snow Overnight Saturday.  Snow will then continue Sunday into Monday with very heavy lake effect snow showers expected from late Sunday Afternoon through Monday.

Snowfall accumulations:  6 or more inches with the possibility of a foot or more especially in Ashland and Iron Counties.

Impacts:  Snow covered and icy roads.  Visibilities less than one half mile at times.  Northwest winds increasing to 20 to 30 mph causing blowing and drifting snow.  Travel may become quite difficult by Sunday Afternoon.

A winter storm watch means there is the potential for significant accumulation of snow that may impact travel and commerce.  You are encouraged to stay current with the latest weather information regarding this developing winter storm via local television, radio, the internet or NOAA weather radio.

Snowfall report for Friday, December 30th, 2011
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

Pillager, MN (Cass County)  2.7″
2 miles north of Motley, MN (Cass County)  2.0″
Fort Ripley, MN (Crow Wing County)  1.5″
3 miles northeast of Nisswa, MN (Crow Wing County)  1.5″
Leader, MN (Cass County)  1.3″

2011 weather stats for Duluth, Minnesota

*9 months had below average precipitation.  April, July and August were the months with above average precipitation.

*5 months had below average temperatures (January, February, March, May and June)

*7 months had above average temperatures (April, July, August, September-December)

Weather History:

On this date in 1996:  10.3″ of snow fell at Duluth, Minnesota.

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Low pressure of 1000mb has moved into Northern Illinois late This Afternoon.  This low did bring some light snow to southwest parts of our area with about 1-2″ of accumulation Today in parts of Cass and Crow Wing Counties Minnesota.  Partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies covered the area with highs generally in the 20s along with light winds of 12 mph or less.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis:

A vigorous disturbance with 60-120 meter 12 hour 500mb height falls (RUC analysis) was moving east through the Southern Great Lakes per water vapor satellite imagery with a west to east H5 flow in place across the Upper Midwest.  An upper level trough was moving east out of the Pacific Northwest late Today with 60-120 meter 12 hour 500mb height falls occurring across the Northwest U.S. per RUC model analysis.  850mb temperatures as of 4pm ranged from -4 degrees C in Northeast Minnesota to zero degrees C in Northeast South Dakota to +10 degrees C in far Southwest South Dakota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Tonight (December 30th)

All is quiet with partly to mostly cloudy skies.  Lows will be in the teens and 20s with a few single digits possible up north, especially if skies become clear for a few hours.  Winds will become south under 10 mph.

Saturday and Saturday Night (December 31st)

Low pressure will move into Central Manitoba Province on Saturday while another low moves into Central-Eastern South Dakota.  Mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies are forecast on Saturday with some snow developing in Northern Minnesota, mainly north/west of a line from Cass Lake to Ely.  The precipitation could start out as a mix of snow, freezing rain or sleet, especially in the Cass Lake area.  Highs on Saturday will be in the 30s with some 40s possible in Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Winds will be out of the south or east at 10 to 20 mph.

Low pressure will move into Lake Superior late Saturday Night with an arctic front dropping southeast through our area.  Snow should continue Tomorrow Night in Northern Minnesota with snow spreading into the Iron Range and Arrowhead early Saturday Evening.  Some mixed precipitation could develop in Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin Saturday Evening with precipitation turning to some snow/flurries Saturday Night.

Note:  Total snowfall accumulations from Saturday Afternoon thru Sunday should range from 2-4″ along and north of Highways 2 and 169 in Northern Minnesota including the Cities of International Falls, Northome, Bigfork, Togo, Crane Lake, Ely, Tower and Hibbing.  1-3″ of snow is possible Saturday Night-Sunday Morning in Northwest Wisconsin.  Snowfall accumulations of an inch or less are expected for the Twin Ports, I35 corridor, west to the Brainerd Lakes.

Lows Saturday Night will be in the teens and 20s with winds turning to the northwest and increasing to 15 to 30 mph.

