Crack open a beer or pop! The unofficial start to spring is just hours away!

/Issued 3:37 PM CST, Thursday, February 28th, 2013/

-Here’s a look at the three month precipitation data (November 2012-January 2013)  Note all of Minnesota had near average precipitation during that 3 month period with Northeast Minnesota in the Abnormally Moist category.  It’s been a weird winter with snowfall below average in Duluth, but precipitation has been above average, again you can thank the multiple rain events we had in December and January for why were running above average in the precipitation department.  (Souce, NOAA, NCDC)

Well, the end of winter Meteorologically speaking is almost over, as I type this blog we are just T-8 hours away from kicking off Meteorological spring or the period March through May.

Weather Tidbits:

-Duluth’s streak without any measurable precipitation ends at 4 consecutive days (February 24-27)  This ties the November 4 day dry streak which occurred on the 13th-16th.

Could it be? A month that finishes with a below average temperature at Duluth, Minnesota?  Going into Today, the temperature departure for February was at -0.6 degrees.  If we finish the month below average, then it will be only the 3rd time doing so in the past 21 months! June 2011, October 2012 and possibly February 2013?  Will know Tomorrow Morning.

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

High pressure of 1034mb was centered in Northern Ontario with a north/east wind occurring in our area Today.  Colder 850mb temperatures moved into the Northland Today which caused lake clouds and some light flurries earlier This Morning along the North and South Shore of Lake Superior, otherwise skies were partly to mostly cloudy Today with wind speeds of 10 to 20 mph.  High temperatures were cooler compared to previous days, but still right around average for the end of February with mid 20s to around 30 degrees.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis

An upper trough continued to cover the Great Lakes, Eastern Canada and Northeast U.S. per water vapor satellite imagery and RAP model analysis.  850mb temperatures as of 3 PM ranged from -8 to -10C in Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term – Confidence:  High.

Tonight (February 28th)

Clear to partly cloudy skies will be found in our area Tonight with strong high pressure to our north.  Lows will be in the single digits below to teens above zero with north or east winds at 5 to 15 mph.

Friday and Friday Night (March 1st)

High pressure stays put to our north/northeast.  Dry this period with partly cloudy skies.  Highs Tomorrow will mainly be in the 20s with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits and teens below to single digits above zero.  North or east winds are forecast this period at 5 to 15 mph.

Extended Forecast – Confidence: Medium.

Saturday through Monday (March 2nd-4th)

Dry Saturday and Sunday.  Flurries are a possibility Saturday Night as a weak disturbance moves southeast into the Upper Midwest.  Significant model differences arise for early next week.  The 00z and 12z CANADIAN (which recently had an upgrade) is quite snowy early next week, but the other models including the EUROPEAN and GFS (outside of about 4-5 ensembles) remain dry.  I’m thinking the drier solutions will verify, but since at least 1 model and a few of the ensembles show something different, the system for early next week will need to be monitored for possible shifts in the storm track.  High temperatures in the 20s and 30s through this period with lows Saturday Night and Sunday Night in the single digits below to teens above zero.

Long Range Forecast – Confidence:  Medium.

(March 5th-10th)

Looks mainly dry next Tuesday and Wednesday (5th-6th) Unless the CANADIAN model verifies, if that happens then early next week will be rather snowy in the Northland.  Stay tuned!  A possible system is looming for the 7th-9th, this one if it hits us could bring some snow or a mix of precipitation to the area.  Near to below average temperatures through this period.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Partly cloudy.  Low 8 to 13.  Wind northeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday…  Partly cloudy.  High 22 to 27.  Wind northeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.  Wind variable around 10 mph.

.Saturday…  Partly cloudy.  High 25 to 30.

.Saturday Night…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 7 to 12.

.Sunday…  Partly cloudy.  High 25 to 30.

.Sunday Night…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.

.Monday…  Partly sunny.  High 27 to 32.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  28
Low:  11

Sunrise Friday:  6:48 AM CST
Sunset Friday:   5:55 PM CST

Tim

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Anyone else think that Today feels like a Thursday or is it just me? Oh yeah the weather; Quiet; And the LRC forecast for March.

