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
*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
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