Issued 4:36 PM CST, Thursday, November 15, 2018
First let’s look back at past meteorological winters at Duluth, Minnesota
Note: Meteorological winter is defined as the period from December 1-February 28
Normal winter temperature is 13.3 degrees
Observed Average Winter temperature
2017-18: 10.6 degrees
Departure: -2.7 degrees below normal
2016-17: 18.0 degrees
Departure: +4.7 degrees above normal
2015-16: 18.9 degrees
Departure: +5.6 degrees above normal
2014-15: 13.1 degrees
Departure: -0.2 degrees above normal
2013-14: 3.8 degrees
Departure: -9.5 degrees below normal
2012-13: 15.0 degrees
Departure: +1.7 degrees above normal
Average winter snowfall is 49.5 inches
Observed Winter Snowfall totals
2017-18: 46.7 inches
2016-17: 50.9 inches
2015-16: 49.8 inches
2014-15: 23.4 inches
2013-14: 78.8 inches
2012-13: 41.5 inches
Average annual snowfall is 86.1 inches
Observed Annual Snowfall totals
2017-18: 91.9 inches
2016-17: 67.0 inches
2015-16: 81.4 inches
2014-15: 49.2 inches
2013-14: 131.0 inches
2012-13: 129.4 inches
Average number of subzero nights during the winter is 34 days
Observed number of subzero nights during the winter
Of course the one winter that stands out is 2013-14 when everything came together almost perfectly to give us an epic winter in the Twin Ports. Nearly 80 inches of snow for the winter, and an annual snowfall total of 131 inches, an average temperature of just 3.8 degrees and 65 subzero nights, incredible!
Last winter was colder than average in Duluth with slightly below average winter snowfall, but above average annual snowfall while the number of subzero nights was also above average.
Couple patterns we’ve seen since October, and the kind of weather they produced in the Twin Ports.
500mb maps from https://www.spc.noaa.gov
October 10, 2018: Lakeshore flood event in Duluth, and in other communities near Lake Superior.
My 2018-2019 Winter Forecast for Duluth, Minnesota
Average Temperature: 11.5 degrees
Departure: -1.8 degrees below average
Number of subzero nights: 35
Departure: +1 above average
Winter Snowfall Total: 40-45 inches
Departure: 4 to 9 inches below normal
Annual Snowfall Total: 80-85 inches
Departure: 1 to 6 inches below normal
•Colder than average winter for Duluth, Minnesota with below average snowfall.
•There will be occasional thaws throughout the winter, but I’m expecting the cold air outbreaks to stick around longer compared to the thaws. Thinking a similar type of pattern from November 10 will happen more frequently this winter compared to the type of pattern from November 14.
•The one wild card is El Nino. If the warmer/Pacific airmasses become more frequent and stick around longer than the cold outbreaks, then my temperature forecast will bust, as in being too cold!
•I think it’s going to be difficult to get a major winter storm to hit us most of the winter, but I think will have a few opportunities mixed in throughout the winter for a whopper (No, not the Burger King whopper) to possibly impact the Northland (Just comes down to storm tracks!) Otherwise I’m thinking several clipper type/northern Rockies type systems with generally light to possibly moderate snowfall events from December through February.
Thanks for taking the time to read my winter forecast. Feel free to share on social media platforms, Twitter or Facebook.