Another round of snow on the way with several inches of accumulation likely by Mon PM (Warnings and Advisories in effect) Arctic air returns Mon night

/Issued 2:52 PM CST, Sunday, December 30, 2018/

Here’s my snowfall forecast for tonight through Monday

For Duluth and Superior — 4 to 6 inches of snow, low chance we could get more than 6 inches of snow.

Warnings and advisories in effect for southern portions of the Northland ahead of the next winter storm which will affect the area late tonight through Monday.  Note:  Additional advisories may be needed for the North Shore of Lake Superior, and possibly for the Iron Range as well.


Various winter weather headlines are in effect across parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest with patchy blizzard conditions possible Monday across the black outlined area on map.


18z NAM-WRF model 12-30-18

Simulated radar forecast valid from 7 PM Sunday evening to Midnight Monday night.

Snow (blue on map) spreads E-NE across the Northland this evening thru early Monday morning.  The snow will taper off from NW-SE later Monday afternoon but lake effect snow will likely continue into Monday night along the South Shore of Lake Superior in northwest Wisconsin.


12z European computer model 12-30-18

Note:  Wind chill headlines will likely be needed for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for Monday night, and possibly for Tuesday and Wednesday.


Temperature departure map for the week of December 23 — Another warm week across the Northland with average temperatures running anywhere from 2 to nearly 10 degrees above normal.


Precipitation departure map for the week of December 23 — Precipitation totals were well above normal last week thanks to the major storm that hit the area late last week.

Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota

December 23-29, 2018

High Temperatures/Departure from Normal

12/23:  27 F/+7 degrees above normal
12/24:  25 F/+5 degrees above normal
12/25:  26 F/+6 degrees above normal
12/26:  29 F/+9 degrees above normal
12/27:  34 F/+14 degrees above normal
12/28:  28 F/+8 degrees above normal
12/29:  11 F/-8 degrees below normal

Low Temperatures/Departure from Normal

12/23:  17 F/+12 degrees above normal
12/24:  12 F/+8 degrees above normal
12/25:  14 F/+10 degrees above normal
12/26:  14 F/+10 degrees above normal
12/27:  28 F/+24 degrees above normal
12/28:  -4 F/-7 degrees below normal
12/29:  -9 F/-12 degrees below normal

Note:  Average temperature for the week of Dec 23:  18.0 degrees (+6.2 degrees above normal)  Source:

Total precipitation:  1.22 inches
Normal:  0.27 inches
Departure:  +0.95 inches above normal

State Average for Minnesota for the week of December 23

Temperature:  20.0 degrees
Departure:  +6.4 degrees above normal

Precipitation:  1.03 inches
Departure:  +0.84 inches above normal

Weather Tidbits for Duluth, Minnesota

*Only 6 days so far this month where the average temperature was either below normal or normal, all the other days so far this month have been above normal or ~80% of them.

*Average temperature of 1 degree on December 29 was the first time since December 8 where the average temperature was below normal (3 weeks ago!)

*2 subzero nights so far this month, average for December is 10 subzero nights.

Link to Road Conditions

Minnesota –

Wisconsin –

Storm timeline for Duluth and Superior

•Flurries or a bit of light snow is possible this Sunday evening, little or no accumulation.

•Snow becomes steadier overnight, especially after Midnight.

•Snow continues on Monday.  Heaviest snowfall is expected to occur during the morning and early afternoon hours.

•Snow tapers to light snow and flurries mid or late Monday afternoon.  Snow ends Monday evening.

•Snowfall storm totals from 4 to around 6 inches are possible with locally higher amounts.

•Expect roads to be snow covered and slippery on Monday, including for the morning and evening commutes.

•Winds late tonight and Monday — North to northeast at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to around 30 mph.  Some blowing snow is likely.

Note:  Bitter cold arctic air arrives Monday night, and this frigid airmass will be over the area through Wednesday.


Winter Storm Watch issued for parts of the Northland including Duluth and Superior from late tonight thru late Monday night

/Issued 8:32 AM CST, Sunday, December 30, 2018/

Winter Storm Watch in effect from late tonight through late Monday night for the counties shaded in blue on map.

