Bitterly cold tonight, record lows possible (Lows 30 to 50 below) Still cold Thursday. Watching freezing rain, snow and rain chances Sun-Mon, and snow chances Tue-Wed (Potentially active pattern next week)

/Issued 4:20 PM CST, Wednesday, January 30, 2019/

Heads up for potential travel impacts late this weekend into early next week as a low pressure system could affect northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with freezing rain, snow and rain.  Storm track, timing and precipitation amounts to be determined.

Source:  https://www.tropicaltidbits.com

18z RGEM model 1-30-19

One more night of barbaric cold for the Northland with widespread lows in the 20s, 30s and 40s below, and a few of the traditional cold spots in the area could make a run at 50 below zero! 

Note:  Look how far south the 20s to near 30 below zero temps make it early Thursday morning, possibly as far south as central Illinois, central Indiana and Ohio.  Incredible!

Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Wind chill warning remains in effect until 11 AM Thursday for all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.  Stay safe!

Wind chills through Thursday morning of 45 below to around 65 below zero.

Source:  https://www.ecmwf.int/

12z European computer model (ECMWF) 1-30-19

Upper level low, polar low, polar vortex…whatever you want to call it has made its way into the eastern Great Lakes today with widespread bitterly cold temperatures stretching from central Canada south to the Midwest and Ohio Valley today.  Very impressive shot of arctic air.

RAP model analysis at 5 PM Wednesday showed the core of the coldest air associated with this upper low covering Ontario province with 850mb temps of -32 to -34C.  Farther south across the Northland, 850mb temps ranged from -28 to -30C as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Source:  http://coolwx.com

A lot of record or near record cold temperatures (Blue dots on map) the past few days across the northern Plains, upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley due to widespread bitterly cold temperatures all associated with the famous Polar Vortex!

24 hour low temperature reports
Issued:  9:26 AM CST, Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

3 SE Cotton, MN:  -43 F
Kabetogama, MN:  -42 F
3 N Butternut, WI:  -40 F
Northome, MN:  -39 F
2 S Brimson, MN:  -38 F
2 E Celina, MN:  -38 F
Walker, MN:  -38 F
Cass Lake, MN:  -37 F
2 NNE Bigfork, MN:  -37 F
Bruno, MN:  -37 F
Aitkin, MN:  -36 F
4 N Floodwood, MN:  -36 F
Grand Rapids, MN:  -36 F
International Falls, MN:  -36 F
Pine River, MN:  -36 F
Brainerd, MN:  -35 F
Cook, MN:  -35 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  -35 F
Orr, MN:  -35 F
Cloquet, MN:  -33 F
3 WNW Twig, MN:  -33 F
Kettle River, MN:  -32 F
2 SW Proctor, MN:  -32 F
Hinckley, MN:  -31 F
3 NNE Hermantown, MN:  -31 F
Ely, MN:  -31 F
7 WNW Minong, WI:  -31 F
Moose Lake, MN:  -31 F
Duluth Airport:  -30 F
4 SSE South Range, WI:  -30 F
1 ESE Esko, MN:  -30 F
Barnes, WI:  -29 F
Gordon, WI:  -29 F
Two Harbors, MN:  -29 F
Hayward, WI:  -28 F
Superior Airport:  -28 F
Washburn, WI:  -28 F
Grand Marais Airport:  -27 F
Glidden, WI:  -27 F
Duluth Harbor:  -26 F
Siren, WI:  -26 F

24 hour wind chill reports
Issued:  9:33 AM CST, Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

2 WNW Palmers, MN:  -64 F
Grand Rapids, MN:  -64 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  -64 F
Cloquet, MN:  -62 F
2 S Chisholm, MN:  -61 F
Bruno, MN:  -61 F
Northome, MN:  -60 F
Walker, MN:  -60 F
Duluth Airport:  -59 F
Longville, MN:  -59 F
Orr, MN:  -58 F
Aitkin, MN:  -57 F
Brainerd, MN:  -57 F
2 SW Proctor, MN:  -57 F
Two Harbors, MN:  -57 F
Cook, MN:  -56 F
Grand Marais Airport:  -55 F
International Falls, MN:  -55 F
McGregor, MN:  -54 F
Superior Airport:  -54 F
Moose Lake, MN:  -52 F
Washburn, WI:  -51 F
Ashland, WI:  -50 F
Silver Bay, MN:  -50 F
Siren, WI:  -50 F
Hinckley, MN:  -49 F
Glidden, WI:  -49 F
Hayward, WI:  -47 F
7 WNW Minong, WI:  -47 F
1 ESE Esko, MN:  -46 F
Glidden, WI:  -43 F

…Climate Data for January 29, 2019…

International Falls, Minnesota

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for January 29 with a high on Tuesday of -16 degrees.  The record cold high for January 29 is -18 degrees set in 1951.

