/Issued 4:55 PM CDT, Thursday, March 29, 2018/
18z NAM model
Friday night’s storm will have a nice temperature gradient with teens in northwest Minnesota to the 50s in southern South Dakota and Nebraska. I threw on where the heaviest swath of snow could end up falling (Inside the white dashed lines on map)
Here’s my preliminary snowfall potential map for Friday night’s storm. More details below.
18z RAP model
Forecast track of the low for Friday through Saturday.
20z HRRR model — Simulated Radar forecast beginning at Midnight tonight, ending at 9 AM Friday. Blue is snow.
Looks like there could be some snow Friday morning affecting portions of north central and east central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin, I guess you could call this the event before the main event Friday night?
Here’s the latest winter weather headlines map as of 3:57 PM CDT, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Will see the watch area upgraded to either a warning or advisory during the day Friday unless the computer models are completely off with this system and this ends up being a bust.
Lots of sunshine over the Northland this afternoon but temperatures were running 10-15 degrees colder compared to Wednesday. Highs today ranged from the upper 20s to low/mid 30s which is below average for late March. Surface map this afternoon featured an area of low pressure of 1014mb over northern Ontario Province with high pressure of 1024mb over the northern Plains and a 1032mb high over Saskatchewan Province. Very cold temperatures were observed especially north of the border today with 3 PM temperatures only in the single digits in portions of Saskatchewan and Manitoba Provinces where 850mb temperatures ranged from -16 to -24C! That reservoir of very cold temperatures will push into the Northland on Saturday behind Friday night’s winter storm.
All is quiet this evening under clear to partly cloudy skies, but clouds will be on the increase later tonight as a cold front passes through our area. Some light snow could develop late tonight, lingering through Friday morning near this boundary — Not expecting a lot of snow with this event, possibly a dusting to around 2 inches before Noon Friday, with the best chance for this snow along or south of Highway 2 in northeast Minnesota and also affecting most of northwest Wisconsin the way it looks now.
Lows tonight will range from the single digits below to teens above zero with highs Friday in the 20s and 30s. Any snow that does fall Friday morning should end by the afternoon with partly to mostly cloudy skies expected during the afternoon hours.
The focus will then shift to the system that is set to impact northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for Friday night and Saturday.
This has the potential to be a rather strong storm with heavy snowfall rates, gusty winds and some blowing snow. The heaviest snow is forecast to fall roughly from 10 PM Friday night to 7 AM Saturday, and the snow is forecast to spread from west to east across our area Friday night. About the only thing I’m seeing that could keep snow totals from exceeding 6 inches would be the rapid movement of this system, but the dynamics in play should lead to bands of intense snowfall that should push a few cities in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin over the 6 inch mark!
Note: There are some differences in the computer models regarding the timing of when the snow will begin to fall Friday night, most notably the new NAM model (18z run) which has slowed things down quite a bit from previous runs, so that’ll be something to keep an eye going forward. But even with this slower solution, it doesn’t cut back on snow totals at all.
As with all storms, the track of the low could shift north or south just a bit during the next 24 hours. If it shifts slightly north, then a greater risk for heavy snow would also push more to the north, likewise if the storm track shifts south so to would the greatest risk for heavy snow.
Note: The majority of the computer models today show the heaviest snow band impacting the Duluth area but a few models like the German (ICON model) and Canadian model show the heaviest snow falling south of Duluth with lighter snowfall amounts for the Twin Ports area. Euro, NAM and GFS models hit us good though with a nice dump of snow.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
Event: *Winter Storm Watch*
Timing: Friday night through Saturday morning
.Tonight… Clear this evening followed by increasing cloudiness after midnight. Breezy. Low 9 to 14. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Wind becoming north at 5 to 15 mph late.
.Friday… Some snow possible mainly before Noon. Around an inch of accumulation possible. Mostly cloudy with some sun during the afternoon. High 26 to 31. Wind north at 5 to 15 mph becoming west.
.Friday night… Increasing clouds during the evening. Snow developing between 9 PM and Midnight. Snow, possibly heavy at times after midnight. Breezy. Low around 25. Wind becoming east at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph possible after midnight. Areas of blowing snow possible late.
.Saturday… Windy and cold. Snow tapering off before 9 AM. Total snowfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches possible. High around 25. Wind north becoming northwest at 15 to 30 mph. Areas of blowing snow possible.
Normal temperatures for Friday
Sunrise Friday: 6:52 AM CDT
Sunset Friday: 7:35 PM CDT