Meteorological spring begins Thursday (Period from March 1 – May 31) March and spring outlooks in this post. Latest trends on the system for early next week

/Issued 5:36 PM CST, Wednesday, February 28, 2018/


…Trends for the potential storm for early next week… Timing:  Sunday through Tuesday, March 4-6.

•GFS model today has shifted the surface low much farther south due in part to the position of the ridge in Ontario Province which extends far enough southwest to shift the surface low more to the south.  This will be something to keep an eye on because if the low shifts farther south, then parts of the Northland might only get a little bit of snow with the bulk of the heavier precip farther west and south from our area early next week.

•Euro and its ensemble model remain farther north with the surface low and bring significant amounts of snow to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin along with strong northeast winds near Lake Superior on Monday.

12z Euro Ensemble model from 2.28.2018.

Here’s the long range temperature outlook trend for the month of March per CFS model.

Blue colors=Greatest chance for below normal temperatures
Orange/Red colors=Greatest chance for above normal temperatures
Areas in white=No strong signal for below or above normal temperatures



March precipitation outlook.

Green colors=Above normal precipitation
Yellow/Brown colors=Below normal precipitation
Areas in white=No strong signal for above or below normal precipitation


Seasonal temperature outlook trend for spring 2018 (March 1 through May 31) per CFS model.

Blue=Below normal temperatures
Orange/Red=Above normal temperatures
Areas in white=No strong signal for above or below normal temperatures


Seasonal precipitation outlook for spring 2018 (March 1 through May 31)

Green=Above normal precipitation
Yellow/Brown=Below normal precipitation
White areas=No strong signal for above or below normal precipitation

March Climate Normals and records for Duluth, Minnesota

Temperature:  25.9 degrees
Precipitation:  1.49 inches
Snowfall:  13.2 inches

Warmest March on record:  39.2 degrees set in 2012
Coldest March on record:  13.5 degrees set in 1923

Wettest March on record:  5.12 inches in 1965
Driest March on record:  0.22 inches set in 1959

Snowiest March on record:  48.2 inches set in 1917
Least snowy March on record:  Trace set in 2010

Normal high on the 1st:  29 degrees
Normal high on the 31st:  41 degrees

Normal low on the 1st:  11 degrees
Normal low on the 31st:  24 degrees

Astronomical Data for March

Sunrise on the 1st:  6:48 AM CST
Sunset on the 1st:  5:54 PM CST

Sunrise on the 31st:  6:49 AM CDT
Sunset on the 31st:  7:36 PM CDT

Meteorological spring kicks off Thursday, March 1
Note:  Meteorological spring is the period from March 1 through May 31

Climate normals for Meteorological spring at Duluth, Minnesota

Temperature:  39.0 degrees
Precipitation:  7.15 inches
Snowfall:  20.5 inches

Normal high on March 1:  29 degrees
Normal high on May 31:  67 degrees

Normal low on March 1:  11 degrees
Normal low on May 31:  45 degrees

Weather Synopsis

Another nice day as we wrap up Meteorological winter 2017-2018.  Skies were mostly sunny to partly sunny throughout the area today with highs in the lower 30s at the head of Lake Superior due to an onshore wind, while inland locations climbed well into the 30s to lower 40s. 

Not a whole lot of weather to talk about for our area through Friday as high pressure will be in control of our weather.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast through Friday, and there is a chance for a little bit of snow in parts of northwest Wisconsin late tonight-early Thursday morning due to a weak surface trough that’ll extend north into the upper Midwest from low pressure that’ll remain well south of our area, but little if any snow accumulation is expected.  Note:  Patchy fog could also form late tonight into Thursday morning over parts of the Northland.

Lows tonight will range from the single digits to around 20 degrees but the typical cold spots in northern Minnesota may drop below zero (similar to what occurred Wednesday morning)  Highs Thursday will be 30s although the NAM is quite a bit cooler with more cloud cover vs. other computer models.  Highs Friday will be in the 30s to lower 40s.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Patchy fog possible late.  Low 13 to 18.  Wind east to northeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Thursday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Patchy fog possible early.  High 29 to 34.  Wind north to northwest at 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 28 to 33.  Wind east at 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for Thursday

High:  29
Low:   11

Sunrise Thursday:  6:48 AM CST
Sunset Thursday:   5:54 PM CST


Quiet for now but a stormier pattern could return March 4-6…Watching Sunday-Tuesday for a Snow or mixed precip event!