/Issued 3:53 PM CST, Wednesday, February 27th, 2013/

*7 day precipitation forecast, valid through Wednesday, March 6, 2013.  A system early next week could bring some accumulating snow or mixed precipitation to parts of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.  (Source, HPC)

Weather Tidbits:

-Duluth, Minnesota has experienced 3 consecutive days without any measurable precipitation (February 24-26)  Gotta go back to mid-November to find a longer streak than this one.  4 days (November 13-16)

-LRC forecast for Duluth, MN for March 2013:  

*15 days with snow (0.1″ or greater) 
*12.2″ of total snowfall which is 1.0″ below average. 
*Mean temperature of 27.7F which is 1.8 degrees warmer than normal. 
*20 days with a high temperature of at least 32F. 
*1 day with a high temperature of at least 50F.

-LRC scorecard for February.  Note:  It’s done quite well this month. 
*Total snowfall:  18.2″; Actual 19.1″. 
*Days with snow:  11; Actual 15.

Note:   More stats will be included after Tomorrow since there is 1 more day left in February.

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Low pressure of 1002mb was over Southern Michigan late This Afternoon with high pressure of 1032mb centered in Western Manitoba.  The coolest temperatures (still above average for late February) were found in Northwest Wisconsin and Northeast Minnesota with highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s.  The warmest temperatures covered Western-Northwest parts of our area with highs in the mid 30s to lower 40s.  Skies ranged from mostly cloudy to mostly sunny and winds were out of the north or east at 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph.

Today’s Upper Analysis

A northeast flow aloft was found over the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Today as a large upper trough covers the region per water vapor satellite imagery and RAP model analysis.  850mb temperatures as of 3 PM ranged from -2 to -6C in Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term – Confidence:  High.

Tonight (February 27th)

Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be found in our area with some flurries or snow showers possible in Northwest Wisconsin but little if any accumulation is expected.  Lows will be in the single digits to around 20 degrees with north or east winds at 5 to 20 mph.

Thursday and Thursday Night (February 28th)

The month of February ends on a dry note with seasonable temperatures.  Expect 20s and 30s for daytime highs with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits and teens.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected.  Winds will be out of the north or east at 5 to 20 mph.

Extended Forecast – Confidence:  High.

Friday through Sunday (March 1st-3rd)

Friday and Sunday are looking dry at this time, but Saturday could bring with it a few snow flurries as a weak disturbance passes through the Upper Midwest.  High temperatures will be in the 20s to around 30 degrees, the warmer days look to be Saturday and Sunday.  Lows will be in the single digits below to around 10 above zero Friday Night and Saturday Night.

Long Range Forecast – Confidence:  Medium.

(March 4th-9th)

Low pressure is forecast to move east-southeast through the Northern and Central Plains early next week, this system should bring some snow to areas especially west/south of the Northland for next Monday-Tuesday (4th and 5th)  It’s still possible that a minor snow event will extend northeast into parts of our area early next week,  but the bigger snows are targeting Western/Southern Minnesota.  There could be another system sometime between the 7th-9th, this one could bring some snow or perhaps a mix of precipitation to the area. 

Overall the weather pattern looks to become a bit more active for next week with a few storm systems to keep an eye on, but like always it’ll depend on the track that these systems take as to whether or not we see any precipitation here in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Temperatures through this period are expected to be near to below seasonal averages.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday…  Partly cloudy.  High 26 to 31.  Wind northeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.  Wind northeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday…  Partly cloudy.  High 22 to 27.

.Friday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.

.Saturday…  Partly cloudy.  High 25 to 30.

.Saturday Night…  Mostly cloudy.  Low 7 to 12.

.Sunday…  Partly cloudy.  High 27 to 32.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  28
Low:  11

Sunrise Thursday:  6:50 AM CST
Sunset Thursday:   5:53 PM CST

Tim

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Dry; No weather is good weather-or something like that.

/Issued 3:49 PM CST, Tuesday, February 26th, 2013/

A major winter storm affected parts of the Southern and Central Plains during the last 24 hours.  Here are a few selected snowfall storm totals from February 25-26, 2013 per HPC.