This includes the Counties of Southern St. Louis and Carlton in northeast Minnesota, and Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland and Iron Counties in northwest Wisconsin.

Note:  Upgrade to a warning or advisory will occur sometime this afternoon.  And other parts of the Northland will likely be in a winter weather advisory for this event from late tonight thru Monday.

Here’s my snowfall potential map for this next storm

Some shifts in the snowfall areas (north or south) are possible by later this afternoon, stay tuned.


We will get some phasing to occur with the northern and southern branches of the jet stream during the next 24 hours, but not a complete phasing between the two with the stronger southern low (over Arkansas) staying well SE of our area as it heads NE toward the Ohio Valley on Monday.


Water vapor satellite loop from Sunday morning, December 30, 2018.

…Sunday morning weather update…

•Snow event for Sunday night through Monday night remains on track. 

•Potential for a 2 to 6 inch snowfall across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

•Some uncertainty on when the snow will start, and where the heavier bands of snow will setup, but in general it looks like will see some light snow at times across northern Minnesota today-this evening, then snow will expand farther south later tonight.

•This snow should be a little fluffier (drier) compared to the cement that fell on Thursday.

•Winds gusting 15 to 30 mph on Monday with areas of blowing snow possible, especially near Lake Superior.

•Potential for periods of lake enhanced snow on Monday along the South Shore of Lake Superior, extending west to Duluth, and possibly north to Two Harbors.  Surface winds will start out from the E-NE but quickly back to the N-NE during the day on Monday, while winds at 850mb remain out of the E-NE thru Monday evening.  850mb temperatures start out relatively mild for lake enhanced snow, but cool nicely on Monday, down to around -10C, and will cool further Monday night to -12 to -15C, but by that time the threat for lake enhanced snow will have shifted to the South Shore, east of Duluth and Superior.  Snow totals of 6 to 8 inches (or more) are a possibility along the South Shore of Lake Superior, and possibly as far west as Duluth depending on how long winds remain favorable for lake enhanced snow in the Twin Ports area.

More updates later today


Very cold tonight-Saturday (Wind Chill Advisory far northeast Minn) Snow event possible Monday. Snowfall reports from the Dec 27 major winter storm in this post

/Issued 4:41 PM CST, Friday, December 28, 2018/


First the snow, now the cold!


18z RGEM model 12-28-18


12z Euro Ensemble model (EPS) 12-28-18

Watching a potential snow event in the Sunday night-Tuesday morning time frame.  Could be a band of accumulating snow somewhere over the Northland with amounts in the 2 to 6 inch range.  Fine tuning this forecast through the weekend.


12z European Computer Model (ECMWF) 12-28-18

Overall the temperature pattern ahead features a few shots of arctic air along with a few shots of much warmer temperatures, a real roller coaster ahead!

…A major winter storm hit the Northland on Thursday, December 27, 2018…

***Daily snowfall and precipitation records broken for December 27***

Duluth, Minnesota

New snowfall record of 12.2 inches; Previous record was 4.8 inches set in 1923.

New precipitation record of 1.19 inches; Previous record was 0.42 inches set in 1923.

International Falls, Minnesota

New snowfall record of 6.0 inches; Previous record was 4.2 inches set in 1988.

New precipitation record of 0.51 inches; Previous record was 0.30 inches set in 1923.

***A top 5 wettest December 27 at the following locations***

Ashland, Wisconsin

2nd wettest December 27 on record with a precipitation total on Thursday of 0.69 inches.  Wettest Dec 27 on record is 1.10 inches set in 1959.

Brainerd, Minnesota

2nd wettest December 27 on record with a precipitation total on Thursday of 0.43 inches.  Wettest Dec 27 on record is 0.56 inches set in 1988.

Hibbing, Minnesota

2nd wettest December 27 on record with a precipitation total on Thursday of 0.47 inches.  Wettest Dec 27 on record is 0.66 inches set in 1959.

…Climate Data for December 27…

Duluth, Minnesota

Tied for 4th highest minimum temperature on record for December 27 with a low on Thursday of 28 degrees.  The record warm low temperature for December 27 is 34 degrees set in 1877, tied in 2003.

