Note: All eyes (4 here) are on the storm or potential storm for mid to late next week, December 26-28 time frame.
Model guidance continues to show two different storm tracks — See map below.
Impacts from the two storm tracks
Takeaways from the 12z model guidance from Thursday, Dec 20
•Canadian model is the odd model out at the moment showing the most westerly track and actually shows the snow changing to rain as far north as Duluth and the Iron Range next Thursday.
•Other computer models have shifted the low a little farther south with snow being the main precipitation type for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, however, the snow could change to a wintry mix in portions of northwest Wisconsin next Thursday per Euro model guidance.
•The GEFS model and new version of the GFS model (Called FV3-GFS) is the farthest SE with the storm track and keeps the heaviest snowfall south/east of the Northland, targeting areas from south-central Minnesota to central Wisconsin for greatest snowfall.
Here’s a rough estimate of the preferred storm tracks we’ve seen so far since about mid-October. Note: The last real big storm that hit Duluth was back in early October (Oct 10) That one produced the extensive lakeshore flooding near Lake Superior, but since then all the major storms have taken the southern route.
You’re asking next week’s storm to buck the trends that we’ve seen so far this season, meaning the low impacts the Northland, and not the southern/eastern U.S. that’s something we haven’t seen in a few months, that’s asking a lot, but it could happen! Could this storm be a rule breaker? We shall see…
Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Thursday, December 20, 2018.
Another powerful storm taking shape over the eastern U.S. today with severe weather, heavy rain and possible flooding.
…Climate Data for December 19, 2018…
International Falls, Minnesota
Tied for 2nd highest maximum temperature on record for December 19 with a high on Wednesday of 38 degrees. The record high for December 19 is 42 degrees set in 1923.
Tied for 4th highest maximum temperature on record for December 19 with a high on Wednesday of 42 degrees. The record high for December 19 is 60 degrees set in 1923.
Tied for 5th highest minimum temperature on record for December 19 with a low on Wednesday of 25 degrees. The record warm low for December 19 is 33 degrees set in 1957.
Tied for 4th highest maximum temperature on record for December 19 with a high on Wednesday of 34 degrees. The record high for December 19 is 42 degrees set in 2006.
Tied for 5th highest minimum temperature on record for December 19 with a low on Wednesday of 27 degrees. The record warm low for December 19 is 36 degrees set in 1877.
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
The pattern is changing (at least a little bit) Note: 9 days in a row with a high temp of 30 F or warmer at Duluth, Minn, this streak should come to an end on Friday.
Highs today occurred earlier this morning when temperatures were in the 30s. Temperatures dropped a bit this afternoon, ranging from around 20 degrees in far northern Minnesota to the upper 20s to around 30 degrees in east-central Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin and near Lake Superior.
An area of low pressure has moved over eastern Lake Superior late this Thursday afternoon with a much stronger and larger area of low pressure over the southeast U.S.; High pressure was centered over eastern Manitoba/western Ontario provinces late this afternoon. A cooler northerly flow is occurring across the Northland this evening between the lows to our east and high to our northwest with 850mb temperatures of -2 to -6C.
Skies were generally overcast across the area today with areas of snow and drizzle. Snowfall amounts have ranged from a trace to an inch. The bigger story has been the colder temps which caused wet roads and walkways to ice up a bit, yes it was a little slick in parts of the area today.
It will be chillier the next few days but nothing out of the ordinary for late December. Lows tonight will make a run at subzero stuff in parts of northern Minnesota, elsewhere the lows will stay on the positive side of zero, generally in the 10 above to 20 above range.
Highs on Friday will mainly be in the 20s which is still a bit above normal for this time of year.
Expecting partly to mostly cloudy skies through Friday with a few snow showers and flurries, especially along the South Shore of Lake Superior, affecting portions of Ashland and Iron Counties where some lake effect snow is possible through Friday.
Winds shift to the southeast Friday night and Saturday which could bring some lake effect snow showers to the North Shore, mainly from Silver Bay to Grand Portage. The rest of us should also see at least a little bit of snow develop on Saturday thanks to several boundaries and a surface low which will move over the upper Midwest, but this will be a very broad system with no real strong lift to produce heavier snowfall, so we should just see some flurries or light snow from Saturday afternoon into Sunday with maybe an inch of accumulation for some of us this weekend.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for December 21
Sunrise Friday: 7:51 AM CST
Sunset Friday: 4:23 PM CST