Major spring storm on the way with several inches of wet snow and some rain (Duluth, MN May 1st snowfall record of 1.6" will be broken)

/Issued 5:28 PM CDT, Sunday, April 30, 2017/

Note:  Could be some higher snowfall amounts especially in the 4-6″ zone.

Latest headlines from the National Weather Service in Duluth, Minnesota.

Pink:  Winter Storm Warning
Purple=Winter Weather Advisory

Source:  http://www.weather.gov/dlh/

12z Duluth WRF model — Monday afternoon temperatures.

Flooding has been a very serious problem the past few days in parts of the Midwest!  Look at these 24 hour rainfall totals from Saturday morning thru Sunday morning.  Source:  https://www.weatherbell.com

Significant river flooding is expected the next few days in parts of Illinois and Missouri.  Source:  http://www.weather.gov/ncrfc/LMI_FOP_summary

Temperature departure map for the week of April 23rd.  Source:  http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu

Precipitation departure map for the week of April 23rd.  Source:  http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu

Temperature and precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

April 23-29, 2017

High temperatures:

*=Record coldest high temperature for the date

4/23:  45 F/-8 degrees below normal
4/24:  41 F/-13 degrees below normal
4/25:  59 F/+5 degrees above normal
4/26:  36 F/-19 degrees below normal
*4/27:  30 F/-25 degrees below normal
4/28:  49 F/-7 degrees below normal
4/29:  48 F/-8 degrees below normal

Low temperatures:

4/23:  31 F/-2 degrees below normal
4/24:  31 F/-3 degrees below normal
4/25:  36 F/+2 degrees above normal
4/26:  25 F/-9 degrees below normal
4/27:  23 F/-12 degrees below normal
4/28:  28 F/-7 degrees below normal
4/29:  25 F/-11 degrees below normal

Total precipitation:  1.00″
Normal:  0.67″
Departure:  +0.33″ above normal

Note:  How often does Duluth get a 1 inch or greater snowfall total in May?  Have to go back to May 7th, 2010 when 4.4 inches of snow fell; Before that May 7th, 2002 with a snowfall of 1.5 inches.

*Record snowfall total for May 1st at Duluth, Minnesota is 1.6 inches which was set in 1970.  Should have no problem breaking this record Monday.

*Dating back to 1874 (142 years) Only 2% of May firsts have had a snowfall total of at least 1.0 inch at Duluth, Minnesota.  So to get more than an inch of snow on the 1st of May is quite rare even for a location this far north!

May climate normals for Duluth, Minnesota

Normal high:  51.4 degrees
Precipitation:  3.23″
Snowfall:  0.4″

Warmest May on record:  57.4 degrees in 1977
Coldest May on record:  38.8 degrees in 1907

Wettest May on record:  7.99″ in 1899
Driest May on record:  0.15″ in 1976

Snowiest May on record:  8.1″ in 1954

Normal high on the 1st:  57 degrees
Normal high on the 31st:  67 degrees

Normal low on the 1st:  36 degrees
Normal low on the 31st:  45 degrees

Note:  Duluth averages 8 days in May with a high temperature of at least 70 degrees, and 2 days with a high temperature of at least 80 degrees.  Last May had 10 days with a high temperature of 70 degrees or warmer, and 4 days with a high temperature of 80 degrees or warmer.

Astronomical data for May

Sunrise on the 1st:  5:53 AM CDT
Sunrise on the 31st:  5:18 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st:  8:19 PM CDT
Sunset on the 31st:  8:54 PM CDT

Weather Synopsis:

There is a major spring storm affecting much of the central U.S.  At 3 PM today there were two surface lows stretching from east central Kansas to eastern Missouri.

To the W/NW of the low in eastern Kansas a significant snowstorm has been occurring with blizzard conditions in parts of north Texas, western Oklahoma, western Kansas, eastern Colorado and southern Nebraska while to the east of the low widespread heavy rain causing significant flooding, and there’s also been some severe weather and tornadoes.