Extended Forecast (January 1st-3rd)

Low pressure will deepen as it moves into Eastern Canada from Sunday into Monday.  Arctic high pressure of 1040-1045mb will reach the Northern-Central Plains on Sunday and will move into the Upper Midwest on Monday.  Strong northwest winds will be found in our area on Sunday and early Monday with 850mb wind speeds of 40-55 knots which should lead to 15-35 mph winds at the surface.  Temperatures on Sunday will hold steady in the teens and 20s with lows Sunday Night in the single digits below to low teens above zero.  Highs on Monday will be in the single digits and teens with lows Monday Night ranging from around 15 below to 5 above with a few spots up North possibly dropping to 20 below.  Highs on Tuesday will be in the teens.  The combination of strong winds and falling temperatures will result in wind chill temperatures of 10 below to around 35 below zero from Sunday Evening into Monday with the coldest wind chills occurring late Sunday Night into Monday Morning.  Lingering snow showers and flurries are expected across our area on Sunday with dry weather on Monday.  Flurries or snow showers could return to portions of the area on Tuesday as a clipper heads toward the region.

Long Range Forecast (January 4th-10th)

Temperatures are forecast to be above average during this period with a possible clipper on January 4th with a dusting of snow possible for parts of the Northland.  Another system/s are possible between January 6th-8th, but it’s too early to tell if they would bring any significant amounts of precipitation to our area or just light amounts.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 17 to 22.  Light winds.

.New Year’s Eve…  Mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.  Wind east to southeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Saturday Night…  Becoming windy.  Light snow and flurries.  Some freezing rain or sleet possible early.  Snow accumulations of 1″ or less.  Mostly cloudy.  Low 20 to 25.  Wind becoming northwest and increasing to 15 to 30 mph.  Chance of precipitation 50%.

.New Year’s Day…  Windy.  Considerable cloudiness.  Snow showers and flurries.  High 25 to 30 with falling temperatures.  Wind northwest at 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph.  Chance of snow 40%.

.Sunday Night…  Windy and cold.  Variable cloudiness.  Flurries possible.  Low zero to 5 above.  Wind northwest at 15 to 30 mph.  Wind chills of 10 below to around 25 below.

.Monday…  Cold.  Partly cloudy.  High 7 to 12.

.Monday Night…  Mostly clear.  Low 5 below to 10 below.

.Tuesday…  Partly sunny.  High 15 to 20.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  19 degrees
Low:    3 degrees

Sunrise Saturday:  7:54 AM CST
Sunset Saturday:   4:30 PM CST

Tim

Late night-Friday AM flurries for Duluth with a 1-3" snow Central-Southern Minnesota.

Issued at 3:06 PM CST, Thursday, December 29th, 2011

  • Tonight’s clipper takes a southerly route
  • Southwest parts of our area could see up to 1″ of snow late Tonight-Friday AM
  • Complex system for the holiday weekend, main impacts will probably be in Northern Minnesota
  • Arctic air and strong winds Sunday and Monday
  • Significant lake effect snow event possible for the South Shore snowbelts Sunday Night-Monday

Snowfall report for Wednesday Night-Thursday Morning, December 28th-29th, 2011
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

13 miles east-southeast of Gunflint Lake, MN (Cook County)  5.5″
Grand Portage, MN (Cook County)  5.0″
2 miles east-northeast of Hovland, MN (Cook County)  5.0″
3 miles west-southwest of Grand Marais, MN (Cook County)  5.0″
Lutsen, MN (Cook County)  4.5″
Sea Gull Lake, MN (Cook County)  3.5″
1 mile southwest of Tofte, MN (Cook County)  3.0″
Kabetogama, MN (St. Louis County)  2.7″
14 miles west of Isabella, MN (Lake County)  2.5″
2 miles east of Finland, MN (Lake County)  2.2″
International Falls, MN (Koochiching County)  2.1″
1 mile east of Payne, MN (St. Louis County)  2.0″
8 miles north of Bayfield, WI (Bayfield County)  1.5″
Silver Bay, MN (Lake County)  1.5″
Alborn, MN (St. Louis County)  1.3″
8 miles south-southwest of Cable, WI (Sawyer County)  1.2″
Culver, MN (St. Louis County)  1.0″
Ely, MN (St. Louis County)  1.0″
6 miles northeast of Cloverland, WI (Douglas County)  1.0″
Upson, WI (Iron County)  1.0″
Federal Dam, MN (Cass County)  1.0″
Dixon Lake, MN (Itasca County)  1.0″

5 miles northwest of Duluth, MN (St. Louis County)  1.4″ officical NWS total.