Hibbing, Minnesota

Tied for 4th highest minimum temperature on record for December 27 with a low on Thursday of 21 degrees.  The record warm low temperature for December 27 is 35 degrees set in 2003.

Brainerd, Minnesota

Tied for 5th highest minimum temperature on record for December 27 with a low on Thursday of 23 degrees.  The record warm low temperature for December 27 is 38 degrees set in 1959.

Snowfall totals for December 27-28, 2018

3 E Finland, MN:  24.0 inch
4 W Grand Marais, MN:  21.7 inch
7 N McGregor, MN:  19.2 inch
7 NNW Two Harbors, MN:  18.7 inch
6 E Island Lake, MN:  18.1 inch
1 W Silver Bay, MN:  15.3 inch
2 NW Duluth, MN:  14.1 inch
14 W Isabella, MN:  14.0 inch
11 N Nashwauk, MN:  13.7 inch
Libby, MN:  13.5 inch
Duluth Airport:  13.1 inch
Fort Ripley, MN:  13.0 inch
3 N Brainerd, MN:  12.8 inch
1 N Cloquet, MN:  12.5 inch
Keewatin, MN:  12.0 inch
7 SE Grand Rapids, MN:  12.0 inch
2 N Mahtowa, MN:  11.5 inch
3 E Orr, MN:  11.0 inch
Wrenshall, MN:  10.9 inch
3 ENE Wright, MN:  10.6 inch
1 WSW Maple, WI:  10.2 inch
3 ENE Holyoke, MN:  10.2 inch
3 NNE Lester Park, MN:  9.5 inch
4 SSE Herbster, WI:  9.5 inch
1 NW Kabetogama, MN:  9.0 inch
1 W Solon Springs, WI:  8.3 inch
2 NNW Gary New Duluth, MN:  8.0 inch
Dairyland, WI:  8.0 inch
Embarrass, MN:  7.8 inch
3 NNW Sandstone, MN:  7.0 inch
6 SW Webb Lake, WI:  6.8 inch
3 SW Bayfield, WI:  6.8 inch
Gile, WI:  6.8 inch
12 W Drummond, WI:  6.7 inch
7 ESE Superior, WI:  6.5 inch
International Falls, MN:  6.3 inch
3 WNW Superior, WI:  5.0 inch
Ashland, WI:  4.5 inch
Herbster, WI:  3.8 inch
1 SSW Grantsburg, WI:  2.8 inch

Note:  Matching snowfall reports to my snowfall forecast for this storm, not the best, but not too bad I guess.

•A few locations that were in the 12-15″ zone ended up with higher snow amounts. 

•Not too bad for far northern Minnesota, I had International Falls in the 6-8 range, they ended up with 6.5″ of snow. 

•A few spots in the 8-12″ zone with higher totals, like McGregor which ended up with nearly 20″ of snow (19.2″)

•As for Duluth, I said the north part of the city had a chance to get 12-15″ of snow, and they did!  South part of the city and for the city of Superior, overall I was a little too high on snow amounts for those spots, I forecasted 8-12″ of snow, but snow totals were in the 5-8″ range instead.

•Northwest Wisconsin, the far northwest portion of that area saw the highest snow totals, which is what I was forecasting.  Lower snowfall totals for southern portions of northwest Wisconsin, and for the most part that did verify.

Note:  There was a lot of Orographic enhancement to the snowfall along the North Shore as well as in the northern portion of the city of Duluth with the east wind coming off Lake Superior.

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

First off — Thank you to the people who shared my weather posts over the last few days, and to the people who took the time to read my forecasts.  Means a lot!

Now back to the weather — It’s cold! High pressure was over the northern Plains late this Friday afternoon with low pressure (Thursday’s winter storm) now over Quebec province.  Cold air advection on N-NW winds occurred across the area today with Friday afternoon temperatures only in the single digits and teens.  Skies did clear out, however, from NW-SE during the afternoon hours.

Tonight will be clear to partly cloudy and frigid with subzero lows likely for most of the area with lows ranging from around 5 below to 25 below.