Follet, Texas:  21.0″
Fort Supply, Oklahoma:  18.0″
Near Amarillo, Texas:  17.0″
Alva, Oklahoma:  17.0″
Woodward, Oklahoma:  15.0″
Pampa, Texas:  15.0″
Warrensburg, Missouri:  14.0″
Carbondale, Kansas:  10.0″
Centerville, Iowa:  8.5″
Mount Sterling, Illinois:  7.6″
Galesburg, Illinois:  7.0″

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Temperatures varied considerably across Minnesota Today as a goofy weather pattern continues for yet another day.  High temperatures made it into the 40s from Hibbing and Bigfork, north to the Ontario border with 30s in the rest of our area while 20s were common in Western and Southwest Minnesota.  Winds have finally increased a bit This Afternoon which is mixing the atmosphere, this is something we haven’t seen much of the past few days, thus all the haze in the air.  Dense fog was also a major problem in Western-Southern parts of our area last night and This Morning, but the fog did burn off This Afternoon.  Winds Today were out of the north or east at 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph near Lake Superior.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis

A strong upper level low/trough with height falls of 90-180 meters continues to lift slowly toward the northeast out of Missouri per water vapor satellite imagery.  Were actually seeing an easterly H5 flow in Minnesota Today due to the upper trough to our SE and an upper ridge just off to our east.  850mb temperatures as of 3 PM ranged from -4 to -6C in Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term – Confidence:  High.

Tonight (February 26th)

The biggest forecast challenge lately has been the temperatures.  Above model guidance during the day for most areas, and below model guidance at night…That seems to be the trend as of late.  This weather pattern sorta reminds me of Indian Summer (winter version) Hazy skies, light winds, and fairly large temperature swings from the low to the high.

Oh yeah, getting back to Tonight’s weather:  Surface low of 996mb in Southern Illinois late This Afternoon will churn slowly N-NE during the night.  Snow with this storm will remain well southeast of the Northland.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast in our area Tonight with patchy fog possible once again.  Lows will be in the single digits and teens with north or east winds at 5 to around 20 mph.

Wednesday and Wednesday Night (February 27th)

Stays dry this period under partly to mostly cloudy skies.  Highs Tomorrow will be in the 30s to lower 40s with minimum temperatures Wednesday Night in the single digits and teens.  North or east winds are forecast at 10 to 15 mph.

Extended Forecast – Confidence:  High.

Thursday through Saturday (February 28th-March 2nd)

Late week also looks mainly dry.  High temperatures Thursday through Saturday in the 20s with lows Thursday Night and Friday Night in the single digits and teens.

Note:  There is a small chance for lake effect snow showers late Wednesday Night into Thursday along the South Shore of Lake Superior with NNE winds in place, but temperatures are a little too warm for any significant accumulations.

Long Range Forecast – Confidence:  Medium.

(March 3rd-8th)

We might as well keep the dry streak going.  Not much change is expected through this period.  There is a weather system to monitor during the early-mid part of next week (4th-6th) But the trends are for it to sail west/south of the Northland and that’s where the bulk of the snow looks to fall early next week, but a minor snow event may clip some parts of NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin between the 4th-6th.  Near to below average temperatures during this period.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Clear to partly cloudy.  Low 12 to 17.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Wednesday…  5th day in a row at or above freezing.  Partly cloudy.  High 32 to 37.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Wednesday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday…  Partly cloudy.  High 27 to 32.

.Thursday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.

.Friday…  Partly cloudy.  High 25 to 30.

.Friday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.

.Saturday…  Partly cloudy.  High 25 to 30.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  28
Low:  10

Sunrise Wednesday:  6:52 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday:   5:52 PM CST

Tim

 

Quiet

/Issued 2:41 PM CST, Monday, February 25th, 2013/

Weather Tidbits:

*Today marks the 4th day this month and the 3rd day in a row with a high temperature of at least 32F at Duluth, Minnesota.  Last February had 15 days at or above 32F.