The storm to our south will be lifting N/NE through Monday night with the surface low reaching northeast Iowa Monday morning and the Wisconsin-upper Michigan state line Monday evening.

Precipitation will become more widespread from south to north in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin later tonight with precipitation persisting into Monday night.  Multiple precipitation types can be expected ranging from snow to rain with even some sleet thrown in!

As is often the case with late season snow events, temperatures will be marginal for an all snow event , and when it does snow some of it will probably melt on contact, the exception to this will be if or when heavier snow bands move through parts of the area, this is when our best chance for accumulating snow will be.

Road conditions could be slick and hazardous especially before Noon Monday with some roads likely becoming snow and slush covered and slippery.  By Monday afternoon pavement temperatures with the help of chemicals (Assuming public works will be using them) should lead to mostly wet roadways except possibly for the higher elevated areas away from Lake Superior where some roads could remain snow or slush covered.  Note:  If heavier snowfall persists into Monday afternoon it may help keep the pavement temps cool enough to maintain slushy/slick roads in parts of the area, keep that in mind if you have travel plans beyond Monday morning.

Here are links to Minnesota and Wisconsin road conditions

Minnesota:  http://lb.511mn.org/mnlb/winterdriving/routeselect.jsf

Wisconsin:  http://www.511wi.gov/web/traffic/winterroadconditions

Storm timeline for the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior

*Windy this evening with patchy light rain or light sleet possible at times.  East to northeast wind 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts.

*After midnight:  Rain becoming more widespread with rain mixing with and changing to wet snow most likely toward daybreak (After 4-5 AM)

*Monday morning:  Wet snow which could mix with rain/drizzle at times below the hill in Duluth.  Should remain all snow on top of the hill.

*Monday afternoon through Monday evening:  Snow continues with varying intensities.  Closer to Lake Superior expect rain and snow which will switch to snow from time to time.

*Strong northeast winds will continue into late Monday afternoon with wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph, possibly up to 40 mph.

*I’m still thinking the Twin Ports will end up with 2 to 4 inches of snow Monday with the highest totals likely occurring on top of the hill.

Tim

Winter Storm Watch issued for areas west/north of Duluth for Sun eve-Mon eve (Preliminary snowfall map in this post) A shot at 60-70 degree temps next weekend!

/Issued 4:57 PM CDT, Saturday, April 29, 2017/

A variety of weather headlines cover portions of the upper Midwest, western High Plains and central Plains.  Source:  http://www.weather.gov/crh/

Closer to home a winter storm watch has been issued for areas west and north of Duluth for Sunday evening through Monday evening.

Here’s my preliminary snowfall map for the Sunday night-Monday night storm.  Locally higher amounts are certainly possible especially in the 4-6″ zone.

Forecast storm track through Tuesday morning.  Source:  http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Tonight’s low temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov

Sunday’s high temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov


Storm timeline for the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior

-Stays dry tonight and most of Sunday.  East/northeast wind will continue to increase with gusts of 20 to 30 mph developing on Sunday.  Lows tonight ranging from 31 to 34 degrees; Highs Sunday 40 to 45 degrees.

-A few showers of rain, snow or sleet are possible late Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening.  No travel problems expected.

-A more widespread band of precipitation is expected to arrive later Sunday night, and should continue into Monday morning — Precipitation types will depend on the surface temperature which looks to be around 33 degrees, so anything from wet snow, sleet to rain is possible with snow most likely as the heavier bands of precipitation move through.

-Lingering snow or mixed precipitation is expected Monday afternoon through Monday night.

-Right now I’m going with a total snowfall of 2-4 inches in the Twin Ports with the higher amounts probably occurring on top of the hill (Higher elevation)

-Roads could turn snow or slush covered at times especially late Sunday night-Monday morning.

-Strong, gusty east to northeast winds Sunday night and Monday at 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph.