Weather Tidbits:

*Zero subzero days this month in the Twin Cities.  First time this has happened since December of 2002 and only the 8th December in the last 120 years to feature an above zero temperature the entire month.  Other years that featured no subzero temperatures in December:  1913, 1918, 1952, 1954, 1974, 2002 and 2011.  (Paul Douglas. St. Cloud Times)

*Today marks the 13th day in a row with an above average high temperature at Duluth, Minnesota.

Snow update:

18 days so far this month has had at least a trace of snow at Duluth, Minnesota with 3 one inch or greater snowfall totals.  With that said, just  7.1″ of snow has fallen thru the 29th of December which is 9.3″ below average.

Weather History:

On this date in 1999:  A record high temperature of 46 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Low pressure of 1002mb covered the Central-Southern Great Lakes late This Afternoon with low pressure of 994-998mb extending from Southern Saskatchewan Province to Northern Nebraska.  Light snow and flurries tapered off during the Morning with partly to mostly cloudy skies through the day.  Highs ranged from the upper teens to lower 20s along and north of Highway 2 with upper 20s to lower 30s in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota.  Winds Today were calm or from the north-northwest around 10 mph or less.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis:

500mb flow was out of the west-northwest with one system off to our east with the next one diving SE into the Northern Plains per water vapor satellite imagery.  60-90 meter 12 hour 500mb height falls were occurring with the storm across the Northern Rockies/Western High Plains per RUC model analysis.  850mb temperatures as of 3pm ranged from -8 degrees C in Northern Minnesota to +2/+6 degrees C in Southwest Minnesota.

Tonight (December 29th)

Low pressure will reach a Westcentral Minnesota to Northern Iowa line Overnight.  Snow and mixed precipitation associated with this low is forecast to remain west-south of our immediate area, although some light snow could reach the Cass Lake, Brainerd Lakes and Pine City areas after Midnight.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected Tonight with lows in the teens and lower 20s with some single digits in Northern Minnesota.  Winds will be variable to east in direction at 12 mph or less.

Friday and Friday Night (December 30th)

Low pressure exits to our south/southeast on Friday.  Some light snow or flurries are possible into early Friday Afternoon along and south of a line from Cass Lake to Sandstone to Shell Lake.  Up to 1″ of accumulation is possible for those areas.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies will continue during this period with highs Tomorrow in the 20s and 30s with lows Tomorrow Night in the teens and 20s.  North or west winds on Friday will turn south Friday Night, wind speeds will be under 15 mph.

Extended Forecast (December 31st-January 2nd)

Low pressure from Manitoba Province to South Dakota Saturday Morning will head E-NE as an upper level trough digs into the Upper Midwest this weekend.  The low and upper trough, combined with an arctic front moving SE into the region will lead to some precipitation for Saturday and Sunday.  Snow should be the main precipitation type in Northern Minnesota and the Arrowhead while locations further south could have a mixture of snow, rain and possibly even a little freezing rain on Saturday before the precipitation transitions to snow Saturday Night and Sunday.  Note:  The greatest snowfall accumulations appear to be setting up north of Highway 2…This area could see a 1-4″ snowfall between Saturday and Sunday, this would include the cities of International Falls, Bigfork, Crane Lake, Ely, Hibbing, and Grand Marais.  Snowfall accumulations of 1″ or less are forecast in Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Highs on Saturday will mainly be in the 30s with lows Saturday Night in the teens and 20s.  Much colder air works into the Upper Midwest for Sunday and Monday as low pressure deepens as it pulls off to our northeast while arctic high pressure of 1040+ mb builds in from the Western High Plains.  The pressure gradient will tighten between the low and high, result from this will be for strong northwest winds with wind gusts possibly topping 30 mph Sunday and Sunday Night.  850mb temperatures will crash to the minus teens to around -20 degrees C for Sunday and Monday as a brief surge of arctic air invades the area.  Temperatures on Sunday will likely fall into the single digits and teens during the day with lows Sunday Night in the single digits below to single digits above zero.  Highs on Monday will be in the single digits and teens with lows Monday Night ranging from around 15 below to 5 above zero.