/Issued 5:31 PM CST, Tuesday, February 27, 2018/


18z NAM from 2.27.2018


Computer model trends for the potential system for Sunday through Tuesday (Storm track is the dark red line on map)  Expect more changes to this map in coming days.  Still way too early to talk about how much snow could fall but both the blue and green outlined areas on map could get accumulating snow sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, March 4-6.

Note:  A top 5 warmest temperature on record for February 26 — See list below

International Falls, Minnesota

High Temperature:  46 degrees (3rd warmest February 26 on record)
Warmest:  53 degrees set in 2/26/1958

Hibbing, Minnesota

High Temperature:  44 degrees (4th warmest February 26 on record)
Warmest:  52 degrees set on 2/26/1958

Superior, Wisconsin

High Temperature:  47 degrees (4th warmest February 26 on record)
Warmest:  58 degrees set on 2/26/1976

Weather Synopsis

Thicker cloud cover for most of us today but temperatures were still on the mild side with highs in the lower 30s in far northern Minnesota to the mid 30s to low 40s elsewhere with even a few locations in northwest Wisconsin getting into the mid 40s!  Surface map from late this afternoon featured a cold front to the south/east of our area with high pressure over the eastern Dakotas/western Minnesota.  Winds aloft are out of the southwest which continues to pump milder temperatures into the upper Midwest as we near the end of Meteorological winter 2017-2018, only one day left!

Quiet weather continues for tonight and Wednesday as high pressure passes through the upper Midwest.  Lows tonight will range from the single digits in far northern Minnesota to the lower 20s in eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.  Highs Wednesday will range from the upper 20s to middle 30s for the final day of February 2018.  Partly to mostly cloudy sky conditions will likely continue through Wednesday.

An area of low pressure will track from the central Plains toward the Ohio Valley from Wednesday into Thursday.  The main impacts out of this storm will remain south of the Northland, but a trough extending into the upper Midwest could be the focal point for a little bit of snow Wednesday night-Thursday morning, but right now that looks to affect areas of southern Minnesota into north central Wisconsin not so much in our area.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 18 to 23.  Wind east around 10 mph.

.Wednesday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 29 to 34.  Wind east at 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 15 mph.

Normal temperatures for Wednesday

High:  28
Low:   11

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


More mild temperatures on the way for Tue. Trouble brewing later in the weekend/early next week?

/Issued 6:51 PM CST, Monday, February 26, 2018/


Quiet weather should continue most of the week, but later this weekend things could change just a bit as a larger trough/area of low pressure swings E/NE out of the Rockies.  This system could bring a variety of precipitation types to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from Sunday through Tuesday (March 4-6)  Stay tuned.

Weather Synopsis

What a nice day!  Highs today climbed well into the 30s with even some 40s mixed in, these temperatures are a good 10-20 degrees warmer than normal for late February.  Sunshine was seen in our area today but there’s also been some passing mid to high level clouds at times.  Surface map this afternoon featured high pressure over the Ohio Valley with low pressure to our northwest over the central Manitoba Province area — Mild southwesterly winds covered the upper Midwest today between the high and low pressure systems.

Partly to mostly cloudy skies for tonight with lows in the teens to lower 20s but it’s possible a few spots could dip into the single digits.  An area of low pressure will remain off to our north tonight while a cold front sweeps through the Northland.

High pressure builds east out of the northern Plains for Tuesday resulting in partly to mostly cloudy skies in our area.  Mild temperatures will continue with highs in the 30s to lower 40s.

Note:  Temperatures in some parts of the Northland were 45 to nearly 50 degrees warmer this afternoon compared to the morning low temperature.  Wow!  See stats below.

Hibbing, MN:  Low:  -4F  High:  44F
Eveleth, MN:  Low:  -2F  High:  43F
Superior, WI:  Low:  1F  High:  46F


Snow totals of 20 to 30 inches or more after last week’s epic snow pattern for the Northland (Enjoy if you like the snow)

/Issued 4:23 PM CST, Sunday, February 25, 2018/


Note:  Last week’s pattern was pretty epic around here, something we haven’t seen in a while.  A blocking pattern thanks to a massive/unusually strong upper level ridge and incredible warmth to the east with colder air off to the west along with a persistent upper level trough.  This setup put the Northland under a moist/southwest flow aloft while several waves of energy tracked generally toward the northeast along the baroclinic zone (Temperature gradient) Things lined up well to put our area in the sweet spot for some pretty hefty snowfall totals during the 7-day period from February 18-24.  Snow depths as of Sunday morning (Feb 25) ranged from 1 to 2 feet over much of the Northland with some locations close to 3 feet of snow on the ground!  For those that enjoy a good/deep snow pack, this is your time, have fun!