High temperature report for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

February 17-23, 2013:

2/17:  25F/Normal
2/18:  27F/2 degrees above normal
2/19:  7F/18 degrees below normal
2/20:  20F/6 degrees below normal
2/21:  24F/2 degrees below normal
2/22:  27F/1 degrees above normal
2/23:  34F/7 degrees above normal

Low temperature report for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

February 17-23, 2013:

2/17:  -1F/8 degrees below normal
2/18:  7F/Normal
2/19:  -6F/13 degrees below normal
2/20:  -8F/16 degrees below normal
2/21:  -7F/15 degrees below normal
2/22:  23F/14 degrees above normal
2/23:  21F/12 degrees above normal

Precipitation total for 2/17-2/23/13:  0.39″
Normal:  0.23″
Departure:  +0.16″

LRC snowfall forecast for 2/17-2/23/13:  7.9″
Actual:  6.1″
Error:  1.8″

LRC snowfall forecast for 2/24-3/2/13:  0.0″

Note:  With March fast approaching most of us start looking forward to warmer temperatures, lets take a look back to March 2012 to see when our 1st 50, 60 and 70 degree high temperature occurred at Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

-1st 50 degree high temperature:  March 10th
-1st 60 degree high temperature:  March 14th
-1st 70 degree high temperature:  March 17th

Now for the bad news, I feel fairly confident that were going to be waiting longer this year compared to last year for the first 50s, 60s and 70s.  If you prefer the warm temps, just be patient, they will arrive eventually.

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

There’s a mammoth storm hitting parts of the Central-Southern U.S. Today.  Deep low pressure of 996mb was centered in extreme Northeast Texas late This Afternoon with a raging blizzard occurring from the Texas Panhandle, northeast through parts of Western Oklahoma into Southern Kansas while severe thunderstorms are erupting in the storm’s warm sector from Arkansas and Louisiana to Mississippi.  No weather worries here in the Northland Today, just another calm and peaceful late winter day.  Skies were mostly cloudy to partly cloudy with highs in the 30s along with light winds.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis

Two strong systems in the water vapor Today.  The 1st one is moving E/NE through Texas with height falls of 120-210 meters.  The 2nd system is dropping southeast through the Pacific Northwest with height falls of 60-120 meters.  The Upper Midwest sits in between these 2 weather systems with a weak NW flow in place.  850mb temperatures as of 2 PM ranged from -4 to -6C in Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast – Confidence:  High.

Tonight (February 25th)

Partly to mostly cloudy skies will occur with areas of freezing fog.  Lows will be in the single digits to around 20 degrees with light winds.

Tuesday and Tuesday Night (February 26th)

More dry skies this period as weak high pressure remains over the Upper Midwest while strong low pressure of around 988-990mb lifts northeast out of Northern Texas, snow with this storm stays well to our southeast.  Patchy Morning fog will give way to partly to mostly cloudy skies throughout the Northland with highs Tomorrow mainly in the 30s with lows Tomorrow Night in the teens and 20s.  Winds will be out of the east or north at 5 to 15 mph.

Extended Forecast – Confidence:  High.

Wednesday through Friday (February 27th-March 1st)

Not much change in the weather for mid to late week.  A northerly flow will be found across the Upper Midwest with high pressure to our north which may help to turn surface winds more to the NE later this week.  Temperatures aloft look too warm for much in the way of lake effect snow for the South Shore and North Shore of Lake Superior, but I suppose a few flakes could develop Thursday and Friday since the 850mb temperatures will be cooling a bit compared to what will see through midweek.  High temperatures will be in the 20s and 30s through this period with lows Wednesday Night and Thursday Night in the teens.

Long Range Forecast – Confidence:  High.

(March 2nd-7th)

Near to below average temperatures are expected this period.  Dry this weekend, and then there could be a minor snow event taking aim at Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin sometime between the 4th-6th, plenty of time to monitor the model trends with that possible system.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Patchy fog possible.  Low 12 to 17.  Wind light and variable around 10 mph.

.Tuesday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.  Wind east at 10 to 15 mph.

.Tuesday Night…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday…  Partly sunny.  High 30 to 35.

.Wednesday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.

.Thursday…  Partly sunny.  High 27 to 32.

.Thursday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.

.Friday…  Partly sunny.  High 25 to 30.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  27
Low:  10

Sunrise Tuesday:  6:53 AM CST
Sunset Tuesday:   5:50 PM CST

Tim

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It’s a stagnant weather pattern; Possible fog at night; Mild temperatures during the day.

