/Issued 5:45 PM CST, Friday, March 16, 2018/
Today’s storm is tracking well south of the Northland, and another system for Monday should take a similar track, keeping it south of our area, all thanks to a persistent/stubborn ridge which has been in place most of this month, if this ridge doesn’t break down soon, then it’s very possible will have the driest or a top 5 driest March on record here in Duluth, Minnesota. Note: The driest March on record at Duluth, Minnesota occurred in 1959 with 0.22 inches of precipitation, through March 16th we’ve only had 0.02 inches of precipitation!
18z NAM Nest model run — Simulated wind gust forecast valid from 7 AM Sunday til 1 AM Monday. Note the bluish colors that develop near Lake Superior on Sunday, those are 20-25+ mph wind gusts out of the east/northeast.
NOAA released its spring outlook on Thursday — Here’s what they are expecting.
Temperatures: For northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, no strong signal for above or below normal temperatures through June so the Northland is in the equal chance category for below normal, above normal, or normal temperatures through June (White area on map)
Precipitation: All of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin is in above normal precipitation through June (Green area on map)
Note: Highest flood risk this spring in the blue areas on map.
March 1-15 Climate Stats for Duluth, Minnesota
Average Temperature: 25.2 degrees
Departure: +2.4 degrees above normal
Warmest temperature so far this month: 44F on the 14th
Coldest temperature so far this month: 4F on the 10th
Total Precipitation: 0.02 inches
Departure: -0.65 inches below normal
Total Snowfall: 0.4 inches
Departure: -7.2 inches below normal
Note: 4 days so far this month with a temperature of at least 40F; Average for March is 9 days. (We have some catching up to do the rest of this month)
Northwest flow aloft covered the Great Lakes today while an upper level ridge was over the upper Midwest, meanwhile to our west there was an upper level trough with two systems of note, one was over Nebraska this afternoon with the other one over Oregon and northern California.
Another day featuring mostly sunny sky conditions in the Northland with highs in the upper 30s to low-mid 40s with mid 30s closer to Lake Superior…A nice recovery in temperatures this afternoon after the very cold start which saw subzero temperatures in parts of the area.
Expect clear to partly cloudy skies tonight through Saturday night as high pressure remains over the area. Not quite as cold tonight as it was last night but still on the chilly side with lows ranging from around zero in the typical cold spots to the mid teens and 20s elsewhere.
Saturday is shaping up to be a real nice day with highs climbing well into the 40s, an outside shot at 50 degrees but I think will fall a few degrees shy of 50F at the Duluth Airport, but if we happen to hit 50 degrees then it would be the first official 50 degree temperature this year at the Duluth Airport and would be very close to the average date of first 50 degree temperature which is March 18.
Note: Remember to put the sunscreen on if you have outdoor plans on Saturday as the stronger March sun combined with the added reflection off the snow pack could lead to a bit of a sunburn especially if you will be outdoors for a long period of time.
As is typical this time of year, the warm temperatures won’t last very long near Lake Superior as strong NE winds develop Sunday afternoon which will knock our temperatures from the 30s back into the 20s by late Sunday afternoon. There could even be some lake effect snow showers along the North Shore and South Shore of Lake Superior Sunday night-Monday as temperatures aloft drop off to around -10 to -15C.
There is another system for next Monday and Tuesday but right now it looks to track too far south to impact northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
.Tonight… Mostly clear. Low 16 to 21. Wind east around 10 mph, becoming light and variable.
.Saturday… Mostly sunny. High 44 to 49. Wind southwest at 10 to 20 mph.
.Sunday… Turning breezy and colder especially during the afternoon. Partly to mostly cloudy. Flurries possible later in the day. High 34 to 39, falling into the 20s later in the day. Wind west around 10 mph, becoming northeast at 15 to 30 mph during the afternoon.
Normal temperatures for Saturday
Sunrise Saturday: 7:18 AM CDT
Sunset Saturday: 7:17 PM CDT