Brainerd, Minnesota

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for January 29 with a high on Tuesday of -9 degrees.  The record cold high for January 29 is -10 degrees set in 1965.

5th lowest minimum temperature on record for January 29 with a low on Tuesday of -30 degrees.  The record low for January 29 is -38 degrees set in 1965.

Hibbing, Minnesota

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for January 29 with a high on Tuesday of -13 degrees.  The record cold high for January 29 is -14 degrees set in 1951.

5th lowest minimum temperature on record for January 29 with a low on Tuesday of -29 degrees.  The record low for January 29 is -34 degrees set in 1951.

Weather Tidbits for Duluth, Minnesota

•15 subzero nights so far this month — Average for January is 14 subzero nights.

•Low temperature of -30 F on January 30, 2019  was the first time with a -30 F or colder temperature since January 29, 2004.

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

The polar vortex of 2019 continues to unleash bitterly cold air across the Northland with highs today only in the teens below zero, which is 30 to nearly 40 degrees below normal for January 30th, absolutely incredible!

Another dangerously cold night ahead under mostly clear skies.  Tonight could possibly be the coldest night of this winter with widespread lows ranging from around 30 below to 50 below zero with even a few of the traditional cold spots possibly approaching 55 below by daybreak.  With temps as cold as they are it won’t take much wind to push wind chills into the 45 below to 65 below zero range tonight through Thursday morning.

Record lows are possible across the Northland for January 30-31, see list below.

Duluth, Minnesota

Record low for 1/30:  -35 F set in 1994
Record low for 1/31:  -33 F set in 1982

International Falls, Minnesota

Record low for 1/30:  -40 F set in 1950 and 1909
Record low for 1/31:  -35 F set in 1996, 1985, 1982 and 1909

Ashland, Wisconsin

Record low for 1/30:  -35 F set in 1950
Record low for 1/31:  -33 F set in 1996

Brainerd, Minnesota

Record low for 1/30:  -40 F set in 1996
Record low for 1/31:  -46 F set in 1996

Hibbing, Minnesota

Record low for 1/30:  -33 F set in 1951 and 1950
Record low for 1/31:  -41 F set in 1996

Will start to get some changes on Thursday as winds slowly back to the south as arctic high pressure begins to pull away from our area.  Weak warm air advection begins Thursday with 850mb temps of around -25C during the morning, moderating to between -15 and -22C by Thursday evening.  With such a cold start to the day we’re still looking at another frigid afternoon with highs in the single digits below to around 10 below zero.  Skies will range from partly to mostly cloudy, and there could be a few flurries in spots during the afternoon/evening as milder air begins to push into the upper Midwest.

Warm air advection will intensify on Friday with 850mb temperatures climbing to around zero to -10C, highs on Friday will be in the teens, maybe even around 20 degrees in a few locations.

Note:  Easterly winds develop this weekend which could lead to some light lake effect snow or freezing drizzle along the North and South Shore of Lake Superior from Saturday afternoon into Sunday, in addition, a larger storm system could impact the Northland from late Sunday afternoon into Monday with a more widespread wintry mix of precipitation possible at that time.  This will be a storm to watch as it could bring significant amounts of ice and or snow to some parts of the area.  And behind this system is another one that could impact the area sometime in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame, should be cold enough for all snow with that one, if it does affect our area.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for January 31

High:  20
Low:    2

Sunrise Thursday:  7:35 AM CST
Sunset Thursday:   5:10 PM CST

Tim

Life-Threatening cold through Thursday. Storm potential (Feb 3-5) Snow, mixed precipitation possible

/Issued 4:14 PM CST, Tuesday, January 29, 2019/

Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Source:  https://www.spc.noaa.gov

Watch the progression of today’s mid-upper level low (“Polar Vortex”) as it passes through Minnesota today represented by the red L on the images below.