12z Euro Ensemble model from 2.25.2018.  500mb height anomaly map for Thursday, March 1, 2018.

Note:  One thing that is different this week compared to last week is the location of the upper level ridge (Blue H on map)  Last week it was parked farther NE, this week its more to the SW, and this should keep a system for mid to late week south of the Northland due to a more southerly storm track.


The storm that brought snow and gusty winds to the Northland Saturday night produced severe weather farther south.

Red – Tornado reports
Blue – Wind reports
Green – Hail reports


NWS warnings map from Saturday, probably one of the busier severe weather days we’ve seen so far this year.


Temperature departure map for the week of February 18, 2018.

Note:  Most of the Northland was 2 to around 10 degrees colder than normal last week.


Precipitation departure map for the week of February 18, 2018.

Note:  It was a very snowy/wet week in the Northland with precipitation departures ranging from about 0.40 to 1.60 inches above normal with the greatest departures from average in northeast Minnesota and in far northern Douglas county in northwest Wisconsin (Blue/Purple colors on map)


Last week was quite anomalous in the amount of precipitation that fell in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — Precipitation totals last week were some 2 to 8 times what would typically fall from February 18 through 24.  Amazing!

Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota

February 18-24, 2018

High Temperatures/Departure from Normal

2/18:  23 F/-2 degrees below normal
2/19:  14 F/-11 degrees below normal
2/20:  17 F/-9 degrees below normal
2/21:  23 F/-3 degrees below normal
2/22:  23 F/-3 degrees below normal
2/23:  32 F/+5 degrees above normal
2/24:  27 F/Normal

Low Temperatures/Departure from Normal

2/18:  8 F/+1 degree above normal
2/19:  8 F/+1 degree above normal
2/20:  5 F/-3 degrees below normal
2/21:  -5 F/-13 degrees below normal
2/22:  -7 F/-16 degrees below normal
2/23:  20 F/+11 degrees above normal
2/24:  1 F/-8 degrees below normal

Note:  Average temperature for the week of February 18, 2018:  13.5 degrees (-3.6 degrees below normal)  Source:

Total Precipitation:  1.43 inches
Normal:  0.23 inches
Departure:  +1.20 inches above normal

State Average for Minnesota for the week of February 18, 2018

Average Temperature:  14.3 degrees
Departure:  -4.4 degrees below normal

Total Precipitation:  0.66 inches
Departure:  +0.42 inches above normal

Weather Tidbits for Duluth, Minnesota

•21.0 inches of snow this past week (February 18-24)  Average is 3.3 inches.  +17.7 inches above normal!  Incredible!

•24.2 inches of snow so far this month with 21.0 inches of that falling this past week! February snowfall average is 12.4 inches.

•February 2018 currently ranks as 8th snowiest on record with 24.2 inches of snow.  The snowiest February on record occurred in 1939 with 33.9 inches of snow.

•The average temperature so far this winter (Dec 1 through Feb 24)  9.7 degrees which is -3.7 degrees colder than normal.

•2nd wettest and 3rd snowiest February 24 on record on Saturday.  Total precipitation 0.40 inches (Wettest 0.67 inches set on 2/24/2001)  Total snowfall 6.2 inches (Snowiest 11.7 inches set on 2/24/2001)

More Weather Tidbits

Meteorological winter 2017-2018 is down to its final few days (Dec 1 – Feb 28)  This winter will end up with below average temperatures for approximately 90% of the climate stations in Minnesota with only about 10% of Minnesota’s climate stations having an above average winter temperature.

Embarrass, Minnesota has reported 9 dates with a low temperature of 40 below or colder this winter while Montevideo, Minnesota has reported 17 days with temperatures of 40 degrees or higher!  More snow cover this winter in Embarrass with little snow cover in Montevideo most of the winter which factors into these extremes in temperatures.