Note:  Wind chills will likely fall to between 10 below to 30 below zero across the Northland from Sunday Afternoon into Monday.

Long Range Forecast (January 3rd-9th)

Cold temperatures will linger on Tuesday (1/3) then will see a warmup from mid to late next week.  Highs could top the freezing mark sometime late next week based on the latest model data.  There might be a weak disturbance with a dusting of snow Tuesday-Wednesday with another possible system sometime late next week-next weekend (1/6-1/8) time frame.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Considerable cloudiness.  Flurries possible after Midnight.  Low 13 to 18.  Wind becoming east to northeast under 10 mph.

.Friday…  Flurries possible early.  Partly sunny.  High 25 to 30.  Wind northwest around 12 mph.

.Friday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 17 to 22.  Wind becoming south around 12 mph.

.New Year’s Eve…  Mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.

.Saturday Night…  Light snow which could be mixed with freezing rain early.  Mostly cloudy.  Low 20 to 25.  Chance of precipitation 30%.

.New Year’s Day…  Breezy and turning colder.  Snow showers and flurries possible.  Mostly cloudy.  High 25 to 30 with falling temperatures.  Northwest winds could occasionally gust to 30 mph.  Chance of snow 30%.

.Sunday Night…  Breezy and cold.  Variable cloudiness.  Flurries possible.  Low zero to 5 above.  Northwest winds could occasionally gust to 30 mph.  Wind chills of 10 below to around 25 below.

.Monday…  Cold.  Partly cloudy.  High 8 to 13.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  19 degrees
Low:    3 degrees

Sunrise Friday:  7:54 AM CST
Sunset Friday:   4:29 PM CST

Tim

Snow Overnight…Thursday AM commute could be a slow one

Issued at 8:00 PM CST, Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

  • Much of the area will have a dusting to a few inches of new snow Tonight
  • Next clipper takes a more southerly track Thursday Night-Friday AM
  • A mild New Year’s Eve, turns sharply colder and quite windy New Year’s Day
  • Weekend rain/snow event?

Weather Tidbits:

*24th least snowiest start to a winter at Rochester, Minnesota.  6.6″ of snow so far this season.  (NWS La Crosse, WI)

*20th least snowiest start to a winter at La Crosse, Wisconsin.  4.3″ of snow so far this season. (NWS La Crosse, WI)

*The past 6 months has been the 2nd warmest on record since 1873 in the Twin Cities.  The temperature has been almost 5.0 degrees above average.  (Minnesota State Climate Office)

*On Monday, December 26th, a 750 acres brush fire occurred near the town of Gully, Minnesota (Northwest part of the state) in Polk County. (Updraft blog MPR)

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Warm air advection moved across the area Today which led to a brief period of flurries/light snow with accumulations of 1/2″ or less.  Some lake effect/enhanced snowfall also occurred Today along the North Shore of Lake Superior with 1.0″ of new snow reported at Lutsen (Cook County) as of 6pm per NWS Duluth.  High temperatures Today ranged from the upper teens in the Arrowhead with 20s to lower 30s elsewhere.  Winds were from the south or east under 15 mph.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis:

Fast northwest 500mb flow covered the Upper Midwest with a clipper system heading E/SE through the Eastern Dakotas per water vapor satellite imagery while a 130 knot upper level jet was found on the backside of this system across the Western Dakotas per RUC model analysis.  850mb temperatures as of 8pm ranged from -10 degrees C in far Northeast Minnesota to +2/+4 degrees C in extreme Southwest Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Tonight (December 28th)

An area of low pressure currently in Eastern Dakota will move into Western Wisconsin by dawn.  Light snow will affect much of our area during the night with some freezing rain possible as well for the Brainerd Lakes region.  Mostly cloudy skies are forecast Tonight with lows in the teens and 20s.  Winds will be out of the south, east or north under 15 mph.  Note:  Total snowfall accumulations by Thursday Morning should generally be around 1″ with a few spots picking up around 2″ of snow.  Up to 4″ of snow is possible along the North Shore of Lake Superior, mainly northeast of Little Marais.

