Radar loop ending at 5:30 PM CST, Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
18z NAM-Nest model 12-19-18
Simulated radar forecast from this Wednesday evening to Thursday evening (7 PM Wed to 7 PM Thur)
Areas of light snow, drizzle and some freezing rain will be found across the Northland tonight with mainly snow showers and flurries on the way for Thursday.
Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop (lower-level) from Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
System that will affect the upper Midwest tonight can be seen moving out of the Dakotas late this Wednesday afternoon while a much larger and stronger storm takes shape once again across the southern U.S. This storm will bring heavy rain, potential flooding and some severe weather to much of the eastern U.S. during the next few days.
…Latest on next week’s storm potential…
Timing: Wednesday-Friday, December 26-28
-Basically seeing two storm tracks at the moment (labeled 1 and 2 on the map)
-Track number 1 would be more favorable for 4″+ snow totals in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
-Track number 2 is less favorable for 4″+ snow totals in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with the greater snow amounts falling in south-central Minnesota into central Wisconsin.
-Differences in how strong the surface low will be. GFS has a stronger low ~995mb lifting NE out of the Plains while the European has a weaker low, generally ~1000mb.
-Still some threat of a mixture of precipitation types if the low comes too far north, however, this threat looks a bit less likely to happen given the trends in today’s model runs.
-Way too early to determine exact snowfall amounts since the track of the storm is still uncertain and the fact that this system is still about a week away! But there is some potential for snowfall totals of at least 4 inches across portions of the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes mid to late next week.
12z GEFS model 12-19-18
GEFS ensemble model continues to show a snowier pattern setting up across the Northland through next week with a potentially stronger system (Heavier snow event) for later next week. However, there are still a few ensemble members that show less snow for our area with a few of them keeping the heavier snow either south or north of the Twin Ports, but overall the odds are quite good that will get some snow across the Northland by next weekend, but how much snow is uncertain.
Weather Tidbits for Duluth, Minnesota
•December 2018 (thru the 19th) gets an F for snowfall
•Only 3 days so far this month with snowfall of at least 0.1 inch.
•Greatest calendar day snowfall total so far this month is just 0.8 inches on the 5th.
•The last time we had at least 0.1 inch of snow was on the 7th.
Note: We need about 16 inches of snow the rest of this month to get to our average which is 17.7 inches. I don’t see that happening.
Links to Road conditions
Minnesota – https://lb.511mn.org
Wisconsin – https://511wi.gov
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
After a few days of sunshine the low clouds and fog returned today but temperatures were still on the mild side with highs today in the 30s, with a few southern locations in eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin around 40 degrees. A cold front was inching closer to western Minnesota as of 5 PM Wednesday with low pressure over southern Manitona/western Ontario provinces. Southerly flow ahead of this system has increased the moisture across the area today which caused areas of fog and drizzle.
There will be some weather impacts across the Northland tonight ranging from fog to light snow, drizzle and some freezing drizzle. This messy weather will be caused by an eastward moving cold front which will move through the area tonight. A layer of warm air aloft with 850mb temperatures around +2C will support the risk for rain which could freeze as it hits the surface due to temperatures which will range from 28 to 31 degrees through early Thursday morning. Temperatures aloft will turn cooler on Thursday so any precipitation that is leftover would fall as snow.
As for snowfall amounts with tonight’s system, looking at a dusting to around 2 inches of snow by Thursday afternoon, however, those 2 inch totals should be few and far between as the majority of us shouldn’t get more than a dusting or half inch of snow.
Use caution if you have travel plans tonight into Thursday morning as roads could be slick in spots, also visibility will be reduced to a mile or less due to the fog.
A cooler airmass arrives on Thursday as 850mb temperatures fall to -5 to -10C, but highs won’t be terribly cold as they range from the lower 20s to lower 30s which is still above normal for this time of year.
Still expecting at least a little bit of light snow across the area this weekend, most likely from Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning. Accumulations of an inch or less the way it looks now.
Note: There is another system that has been showing up off an on on some of the computer models for Christmas Day, doesn’t look like it would be a big system, but if it affects us it could produce a few inches of snow, this system could also help in pushing that late week storm farther south while missing the Northland, so that’ll be something to keep an eye on over the next few days to see how the models handle that system for Christmas Day.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for December 20
Sunrise Thursday: 7:50 AM CST
Sunset Thursday: 4:22 PM CST