-Storm track trends:  There has been a slight shift to the west with the storm track through Monday morning but the surface low is still expected to stay S/SE of the Northland.  The temperatures aloft especially the 925mb temps will be very marginal for snow as they hover right around 0 to -1 to +1C while the 850mb temps cool enough to support frozen precipitation around -1 to -4C.  Note:  A scenario that could play out is for rain to start, a switch to snow, and then a switch back to rain or a mix, this appears most likely in eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin while areas west/north of Duluth maintain enough cold air to keep the precipitation falling as snow.

Note:  Figured I would re post these snow stats for May 1st — Right now the only record that looks to be broken is the daily snowfall record for May 1st of 1.6 inches, I think the other records are safe the way it looks now, although its possible will get a top 5 calendar day snowfall total for the month of May on Monday — To break into the top 5 we would need 3.6 inches of snow on Monday which appears to be within reach.

Snowfall records could be broken at Duluth, Minnesota on Monday, May 1st!  See stats below.

*Heaviest snowfall total on May 1st:  1.6 inches set in 1970

*May 1st — Only 2% of years from 1874-2016 have featured a snowfall >1.0 inch.  0% have had a snowfall >3″ and >6″.

*Snowiest May on record is 8.1 inches (1954) 

2nd snowiest 6.0 inches (1950)
3rd snowiest:  5.7 inches (1924)
4th snowiest:  5.5 inches (1902)
5th snowiest:  4.5 inches (2010)

*Heaviest calendar day snowfall total during the month of May is 5.5 inches which occurred on May 10th, 1902.

2nd heaviest:  5.0 inches May 8th, 1924
3rd heaviest:  4.4 inches May 7th, 2010
4th heaviest:  4.3 inches May 2nd, 1950
5th heaviest:  3.5 inches May 17th, 1968


Tim







Texas Hooker type storm on the way for Sunday night-Monday! Before then a pretty nice Saturday on the way

/Issued 6:00 PM CDT, Friday, April 28, 2017/

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

18z GFS model — Should be plenty of lift with this storm with impressive jet stream winds off to our NE and coming up from the S by Sunday night.

Source:  http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

12z European model from Friday, April 28, 2017.

Source:  http://kamala.cod.edu/SPC/

Enhanced (Orange) and Slight (Yellow) risks for severe thunderstorms through Saturday.  Large hail >1 inch diameter, damaging winds >58 mph and a few tornadoes are possible in the risk areas.

Source:  http://kamala.cod.edu/SPC/

Source:  http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

There is also a significant risk for flash flooding this weekend to go along with the severe thunderstorm potential.

Source:  http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Coolest temperatures today were confined to extreme northern Minnesota while temperatures warmed up considerably compared to Thursday over the remainder of the Northland.

Tonight’s low temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov

Saturday’s high temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov


Snowfall records could be broken at Duluth, Minnesota on Monday, May 1st!  See stats below.

*Heaviest snowfall total on May 1st:  1.6 inches set in 1970

*May 1st — Only 2% of years from 1874-2016 have featured a snowfall >1.0 inch.  0% have had a snowfall >3″ and >6″.

*Snowiest May on record is 8.1 inches (1954) 

2nd snowiest 6.0 inches (1950)
3rd snowiest:  5.7 inches (1924)
4th snowiest:  5.5 inches (1902)
5th snowiest:  4.5 inches (2010)

*Heaviest calendar day snowfall total during the month of May is 5.5 inches which occurred on May 10th, 1902.

2nd heaviest:  5.0 inches May 8th, 1924
3rd heaviest:  4.4 inches May 7th, 2010
4th heaviest:  4.3 inches May 2nd, 1950
5th heaviest:  3.5 inches May 17th, 1968

**Record Events**

Duluth, Minnesota:  Record cold high temperature on April 27th, 2017.  New record 30 degrees.  Previous coldest 32 degrees set in 1950.

International Falls, Minnesota:  Record cold high temperature on April 27th, 2017.  New record 29 degrees.  Previous coldest 32 degrees set in 2008.

