…Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for tonight through Thursday…
•2 to 3 inches of snow for Duluth and Superior with the snow beginning later this evening or overnight. Snow continues Thursday morning, then tapers off to snow showers during the afternoon.
•3 to 4 inches of snow for northern Minnesota.
•Lake enhanced snow could boost totals into the 4 to 6 inch range in the tip of the Minnesota Arrowhead.
•Lesser amounts of snow farther south, including for east-central Minnesota and southern areas in northwest Wisconsin.
•Patchy freezing drizzle is possible throughout the Northland on Thursday.
•Thursday morning commute could be impacted by the snow with slippery road conditions possible in parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
Goes-16 upper level water vapor satellite loop from Wednesday, November 28, 2018.
Our snow event for later tonight has two parts to it — One piece of energy plowing east through Iowa, the other part covers the northern Plains and is eastbound.
18z NAM model 11-28-2018
500mb Forecast valid for Thursday afternoon
Personally I don’t think we’re going to see much of a shift in the storm track. Computer models have been locked in over the last few runs on this system staying too far south of the Northland to give us much snow, and with the Euro Ensemble or EPS model also trending south, I have a hard time believing will see a big northward jump in the storm track over the next 1 to 2 days, however, I’ve seen it before with these types of storms where the computer models all of a sudden make drastic changes in the storm track once the energy moves onshore, so will just have to give it another 24-36 hours or so to see what the computer models do. Stay tuned.
As I alluded to above, as the energy moves onto the U.S. west coast on Thursday, it will be better sampled by the various upper air networks across the western U.S. and this could lead to some storm track changes in the computer models for this weekend’s storm.
Latest on the weekend storm potential
1: Computer models haven’t changed too much with the forecast track of the surface low. Basically seeing two camps in regards to the storm track (White line and black line on map)
2: The farthest south track (White line) would bring little to no snow to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin this weekend.
3: The farthest north track (Black line) would lead to a better chance for accumulating snow in parts of east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
4: Main impacts from snow or mixed precipitation would be from Saturday afternoon through Sunday if the system comes far enough north.
5: Regardless of the storm track, it does look windy this weekend near Lake Superior as NE winds increase and become gusty Saturday into at least Sunday morning with winds of 15 to 25 mph, gusts to around 40 mph possible.
18z GEFS model 11-28-2018
Snowfall accumulation from Saturday morning thru Monday morning, December 1-3, 2018 per 20 ensemble GEFS members.
As you can see 19/20 GEFS ensemble members has this weekend’s storm (snow shield) staying south of the Northland. The one that brings it into our area is Ensemble Member 16.
By the way the darker blue and purple colors on the map indicate the potential for 6 inches or more of snow using a 10:1 ratio.
12z European Computer Model (ECMWF) 11-28-2018
Wind gust forecast for Saturday afternoon/evening, December 1, 2018.
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Partly to mostly cloudy skies today with highs mainly in the 20s, still running below average for late November, although it was slightly warmer today compared to the last few days.
An area of low pressure will move east-northeast out of the northern Plains through Friday. Main impacts for our area will occur later tonight into Thursday as snow gradually becomes more widespread across the Northland. Snow will linger longest across northern Minnesota while it tapers off sooner farther south.
There is also a risk for some patchy freezing drizzle especially on Thursday.
This system has a pretty nice temperature gradient with 850mb temperatures of +6C at Rapid City, South Dakota to around -8C at International Falls, Minnesota per 23z RAP model analysis — This in combination with some warm air advection will be the main driving force behind our snow later tonight.
Lows tonight will be in the teens and 20s with highs Thursday in the mid 20s to lower 30s.
Friday looks mainly dry with highs in the mid 20s to around 30 degrees.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for November 29
Sunrise Thursday: 7:31 AM CST
Sunset Thursday: 4:23 PM CST