/Issued 5:38 PM CST, Thursday, February 15, 2018/
12z European model from 2.15.2018 — 850mb temperature anomaly forecast.
Been a while since we’ve seen a setup like this. Coldest temps to the west of our area, warmest temps farther south, that sets up a battle ground right over the upper Midwest, this could lead to a couple rounds of accumulating snowfall from Sunday through Tuesday.
12z GEFS model from 2.15.2018
Here are the past 6 GEFS model runs total precipitation forecast valid through March 1, 2018. This model is locked into what could be a snowier/wetter pattern at times for the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes through the end of the month.
Goes-16 Natural Color satellite loop from today, Thursday, February 15, 2018. Amazing detail from Goes-16 imagery. Ice, clouds and lake effect clouds showing up over Lake Superior today. The ice doesn’t move on the map, while the lake effect clouds moved generally from north-south, well additional clouds move west to east. Pretty cool! By the way, 64% of Lake Superior is covered by ice as of Thursday morning, but as you can see from this map, the North Shore is largely free of ice, this is due to the west winds lately which has pushed the bulk of the ice farther east out over the lake.
Wind Chill Advisory in effect tonight-Friday morning north of the Twin Ports.
Note: February has been a very cold month so far with temperature departures through the first 14 days of the month ranging from around 10 to 14 degrees below normal across the Northland.
Along with the very cold temperatures so far this month, precipitation has been running below normal for the month which isn’t too surprising considering how cold it’s been. Will see if the second half of this month will turn wetter/snowier across the Northland.
First half of February climate stats for Duluth, Minnesota
(February 1-14, 2018)
Average Temperature: 2.9 degrees
Departure: -10.0 degrees below normal
Total Precipitation: 0.18 inches
Departure: -0.16 inches below normal
Total Snowfall: 1.9 inches
Departure: -3.8 inches below normal
4 days with snowfall of at least 0.1 inch
1 day with snowfall of at least 1.0 inch
12 days with a below zero low temperature
Today was not a bad late winter day over most of the Northland thanks to more sun than what was expected, a slower arrival to the cold air and no snow! The cold air is coming, it’s just delayed a bit.
Highs today ranged from the teens in far northern Minnesota to the 30s in eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Surface map late this afternoon showed a 1032mb over Montana with cold air advection and blustery NW winds occurring east of that high across the upper Midwest today. 850mb temperatures at 4 PM today ranged from -18C in extreme northwest Minnesota to -8C in northern Wisconsin.
The main weather story for tonight will be the approaching arctic airmass as it heads southeast into the Northland. Partly to mostly cloudy skies this evening should become mostly clear later in the night. Lows will bottom out in the single digits, teens and 20s below zero.
Should have a lot of sun on Friday with highs in the teens to lower 20s which is slightly below average for mid February.
High pressure over the northern Rockies this evening will head southeast into the central Plains Friday, exiting to the southeast by Friday night. This will result in a southerly flow and warm air advection returning to the upper Midwest ahead of a fast moving low and cold front which will swing through the area on Saturday. There could be some flurries or snow showers with this system late Friday night into Saturday morning but with little or no accumulation.
A better chance for accumulating snow is possible Sunday as a more vigorous disturbance moves east out of the northern Plains — This system could have a decent amount of lift as it moves through, although the greatest lift probably won’t last more than 4-6 hours. There is potential for a swath of about 2 to 4 inches of snow in some parts of the Northland on Sunday with some lake enhanced snow also possible near Lake Superior with east or northeast winds.
More snow chances for next Monday and Tuesday, and additional accumulations are possible during that time.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
.Tonight… Turning much colder. Breezy. Partly to mostly cloudy, becoming mostly clear late. Low 2 below to 7 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts especially this evening.
.Friday… Mostly sunny. High 17 to 22. Wind southwest at 10 to 15 mph.
.Saturday… Snow showers or flurries possible otherwise partly to mostly cloudy. High 26 to 31. Wind southwest at 10 to 20 mph.
Normal temperatures for Friday
Sunrise Friday: 7:11 AM CST
Sunset Friday: 5:35 PM CST