/Issued 4:49 PM CDT, Friday, March 30, 2018/
Note: My confidence level isn’t the highest at the moment based on what I’ve been seeing with the model runs today. The biggest takeaway per model data is that the storm track and area of greatest snowfall has shifted south. I have the highest totals now falling south of Duluth (6-8″+)
For Duluth and Superior I’m going with 4-6″ totals. Lesser amounts farther north.
Could the models shift this system even a little further south through the evening? Certainly could happen, and if that is the case, then snow totals will probably be closer to the 2-3 inch range in Duluth.
Radar loop ending at 4:45 PM CDT, Friday, March 30, 2018.
Tonight’s storm is just starting to move into Montana and North Dakota late this afternoon as energy continues to drop southeast out of southwestern Canada. Note the popcorn type appearance on this satellite image, this is indicative of some convective nature to the snowfall in southern Alberta Province today.
Link to Road Conditions
Wisconsin – https://511wi.gov/map
Snowfall Reports from Friday morning, March 30, 2018
Willow River, MN: 4.0 inches
3 N Brainerd, MN: 3.3 inches
7 WSW Pine River, MN: 3.2 inches
3 N Mahtowa, MN: 1.7 inches
3 SSW Bruno, MN: 1.6 inches
Duluth Airport: 0.8 inches
7 ESE Superior, WI: 0.7 inches
Forecasting these winter storms is never easy, and tonight’s system is no different. Computer models which help forecasters put together a forecast change often, sometimes every 6 hours, and when that happens, forecaster confidence levels drop off quite a bit — What looked like a slam dunk this morning in where the heaviest snow would fall later tonight has changed quite a bit through the day as new model data shifts the storm track and highest snowfall farther south. The question now becomes will model runs through the evening continue to shift south, or will they stay fairly steady from here on out?
At 4 PM today low pressure of ~1008mb was over eastern Montana with greatest 2-hour pressure falls of 4mb focused over south central South Dakota per RAP model. Should see the area of low pressure track toward the area of greatest pressure falls, so the surface low should end up in southern South Dakota this evening. The low will then track across southern Minnesota Saturday morning, reaching northern Lake Michigan Saturday afternoon.
An impressive temperature gradient exists for tonight’s storm ranging from 5 to 10 above in southern Saskatchewan Province to around 60 degrees along the South Dakota/Nebraska state line.
Snow is expected to move into western parts of the Northland before midnight, snow will then spread farther south/east after midnight. Note: Snow should begin to fall in Duluth 12 AM-2 AM tonight, a little later than what it looked like earlier today.
Underneath the heaviest area of snow overnight-early Saturday morning, impacts include snowfall rates of 1 to possibly 2 inches per hour with significant reductions in visibilities down to 1/4 mile at times. East central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin are most at risk for intense snowfall rates early Saturday morning, chances diminish farther north.
If you have travel plans late tonight through Saturday be prepared for snow covered and slippery roads along with very poor visibility at times due to falling and some blowing snow. Road conditions should improve a bit during the day Saturday once the snow stops falling.
The snow is expected to diminish from west to east Saturday morning between 7-10 AM.
After the snow ends, the rest of the Easter holiday weekend should be dry but very cold for the time of year. We’re looking at daytime highs Saturday in the teens and 20s (Should be around 40F) Lows Saturday night will range from the single digits below to around 10 above zero with highs Easter Sunday in the 20s.
Breaking it down for Duluth and Superior
•Partly to mostly cloudy this evening, flurries possible.
•Snow arrives Midnight to 2 AM tonight
•Snow ends Saturday morning 7-9 AM
•Total snowfall 4 to 6 inches (Amounts will be lower if the storm track shifts further south)
•Gusty north to northwest winds Saturday (20-30 mph) Some blowing snow possible