Note:  For Duluth, tonight’s forecasted temperatures are the coldest we’ve seen since earlier this month (Dec 6-7, lows of 1 F on both nights) And the first time below zero since over a month ago on November 20 (Low of -7 F)

Saturday is shaping up to be a nice looking day, albeit a cold one! Mostly sunny to partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the single digits and teens.  Finally have enough snow out there for winter activities, but I think a few of us will be inside watching the College Football Playoff games later Saturday afternoon!

Looking ahead to our next potential snow event

A few flurries or snow showers are possible on Sunday across northern Minnesota, but a better chance for some accumulating snow comes Sunday night into Monday evening as low pressure drops SE out of the northern Plains while another low heads NE out of the southern Plains, doesn’t look like will get complete phasing to occur with this system, but the northern low combined with some possible F-GEN banding could lead to a swath of several inches of snow somewhere over the Northland during the Sunday night-Monday evening time frame.  Wind direction could also become favorable on Monday for some lake enhanced snow near Lake Superior.  Stay tuned!

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for December 29

High:  19
Low:     3

Sunrise Saturday:  7:54 AM CST
Sunset Saturday:   4:28 PM CST


8 PM Winter Storm Update — Snow continues into early Fri AM followed by much colder temps and gusty north winds with some blowing snow

/Issued 7:41 PM CST, Thursday, December 27, 2018/


MD out for parts of western, central and northern Minnesota for possible heavy snowfall rates of 1 inch/hour along with marginal blizzard conditions thru late this Thursday evening.


Low pressure over far southeast Minnesota at 8 PM will lift northeast into central Wisconsin later tonight.


Winter Storm Warning in pink
Winter Weather Advisory in purple

These headlines remain in effect thru Friday (9 AM) except along the South Shore in northwest Wisconsin where the warning and advisory are in effect thru Noon or 6 PM Friday respectively.

Note:  There will likely be locally higher amounts embedded in that 12-15″ snow band, and the threat for mixed precipitation has pretty much ended as of 8 PM this evening.


00z HRRR model 12-27-18

Simulated radar forecast valid thru 6 AM Friday.

Snow will continue to fall across the Northland tonight, but the snow will diminish from NW-SE Friday morning.


18z NAM-WRF model 12-27-18

Wind Gust Forecast from Midnight tonight to 7 PM Friday

Gusty north winds will spread W-E across the Northland later tonight, and those gusty winds will continue into Friday morning.  Areas of blowing snow will occur across parts of the area thru Friday morning as winds increase. 


18z NAM-WRF model

Temperature forecast valid from 9 PM tonight to 7 PM Friday.

Much colder temperatures will push SE across the Northland from late tonight thru Friday.  Note:  Temperatures in Duluth will drop from around 30 degrees at 9 PM tonight to the mid teens to around 20 degrees by 7 AM Friday, and to the single digits by late Friday afternoon.


Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Thursday, December 27, 2018

An amazing view of today’s storm per water vapor satellite imagery!

1:  The steady stream of deep gulf moisture NE of the low today.

2:  Now we’re seeing the deformation snow band setup across central to northeast Minnesota into far northwest Wisconsin or to the N-NW of the surface low while the stream of deep gulf moisture pushes off to the east this evening.

Links to Road Conditions

Minnesota —

Wisconsin —

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

…Winter Storm Warning till 9 AM Friday…

-Snow continues into early Friday morning with an additional 2 to 4 inches of accumulation possible.  Storm totals of 8 to 12 inches are expected, with the higher totals found on top of the hill.  Localized amounts greater than 12 inches possible on the north side of Duluth.

-Flurries and light snow showers Friday morning with gusty north winds along with areas of blowing snow.

-Some sun expected on Friday, but it will be blustery and much colder


5.1 inches of snow thru Noon today at the Duluth Airport (Snowiest Dec 27 on record) Winter Storm continues thru Fri AM with snow/mixed precip; Arctic air hits Fri AM

/12:00 PM CST, Thursday, December 27, 2018/


Low pressure over southwest Iowa at Noon today will track northeast into central Wisconsin by late tonight.  The colder air over the Dakotas and far northwest Minnesota will begin to push S-E later tonight as the low exits to the E.


Winter Storm Warning in pink
Winter Weather Advisory in purple

These headlines remain in effect through Friday (12 PM)


Radar loop thru 12:30 PM, Thursday, December 27, 2018.