Snowfall Reports for February 24-25, 2018

3 S of Finland, MN:  14.0 inches
4 W Grand Marais, MN:  12.8 inches
Hovland, MN:  10.8 inches
4 NW Knife River, MN:  10.0 inches
4 NW Arnold, MN:  10.0 inches
1 NE Duluth, MN:  10.0 inches
Finland, MN:  10.0 inches
Wolf Ridge, MN:  9.5 inches
Silver Bay, MN:  9.2 inches
3 SW Yellowlake, WI:  9.0 inches
2 NW Duluth, MN:  8.5 inches
5 NW Two Harbors, MN:  8.5 inches
2 NW Gary New Duluth, MN:  8.5 inches
Island Lake, MN:  8.4 inches
3 N Butternut, WI:  8.0 inches
2 NNE Lester Park, MN:  8.0 inches
Kabetogama, MN:  8.0 inches
Wrenshall, MN:  7.7 inches
West Duluth, MN:  7.5 inches
Moose Lake, MN:  7.5 inches
2 W Hayward, WI:  7.5 inches
4 WNW Superior, WI:  7.5 inches
Grand Rapids, MN:  7.0 inches
Gordon, WI:  7.0 inches
Bigfork, MN:  7.0 inches
Mercer, WI:  6.5 inches
11 W Drummond, WI:  6.0 inches
Cotton, MN:  6.0 inches
Webster, WI:  5.9 inches
Coleraine, MN:  5.6 inches
Grantsburg, WI:  5.5 inches
4 E Iron River, WI:  5.5 inches
International Falls, MN:  5.3 inches
Saxon, WI:  5.0 inches
Gile, WI:  5.0 inches
Phillips, WI:  5.0 inches
Embarrass, MN:  5.0 inches
1 SE Oulu, WI:  4.2 inches
Pine River, MN:  4.0 inches
Cook, MN:  3.8 inches
1 SSW Ely, MN: 3.3 inches

Weather Synopsis

After last week’s active wintry pattern, the next few days will be much quieter with milder daytime highs and some melting snow.  Deep low pressure ~984mb has reached the southern shores of Hudson Bay Canada late this afternoon with its impressive 12-hour 500mb height falls of 120-240 meters.  Brisk west/southwest winds have occurred today in wake of last night’s winter storm with wind gusts in our area in the 20 to 30 mph range most of the day.  There’s been some sunshine today but also passing clouds, highs today were in the mid 20s to around 30 degrees (Close to average for late February)

Partly to mostly cloudy skies will continue for tonight with lows in the single digits and teens.  Warmer air floods into the Northland Monday under partly to mostly sunny skies.  Highs will climb into the 30s with even some 40s for some of us. 

An area of low pressure with its warm front and cold front will swing through the upper Midwest from Monday through Tuesday morning.  The best chance for any snow with this system is expected to remain over Ontario Province.

High pressure builds into the upper Midwest Tuesday behind Monday’s system.  Highs Tuesday are forecast to be in the 30s to lower 40s.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Breezy.  Low 10 to 15.  Wind west to southwest at 15 to 30 mph, decreasing to 10 to 15 mph.

.Monday…  Milder.  Partly to mostly sunny.  High 35 to 40.  Wind southwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Tuesday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 34 to 39.  Wind west at 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for Monday

High:  28
Low:  10

Sunrise Monday:  6:54 AM CST
Sunset Monday:   5:50 PM CST


Winter Storm to impact the Northland tonight with snow (heavy at times) gusty winds near Lake Superior. Updated snowfall map in this post

/Issued 5:12 PM CST, Saturday, February 24, 2018/


Goes-16 True Color satellite imagery from late Saturday afternoon, February 24, 2018.


21z HRRR model simulated radar forecast for tonight

Blue colors=Snow

Here’s my updated snowfall map for tonight’s storm. 


Water vapor satellite loop of the approaching winter storm that will affect northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin tonight.  This is a very strong storm system.

Link to Road Conditions



Winter Storm to impact the Northland tonight

•Low pressure over central Missouri late this afternoon will lift rapidly to the N/NE reaching east central Lake Superior by daybreak.  As the low lifts northeast it will deepen from ~1004mb to ~986mb.

•Snow will continue to lift north out of central/eastern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin this evening.

•Snow will be heavy at times tonight with snowfall rates of 1 to possibly 2 inches per hour occurring in parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin tonight.

•East to northeast winds will be gusty especially near Lake Superior where wind gusts of 20 to 35 mph are possible most of the night.

•Areas of blowing and drifting snow are expected tonight, especially near Lake Superior.

•There could be brief whiteout conditions in parts of the area tonight due to the falling and blowing snow.

•Snow will taper off from southwest to northeast Sunday morning with slowly improving conditions expected through the day.