Weather Synopsis:

Warmed up nicely today, amazing how nice 50 degrees feels after a few days around 30 along with gusty winds and mixed winter precipitation!

Quiet weather will continue at least through mid afternoon Sunday thanks to high pressure which will be over the upper Midwest and Ontario.

The big weather story continues to be the potential winter storm for the Sunday night-Monday time frame.  The projected track of the surface low remains S-SE of the Northland which keeps our area on the cooler side of the low while deep moisture comes up from the S/SE — Temperatures aloft thanks to dynamical cooling processes are expected to drop to 0 to -2C while surface temperatures hover around the freezing mark on Monday — This should be cold enough to support snow, however, the snow could mix with or change to mixed precipitation or rain at times especially over portions of northwest Wisconsin.  Note:  Any changes to the storm track could lead to warmer or colder temperatures resulting in more snow or more rain than what is forecast today (Friday)

Precipitation should begin to spread from south to north into northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin either Sunday afternoon or Sunday night with precipitation then continuing through Monday before slowly tapering off from SW-NE Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Note:  Still not real sure how much snow accumulation will see here in the Northland but I’d say at the very least we’re looking at 1-4″ with higher amounts quite likely especially over portions of northeast Minnesota where snow totals could exceed 6″!  The fact that we’re so late into the season for snowfall some of the snow could melt initially which may cut into totals just a bit, also the snow will likely be wet and slushy which may lead to some compaction.

The other component to this storm as is often the case with these spring storms will be very strong NE winds near Lake Superior.  These winds should increase Saturday night and Sunday, and will remain strong Sunday night and Monday — Wind gusts of 30-40 mph are possible for Sunday and Monday.  The potential will exist for isolated power outages due to these strong winds, and also from the wet snowfall sticking to trees and power lines.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 28 to 33.  Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

.Saturday…  Partly cloudy.  High 46 to 51 but turning cooler near Lake Superior.  Wind becoming east at 10 to 15 mph.

Normal temperatures for Saturday

High:  56
Low:   36

Sunrise Saturday:  5:56 AM CDT
Sunset Saturday:   8:16 PM CDT

Tim

Duluth, MN – High temp of 52 degrees on February 18th; High temp today (April 27th) 29 degrees. A little nicer Fri-Sat; Latest on the potential winter storm for Sun night-Mon

/Issued 5:18 PM CDT, Thursday, April 27, 2017/

Source:  http://weather.cod.edu

Tonight’s low temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov

Friday’s high temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov

Second coldest high temperature on record for April 26 at International Falls, Minnesota

High temperature on April 26th was 28 degrees which ties with 1950 for second coldest high temperature on record for the 26th of April.  Note:  The coldest high temperature on record on April 26th is 27 degrees which was set in 2008.

Note:  It looks like both Duluth and International Falls will have their coldest high temperature on record for April 27th.  The previous coldest high temp was 32 degrees at Duluth (1950) and 32 degrees at International Falls (2008 and 1909)  High temp so far today at both locations have been in the upper 20s.

Precipitation stats for Duluth, Minnesota

April total (Thru the 26th)  3.02″
Departure:  +0.99″ above normal

Spring total (March 1-April 26)  4.07″
Departure:  +0.55″ above normal

Yearly total (January 1-April 26)  7.03″
Departure:  +1.74″ above normal

*Storm Reports for April 27, 2017*
Source:  http://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Mercer, WI 2 NE (Iron County)  Snow — 1.3 inch
Gile, WI (Iron County)  Freezing Rain — 0.20 inch
Gile, WI (Iron County)  Snow — 3.8 inch
Phillips, WI (Price County) Snow — 2.5 inch

Weather Synopsis:

Today (April 27th) has been the coldest day in the Twin Ports since March 14th when the high temperature was 29 degrees — Today also marks the first time since March 14th with a high temperature lower than 32 degrees.