Still a ways to go with this storm with moisture continuing to lift from south to north across the upper Midwest.


My snowfall forecast looks good so far. 

Highest snow totals will be along the Higher Terrain of the North Shore of Lake Superior

Lowest snowfall totals across southern portions of northwest Wisconsin, Hayward Lakes area.


17z HRRR model 12-27-18

Simulated radar forecast valid thru 5 AM Friday


Darker blue colors indicate heavier snowfall with the lighter blue colors indicating lighter snow.

Preliminary Snowfall Reports through 11 AM Thursday, December 27, 2018

12 WNW Silver Bay, MN:  10.0 inch
3 E Finland, MN:  9.5 inch
3 ESE Orr, MN:  8.1 inch
1 N Federal Dam, MN:  8.0 inch
1 W Silver Bay, MN:  7.1 inch
5 NW Walker, MN:  7.0 inch
7 NNW Two Harbors, MN:  7.0 inch
8 NNW Coleraine, MN:  6.0 inch
1 NW Kabetogama, MN:  5.5 inch
6 E Island Lake, MN:  5.3 inch
Duluth Airport:  5.1 inch (Thru Noon today)
4 NE Siren, WI:  5.0 inch
7 SE Grand Rapids, MN:  5.0 inch
Hill City, MN:  5.0 inch
3 NNE Lester Park, MN:  4.5 inch
Virginia, MN:  4.5 inch
3 NW Aurora, MN:  4.0 inch
14 W Isabella, MN:  4.0 inch
2 WNW Gary New Duluth, MN:  4.0 inch
2 SSW Bayfield, WI:  3.6 inch
Cloquet, MN:  3.5 inch
Moose Lake, MN:  3.5 inch
2 E Esko, MN:  3.1 inch
21 N Grand Marais, MN:  3.0 inch
Willow River, MN:  3.0 inch
Wrenshall, MN:  2.7 inch
1 SE Oulu, WI:  2.5 inch
Holyoke, MN:  2.1 inch

Note:  New snowfall record has already been set at Duluth, Minnesota for December 27 with 5.1 inches of snow thru Noon today; This breaks the previous snowfall record of 4.8 inches which was set December 27, 1923.

Road Condition Links

Minnesota —

Wisconsin —

12 PM Winter Storm Update

Low pressure was over western Iowa with a large area of 4mb/2 hour pressure falls covering southern, central and eastern Wisconsin late this Thursday morning, should see the surface low move NE to where the pressure falls are the greatest.

So far this storm is going pretty much as forecast with a mild airmass in place we’re seeing low snow ratios especially in the Twin Ports on south, the airmass is cooler farther W-N from Duluth so snow ratios have been around or a bit above 10:1.  Basically we’ve seen a wet/slushy type snow where snow ratios are below 10:1, a bit fluffier snow where snow ratios are at or above 10:1.

Temperatures across the Northland as of Noon today ranged from the upper 20s in far northern Minnesota (International Falls, Orr and Crane Lake areas) to the low and mid 30s across the rest of northeast Minnesota and all of northwest Wisconsin.

Looking at the upper level temps — 850mb temperatures at Noon today range from -5C at International Falls to -1C at Duluth to around 0C at Hayward.  Snow has been the main P-type in the colder airmass in northern Minnesota, while we’ve seen snow, rain and some sleet in the milder airmass across east-central Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin, including in parts of Duluth and close to Lake Superior.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

•Snow continues through tonight although it will start to taper off early Friday morning.

•Temperatures remaining in the 32 to 34 degree range this afternoon, and from 30 to 33 degrees this evening.  Temperatures drop to the upper teens and lower 20s by 6 AM Friday, and temps will continue to fall through the day Friday.

•With the mild temps in place, snow will continue to be on the wet/slushy/heavy side.  As the colder air moves in, the slush will turn to ice or packed snow.

•Travel will continue to be difficult through Friday morning with snow and slush covered roads.

•Snowfall storm totals by Friday morning will be in the 8 to 12 inch range with the higher amounts on top of the hill, lower amounts closer to 8 inches below the hill.