/Issued 3:44 PM CST, Saturday, February 23rd, 2013/

-Snowfall map from Friday, February 22, 2013.  A decent snow event from the Twin Ports to Hinckley, east into all of Northwest Wisconsin.  A minimum of 3″ and a maximum of 8-9″ within this corridor.

Duluth, Minnesota snow stats (Airport location)

February snowfall total (thru the 23rd)  19.3″
Departure: Around 10″ above normal
Last February (thru the 23rd)  6.0″
+13.3″ more snow this February vs. last February.

Winter snowfall total (Dec-Feb 23)  41.7″
Departure: Around 4″ below normal
Last winter (Dec-Feb 23)  19.2″
+22.5″ more snow this winter vs. last winter.

Annual snowfall total (Since July 1)  53.0″
Departure:  Around 9″ below normal
Last year’s annual snowfall total (thru the 23rd of Feb)  22.0″
+31″ more snow this year’s annual total vs. last year’s.

Weather Tidbits:

*22/23 or all but 1 day so far in February has had at least a trace of snow recorded at Duluth, MN.

*Friday marked the 5th this month with a 1.0″ or greater snowfall event at Duluth, MN.

*Average temperature for February (ending on the 22nd)  at Duluth, MN:  11.8F which is 2.2 degrees below normal.

Today’s Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

High temperatures were in the 20s and 30s Today with mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies.  Low pressure of 1008mb over Eastern Ontario did produce a few more flurries and snow showers Today, mainly in parts of Northwest Wisconsin.  Winds Today were out of the north or west at 5 to 15 mph.

Today’s Upper Level Analysis:

A strong upper trough with height falls of up to 120-150 meters was digging S/SE through the Central-Southern Rockies per water vapor satellite imagery and RAP model analysis.  Another upper level low/trough over the Great Lakes continued to churn ever so slowly toward the east Today.  850mb temperatures as of 3 PM ranged from -6 to -10C in Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast – Confidence:  High.

Tonight (February 23rd)

Partly to mostly cloudy skies will continue with the possibility for a few flurries.  Lows will be in the teens with some spots possibly dropping into the single digits if skies can clear out for a few hours.  Winds will be light and variable around 10 mph.  Note:  Patchy fog could develop Tonight, drivers beware of this possibility.

Sunday and Sunday Night (February 24th)

High temps Tomorrow will be similar to what we had Today, so expect 20s and 30s once again across the Northland with lows Tomorrow Night in the teens to around 20 degrees.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast with winds out of the south or west at 5 to 15 mph.

Extended Forecast – Confidence:  High.

Monday through Wednesday (February 25th-27th)

A major winter storm is forecast to affect the Central Plains and Southern Great Lakes during this period as deep low pressure moves NE out of Northern Texas to Southern Michigan during this period.  Heavy snow associated with that storm will stay well southeast of our area next week.  There could be some flurries or snow showers at times through this period in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, but accumulations if any will be very light.  Highs in the 20s and 30s Monday through Wednesday with lows in the teens and 20s.

Long Range Forecast – Confidence:  High.

(February 28th-March 5th)

Lake effect snow showers could increase late next week as cooler air moves into the Upper Midwest along with a favorable NNW wind crossing Lake Superior, so the South Shore may see some accumulating lake effect snow next Thursday/Friday (28th-1st)  Outside of that, nothing much going on in our area for the 1st couple days of March.  Near to below average temperatures are forecast through this period.

5 DAY FORECAST FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR

.Tonight…  Considerable cloudiness.  Patchy fog possible.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind light and variable around 10 mph.

.Sunday…  Partly to mostly sunny.  High 30 to 35.  Wind south to southwest at 5 to 15 mph.

.Sunday Night…  Partly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind southwest at 5 to 15 mph.

.Monday…  Partly sunny.  High 30 to 35.

.Monday Night…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.

.Tuesday…  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  High 28 to 33.

.Tuesday Night…  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 15 to 20.

.Wednesday…  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  High 28 to 33.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  27
Low:    9

Sunrise Sunday:  6:57 AM CST
Sunset Sunday:   5:47 PM CST

Tim