A little bit of good news in that temperatures will moderate a bit Friday and Saturday but will remain below average especially Friday when highs will be in the 40s, but Saturday’s high temperatures should sneak into the 50s except near Lake Superior where it will be cooler.

Of course the big weather story around here will be the storm system that could hit parts of the Northland during the Sunday night/Monday time frame.  Computer models are in decent agreement on the track of this system considering its still ~4 days away, and because of that the storm track could shift around a bit.

One notable change is the European model (00z run from last night, and 12z run from today) has trended slightly warmer vs. previous runs…This needs to be watched to see if that trend continues, and to see if other computer models trend toward the Euro.  Should the EURO verify, then the greater chance for significant snowfall would be just west and north of Duluth with a mix and perhaps some rain affecting Duluth, eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.  The other computer models are colder and keeps precipitation in the form of snow in Duluth, eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

The other component to this potential storm will be strong NE winds near Lake Superior.  Looks like the northeast wind will ramp up Saturday night or Sunday and remain strong into Monday, wind gusts of 30-35+ mph are certainly possible by Sunday and Monday.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Considerable cloudiness.  Low 23 to 27.  Wind northwest to west at 10 to 20 mph.

.Friday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 40 to 45.  Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for Friday

High:  56
Low:   35

Sunrise Friday:  5:58 AM CDT
Sunset Friday:   8:15 PM CDT

Tim

Potential winter storm late this weekend. Storm reports from today in this post. Cold temps tonight/Thursday, lingering snow showers/mixed precip

/Issued 5:22 PM CDT, Wednesday, April 26, 2017/

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

12z European model from April 26, 2017 valid for next Monday, May 1, 2017.

Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for parts of the Northland (Purple shaded areas on maps below)

-The Ice Storm Warning for extreme northeast Minnesota has been cancelled

-The Winter Weather Advisory for the Twin Ports, far northwest Wisconsin, portions of the North Shore, Iron Range and Brainerd Lakes area has been cancelled.

Check out these temperatures from this afternoon! Normal highs for April 26 are in the mid to upper 50s, nothing close to that in our area today.

Tonight’s low temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov

Thursday’s high temperature forecast.  Source:  https://graphical.weather.gov


*Local Storm Reports for April 26, 2017*
Source:  http://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Grand Marais, MN 3 W (Cook County)  Ice Storm.  Freezing rain accumulation of 0.30″

Lutsen, MN 18 NNW (Cook County)  Freezing rain 0.25 inch along with about 2.5″ of sleet and snow

Finland, MN 3 SE (Lake County)  Freezing rain 0.20 inch

Hovland, MN 2 ENE (Cook County)  Ice Storm.  Freezing rain accumulation of 0.25″.  0.5 inch sleet on the ground.

Grand Marais, MN 7 ENE (Cook County)  Ice Storm.  There was 1.5″ of sleet and snow on the ground per spotter report.

Grand Marais, MN 21 N (Cook County)  Snow and sleet accumulation of 2.0″

Lutsen, MN 4 N (Cook County)  Freezing rain — 0.25 inch

Grand Marais, MN 6 W (Cook County)  Freezing rain — 0.25 inch

Grand Portage, MN (Cook County)  Freezing rain — 0.25 inch

Saxon, WI 1 WSW (Iron County)  Freezing rain — 0.25 inch

Island Lake, MN 6 E (St. Louis County)  Freezing rain — 0.20 inch

Silver Bay, MN 1 W (Lake County)  Freezing rain — 0.20 inch

Payne, MN 3 ENE (St. Louis County)  Freezing rain — 0.20 inch

Little Marais, MN 4 SW (Cook County)  Freezing rain — 0.10 inch

Duluth, MN (St. Louis County)  Freezing rain — 0.10 inch measured at the National Weather Service

Cloquet, MN 1 N (Carlton County)  Sleet — 0.5 inch

Duluth, MN (St. Louis County)  Sleet — 0.5 inch measured at the National Weather Service

