Here’s an updated map showing the two possible storm tracks for late this week. Most of the computer models show a track similar to number 1 on the map below.
This would be the result (see image below) if the storm follows track number 1 from the map above, but a farther south storm track would lower the chances for significant snowfall across most of the Northland including here in Duluth.
12z GEFS model 12-23-2018
Note: I highlighted the members which show the late week storm missing our area.
18z NAM model 12-23-18
Precipitable water forecast valid from Tuesday morning (6 AM) to Wednesday night (12 AM)
Watch how the moisture (represented by green and blue colors on map) surges north out of the Gulf of Mexico and through the central Plains and into the upper Midwest later this week as low pressure and upper level trough moves east out of the western U.S. Southerly flow ahead of the aforementioned low and trough will help scoop up rich low level moisture from the Gulf.
Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Sunday, December 23, 2018.
Nice looking system dropping SE across northeastern Minnesota today, most of the snow with this feature has been on the N/E side of the surface low track which is why we haven’t seen much snow today in Duluth since we are on the SW side of the low.
Temperature departure map for the week of December 16 — Another blowtorch across the Northland last week with the average temperature for the week some 10 to 15 degrees above normal! Note: Duluth’s average temp of 26.3 degrees last week was nearly 13 degrees above normal! As the Heat Miser would say “I’m Too Much”
Precipitation departure map for the week of December 16 — A dry week across most of the Northland although a few areas had precipitation totals that we’re near normal (Yellow and green areas on map)
Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota
December 16-22, 2018
High Temperatures/Departure from Normal
12/16: 42 F/+20 degrees above normal
12/17: 31 F/+9 degrees above normal
12/18: 36 F/+15 degrees above normal
12/19: 36 F/+15 degrees above normal
12/20: 35 F/+14 degrees above normal
12/21: 21 F/Normal
12/22: 27 F/+7 degrees above normal
Low Temperatures/Departure from Normal
12/16: 23 F/+16 degrees above normal
12/17: 15 F/+8 degrees above normal
12/18: 22 F/+16 degrees above normal
12/19: 27 F/+21 degrees above normal
12/20: 20 F/+14 degrees above normal
12/21: 13 F/+8 degrees above normal
12/22: 20 F/+15 degrees above normal
Note: Average temperature for the week of Dec 16: 26.3 degrees (+12.8 degrees above normal) Source: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us
Total precipitation: 0.19 inches
Normal: 0.25 inches
Departure: -0.06 inches below normal
State Average for Minnesota for the week of December 16
Temperature: 28.2 degrees
Departure: +13.4 degrees above normal
Precipitation: 0.04 inches
Departure: -0.16 inches below normal
The number of Heating Degree Days are running well below normal across the Northland so far this month — See stats below
HDD=Heating Degree Days
Total HDD thru Dec 22: 910
Departure: -167 below normal
International Falls, Minnesota
Total HDD thru Dec 22: 1019
Departure: -163 below normal
Total HDD thru Dec 22: 909
Departure: -158 below normal
Total HDD thru Dec 22: 1044
Departure: -107 below normal
Total HDD thru Dec 22: 872
Departure: -125 below
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
A few inches of snow fell today in far northeast Minnesota and across parts of northern Minnesota thanks to an area of low pressure which was moving out over western Lake Superior late this Sunday afternoon. Good convergence today over the tip of the Arrowhead, and this is where the greatest snowfall amounts have been today, there has also been some contribution from Lake Superior with some lake enhanced snow mainly affecting eastern portions of Cook County.
Mostly cloudy skies were found in our area today with highs in the upper teens to middle 20s.
Snow will gradually taper off tonight from NW-SE across far northeast Minnesota and far northern Wisconsin. The rest of us will have some flurries or snow showers this evening.
Lows tonight will mainly be in the teens, but temperatures could make a run toward 0 F if skies start to clear later in the night.
Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with cool temps but nothing extreme. Highs Monday and Tuesday will range from the upper teens to middle 20s. Looks mainly dry both days, although a few flurries can’t be ruled out.
…Late week storm threat…
•Low pressure and upper level trough will finally move ashore into Oregon and northern California late Monday afternoon — It’s this pocket of energy which will find its way through the central/southern Rockies on Tuesday, then will move out onto the southern-central Plains for Wednesday and Thursday.
•Not much has changed in model guidance over the past few days with the majority of computer models taking the low through central Iowa and into central Wisconsin late this week, but the GFS remains farther SE with the track of the low, and this would lead to much lower snowfall totals for the Northland, whereas the farther north solutions result in potentially heavy snowfall for parts of the Northland, and even a potential for the snow to mix with or change to some freezing rain or sleet at times, particularly over east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
•Some snow could begin Wednesday night which could be followed by a lull in snowfall sometime Thursday before the snow possibly picks up again from S-N later Thursday afternoon/evening.
•Gusty NE winds could develop especially near Lake Superior Thursday afternoon into Friday with potential for 20-30+ mph wind gusts later this week. The gusty winds could lead to some blowing snow issues in the Thursday-Friday time frame, and if winds get strong enough and waves build up enough, then some lake shore flooding could occur late this week near Lake Superior.
•Few things I’m concerned about with the late week storm (should it affect our area) will be just how fast does the low move through, if it moves through quickly, that could impact snow totals a bit, also what will the snow ratios be? With a mild airmass in place, temps upper 20s or lower 30s, snow ratios might end up lower than the typical 10:1 range especially for Thursday and Thursday night, so this could also cause snow totals to be somewhat lower compared to what model guidance has been showing.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for December 24
Sunrise Monday: 7:52 AM CST
Sunset Monday: 4:25 PM CST