/Issued 2:38 PM CST, Thursday, January 31st, 2013/
-The map below represents the average number of tornadoes in January for the period 1991-2010.
It really isn’t unusual to get an outbreak of severe thunderstorms at this time of year in Dixie Alley, or anywhere in the Southern U.S. Severe weather isn’t as common though during the month of January the farther north you go, so when you start to see damaging wind, hail, and even tornado reports at this time of year in the Ohio Valley and Southern Great Lakes that is somewhat unusual, but remember what happened on January 7, 2008 in far Southern Wisconsin? 5 tornadoes! So, perhaps this is the new normal, a severe weather outbreak in January affecting areas outside of Dixie Alley.
*Annual snowfall totals and the departure from average for select cities in the Upper Midwest*
Note: Data is thru January 30, 2013.
Total snowfall: 33.6″
International Falls, Minnesota
Total snowfall: 49.0″
Twin Cities, Minnesota
Total snowfall: 20.4″
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Total snowfall: 20.5″
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Total snowfall: 26.9″
Total snowfall: 16.4″
Fargo, North Dakota
Total snowfall: 22.7″
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Total snowfall: 39.0″
Total snowfall: 11.4″
Total snowfall: 32.1″
Total snowfall: 88.5″
Sault St. Marie, Michigan
Total snowfall: 89.3″
A few things stand out from this list, one is the 2 distinct storm tracks we’ve seen this winter. The southern systems have targeted Southern, Central and Eastern Wisconsin with heavy snowfall, and then we have the northern systems (clippers) favoring Northern Minnesota. Another very interesting tidbit is Marquette, MI with 88.5″ of snow as of January 30th, yet their 26.7″ below average! Yeah, that truly is snow country!
*January will mark the 3rd month in a row with an above average monthly temperature at Duluth, Minnesota (Nov-Jan)
*January will also be the 2nd month in a row with above average precipitation at Duluth, Minnesota, yet both December and January were below average in terms of snowfall. I guess you can thank the rain events we’ve seen this winter, the rainfall is the reason why we’ve seen above average amounts of precipitation last month and this month.
*781, that’s the 2-day preliminary severe weather total (Jan. 29-30, 2013) Tornado reports: 30; Severe wind reports: 738; Severe hail reports: 13. Source: Storm Prediction Center.
*January 29, 2013 severe weather reports. Red=Tornado reports. Blue=Wind damage reports. Green=Hail reports.
*January 30, 2013 severe weather reports.
*WIND CHILL ADVISORY*
Source: National Weather Service Duluth, MN
Location: All of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, including the Counties of Koochiching MN…Itasca MN…Cass MN…Crow Wing MN…Aitkin MN…Pine MN…Carlton MN…St. Louis MN…Lake MN…Cook MN. Douglas WI…Bayfield WI…Ashland WI…Iron WI…Burnett WI…Washburn WI…Sawyer WI…Price WI.
Some cities included in the advisory are: International Falls MN…Grand Rapids MN…Walker MN…Brainerd MN…Aitkin MN…Hinckley MN…Cloquet MN…Duluth MN…Hibbing MN…Ely MN…Two Harbors MN…Silver Bay MN…Grand Marais MN…Superior WI…Bayfield WI…Ashland WI…Hurley WI…Siren WI…Spooner WI…Hayward WI…and Park Falls WI.
Timing: 6 PM CST This Evening until Noon CST Friday.
Impacts: Wind chill values of 30 below to 40 below in Northern Minnesota and 20 below to 30 below in Northwest Wisconsin. Frost bite can occur to exposed skin and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. Infants and the elderly are especially susceptible to the cold.
*LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNING*
Source: National Weather Service Duluth, MN
Location: Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin including the cities of Hurley…Gile…and Upson.
Timing: Until 6 AM CST Friday.