Glidden, WI 2 E (Ashland County)  Heavy rain — 1.25 inch

Ashland, WI (Ashland County)  Heavy rain — 1.26 inch

Glidden, WI 1 NW (Ashland County)  Heavy rain — 1.13 inch

Bayfield, WI (Bayfield County)  Heavy rain — 1.00 inch

Odanah, WI (Ashland County)  Heavy rain — 1.47 inch

Precipitation reports from around the Northland
Source:  http://mesowest.utah.edu

Date:  April 25-26, 2017 (Totals listed below are through ~3 PM on April 26th)

Glidden, WI:  1.13 in
Ashland, WI:  1.04 in
Grand Marais, MN:  1.00 in
Two Harbors, MN:  0.86 in
Duluth, MN (Airport)  0.77 in
Hayward, WI:  0.76 in
Silver Bay, MN:  0.76 in
Minong, WI:  0.76 in
Barnes, WI:  0.75 in
Phillips, WI:  0.74 in
Siren, WI:  0.73 in
Moose Lake, MN:  0.67 in
McGregor, MN:  0.58 in
Superior, WI:  0.57 in
Saginaw, MN:  0.48 in
Solon Springs, WI:  0.43 in
Ely, MN:  0.42 in
Grand Rapids, MN:  0.41 in
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN (Airport)  0.38 in
Cass Lake, MN:  0.31 in
Brainerd, MN:  0.26 in
Orr, MN:  0.26 in
Pine River, MN:  0.20 in

Link to Minnesota road conditions http://lb.511mn.org/mnlb/winterdriving/routeselect.jsf

Link to Wisconsin road conditions http://www.511wi.gov/web/traffic/winterroadconditions

Weather Synopsis for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

A very chilly late April day across the Northland with widespread wintry precipitation this morning which led to slippery/slush covered roads — Late this afternoon we’re seeing an area of snow and mixed precip continuing to affect extreme northeast Minnesota while elsewhere over the Northland there were scattered areas of snow or mixed precipitation, most notably near the head of Lake Superior where some lake effect precipitation has formed late this afternoon.

Low pressure was centered north of Green Bay, Wisconsin as of 4 PM today, this low will lift N/NE and be centered just northeast of Lake Superior by Thursday evening.  An upper level low/trough will move across the upper Midwest during the next 24 hours…This entire system will become negatively tilted as it lifts through the Great Lakes.  Lingering snow, sleet and freezing rain is forecast over parts of the Northland through Thursday evening although precipitation rates should be lighter compared to what occurred earlier today — The main impacts with some additional snow and or ice accumulations through Thursday evening are forecast to be over extreme northeast Minnesota and over eastern sections of northwest Wisconsin.

A very chilly airmass will be over our area into Thursday as 850mb temperatures drop to around -10 to -15 C.  Lows tonight will be in the teens and 20s with highs Thursday only in the 30s with 20s possible in far northern Minnesota.

It’ll warm up Friday with highs getting into the 40s, possibly around 50 degrees but this will still be below average, although warmer than it has been recently.

The big story by late this weekend will be a potential winter storm that may hit portions of the Northland.  Low pressure is forecast to lift N/NE out of the southern Plains over the weekend, if this system comes far enough to the north, it will bring a swath of accumulating snow to parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin sometime between Sunday and Monday.  Note:  There is still a chance this system will track farther south/east than what the computer models have been showing recently, and this would reduce the potential for snow in our area.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Scattered snow showers.  Patchy freezing drizzle possible.  Overcast.  Low 21 to 26.  Wind north at 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday…  Mostly cloudy.  Cold! Flurries possible.  High 30 to 34.  Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.  Note:  Coldest high temperature on record for April 27th at Duluth is 32 degrees set in 1950; 2nd coldest is 33 degrees set in 1908; 3rd coldest 34 degrees set in 1969.

Normal temperatures for Thursday

High:  55
Low:   35

Sunrise Thursday:  5:59 AM CDT
Sunset Thursday:   8:13 PM CDT

Tim