Thursday and Thursday Night (December 29th)

Low pressure in Western Wisconsin Tomorrow Morning will continue to bring some light snow/flurries to Northwest Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota.  This low moves farther away during the day with dry weather returning to our area Thursday Afternoon.  Highs Tomorrow will be in the 20s and 30s with winds out of the north or west under 15 mph.  The next clipper system will drop SE into the Northern Plains Thursday Night.  This second low looks to take a more southerly track compared to Tonight’s low, thus the main area of snow (1-2″ amounts) should fall from Westcentral through Southcentral Minnesota.  Our area will be on the northern fringes of this system with some flurries/light snow with up to 1″ of accumulation possible mainly along and south of Highway 2.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast during this period with lows Tomorrow Night in the teens and 20s.  Winds will be out of the north or east under 15 mph.

Extended Forecast (December 30th-January 1st)

Low pressure passes south/southeast of Northern Minnesota Friday Morning…Could be some light snow and flurries around mainly during the Morning in Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Friday Afternoon-Friday Night look dry at this time.  Kind of a tricky setup for the weekend.  Looks like one area of low pressure will pass by to our NW-N while a secondary low could develop in the Western High Plains, this low could then head northeast…Merging with the other low north of Lake Superior on Sunday.  Any precipitation that falls Saturday and Saturday Evening would be in the form of rain or snow and possibly even a little bit of freezing rain.  Colder air advects into the region late Saturday Night and Sunday with 850mb temperatures dropping to the teens below zero late in the weekend.  Some snow and flurries are possible from late Saturday Night into Sunday.  Too early to tell just how much snow, rain and ice we could see this holiday weekend..stay tuned!  High temperatures on Friday will be in the 20s and 30s with highs on Saturday mainly in the 30s with some 40s possible in Southern areas.  Highs on Sunday will be in the teens and 20s with falling temperatures during the day.  Lows Friday Night and Saturday Night will be in the teens and 20s with lows Sunday Night in the single digits below to single digits above zero.

Long Range Forecast (January 2nd-8th)

A brief cold snap will affect the Upper Midwest early next week before temperatures warm back up once again from mid week thru next weekend.  The flow aloft will transition from the N/NW back to the W/NW after Tuesday of next week the way it looks now.  No big storms are forecast during this period.

Note:  A period of significant lake effect snow could occur sometime Sunday-Monday along the South Shore of Lake Superior.  Ashland and Iron Counties are at greatest risk for the possibility of a significant snowfall with a lesser chance in Bayfield and Douglas County.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Light snow developing by Midnight.  Low 18 to 23.  Wind east to southeast around 12 mph.

.Thursday…  Light snow early.  Total accumulations 1-2″.  Considerable cloudiness.  High 25 to 30.  Wind north, becoming west at 5 to 15 mph.

.Thursday Night…  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow or flurries possible late.  Low 13 to 18.  Wind becoming east around 12 mph.  Chance of snow 30%.

.Friday…  Light snow or flurries possible during the Morning.  Up to 1″ of accumulation possible.  Considerable cloudiness.  High 25 to 30.  Chance of snow 30%.

.Friday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 17 to 22.

.New Year’s Eve…  Mostly cloudy.  High 31 to 36.

.Saturday Night…  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow or mixed precipitation possible.  Low 20 to 25.  Chance of precipitation 30%.

.New Year’s Day…  Breezy and turning colder.  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow and flurries.  High 25 to 30 with falling temperatures.  Northwest winds could occasionally gust to 30 mph.  Chance of snow 30%.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  19 degrees
Low:    3 degrees

Sunrise Thursday:  7:54 AM CST
Sunset Thursday:   4:28 PM CST

Tim