Discussion: Lake effect snow showers, heavy at times will continue in the warning area Tonight and Friday Morning. Visibilities will be reduced to less than one quarter mile at times in the heavier snow showers. Areas of blowing snow will also continue. Travel will be difficult with snow covered and slippery roads. If you must travel use extreme caution and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
Snowfall accumulations: Total snowfall accumulations of 8-14″ are expected in Iron County with the greatest amounts along the Gogebic Range.
Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Arctic high pressure ridge averaging 1032mb stretched from the Northern Rockies to the Central Plains. A frigid airmass continues to spill into the Northland Today with high temperatures of zero to around 10 above with northwest winds at 10 to 25 mph. Skies were partly to mostly cloudy Today and there’s been some snow showers and flurries, especially near Lake Superior with the heaviest snow confined to Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin.
*Minnesota snow depth map as of January 29, 2013 per MNDNR. Snow depths are greatest in Northern Minnesota with anywhere from 8-18″+ on the ground. Southern Minnesota continues to have little to no snow on the ground.
Today’s Upper Level Analysis:
A powerful upper level trough with height falls of 180-330 meters covered Eastern Canada, Eastern Great Lakes, and Northeast U.S. per RAP model analysis. A northwest flow was in place behind this storm across the Upper Midwest. 850mb temperatures as of 2 PM were around -24C in Minnesota.
Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Short Term – Confidence: High.
Tonight (January 31st)
Skies will become clear to partly cloudy during the night as high pressure moves closer to our area. Flurries or snow showers will end This Evening except in Ashland and Iron Counties where they will persist most of the night. Low temperatures will range from the 20s and 30s below across Northern Minnesota to the single digits and teens below to single digits above zero in Northwest Wisconsin. Winds will be out of the northwest at 5 to 15 mph.
*RAP model (18z run) Low temperature forecast for Tonight, yup going to be a frigid night in Minnesota with widespread 20s and 30s below zero by daybreak.
Friday and Friday Night (February 1st)
High pressure will be in control of our weather this period, expect partly cloudy skies Tomorrow with highs of 10 below to the single digits above zero. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast Friday Night with a few flurries or snow showers possible as a weak disturbance passes through the Upper Midwest. Lows Tomorrow Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero. Winds will be out of the west or north at 5 to 15 mph.
Extended Forecast – Confidence: High.
Saturday through Monday (February 2nd-4th)
2 clippers may affect the Northland during this period. The 1st would be on Saturday, the 2nd sometime late Sunday Night or Monday. Light snow and flurries will be possible in our area on both those days with a few inches of accumulation possible, depending on the tracks of those systems. High temperatures are forecast to be in the single digits and teens Saturday through Monday with lows Saturday Night in the single digits, teens, and 20s below zero. Lows Sunday Night will be in the single digits below to around 10 above zero.
Long Range Forecast – Confidence: High.
There are 2 systems showing up in the long range that could bring at least a little bit of snow to Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. February 5th would be the 1st one, and then sometime around the 7th-8th would be the 2nd system. Temperatures should be fairly close to average through this period.
5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR
*WIND CHILL ADVISORY*
Timing: 6 PM This Evening until 12 PM Friday.
.Tonight… Bitterly cold. Partly to mostly cloudy. Scattered flurries early. Low 17 below to 23 below. Wind northwest at 5 to 15 mph. Wind chill values of 25 below to 35 below.
.Friday… Very cold. Partly cloudy. High 3 below to 2 above. Wind west at 5 to 15 mph. Morning wind chill values of 25 below to 35 below.
.Friday Night… Partly to mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 8 below to 13 below. Wind west around 10 mph.
.Saturday… Mostly cloudy. Late afternoon snow showers or flurries possible. High 7 to 12.
.Saturday Night… Mostly cloudy. Evening snow showers or flurries possible. Low 5 below to 10 below.
.Sunday… Mostly sunny. High 5 to 10.
.Sunday Night… Partly to mostly cloudy. Light snow or flurries possible late. Low 0 to 5 below.
.Monday… Mostly cloudy. Light snow or flurries possible. High 10 to 15.
Normal temperatures for Today
Sunrise Friday: 7:33 AM CST
Sunset Friday: 5:12 PM CST