Note:  This first image also includes the 850mb temperatures from late this Tuesday morning.

There is actually an area of warm air advection that is pushing south out of southern portions of Manitoba and Ontario provinces Canada this afternoon as the Polar Vortex moves S-SE across east-central Minnesota.

850mb temps go from around -40C in western Minnesota to around -32C farther north.  Pretty interesting stuff going on with the weather today.

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Tuesday, January 29, 2019.

Upper level circulation clearly visible on satellite imagery today as it swings through the upper Midwest.

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

Goes-16 mid level water vapor satellite loop from Tuesday, January 29, 2019.

Not everyday where a Polar Vortex drops into the lower 48, but one did today! Incredible meteorological event.

These temperatures this afternoon are just ridiculous! Should be in the mid teens to lower 20s above zero across the Northland during the afternoon in late January.

Select temperature/wind chill reports from 2 PM Tuesday

Thief River, Falls, MN:  -27 F.  Wind Chill:  -60 F
Wadena, MN:  -26 F.  Wind Chill:  -57 F
Walker, MN:  -25 F.  Wind Chill:  -53 F
Bemidji, MN:  -25 F.  Wind Chill:  -55 F
International Falls, MN:  -20 F.  Wind Chill:  -43 F
Duluth Airport:  -16 F.  Wind Chill:  -41 F

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 1-29-19

Wind gusts are expected to remain in the 10 to 20 mph range tonight, possibly as high as 30 mph along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  5 to 15 mph winds for Wednesday with gusts to 25 mph. 

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European model (ECMWF) 1-29-19

Dangerous, life-threatening wind chill temperatures from around 45 below to 65 below zero are expected in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through Wednesday morning, and from around 35 below to 55 below zero Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 1-29-19

Looks like we will get a rather nice warm-up this weekend with daytime highs across the Northland possibly in the 20s and 30s for Saturday, and possibly on Sunday too.  Unfortunately, next week looks cold once again, so the pattern overall is a cold one through next week.

Purple, green and blue colors on the map represent below normal temps.
Orange and red colors on the map represent above normal temps.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 1-29-19

Still a ways out, and computer models have their usual timing and track differences this far out, but the February 3-5 time frame is being monitored for a potential storm that could affect parts of the Northland.

3:21 PM CST, Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Peak Wind Reports over the past 12 hours
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Bay Of Grand Marais:  48 mph
Devils Island:  41 mph
Blatnik Bridge:  41 mph
Ashland, WI:  36 mph
Duluth Airport:  36 mph
2 SE Bayfield, WI:  35 mph
Northome, MN:  33 mph
1 E Duluth, MN:  32 mph
Grand Rapids, MN:  32 mph
Grand Portage, MN:  32 mph
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  31 mph
Two Harbors, MN:  31 mph
Washburn, WI:  31 mph
Brainerd, MN:   30 mph
Grand Marais Airport:  30 mph
Cloquet, MN:  30 mph
Superior Airport:  30 mph

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

•An incredible cold weather event hitting the Northland! The airmass associated with today’s Polar Vortex really is something.  21z RAP model had thickness values near/under the upper low of 473 meters across west-central Minnesota late this afternoon with 500mb heights of 490-492 decameters! 850mb temperatures ranged from -35 to -40C today.

•Very Dangerous and Life-Threatening cold will continue across our area through Thursday.  Windiest tonight, then the wind will relax a bit Wednesday, but more so on Thursday, but even a 5 to 10 mph wind with temps as cold as they are is bad news!

•Lows tonight ranging from 20 below to around 40 below zero, highs Wednesday ranging from around 10 below to 20 below.  Lows Wednesday night in the 20s, 30s and 40s below, with a few of the traditional cold spots possibly making a run at 50 below!  Highs on Thursday will moderate slightly as temperatures during the afternoon range from around zero to 10 below.

Note:  Potentially active times ahead next week with a few systems possibly impacting the Northland with some snow, or even some mixed precip with the early week system.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for January 30

High:  20
Low:    2

Sunrise Wednesday:  7:36 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday:   5:09 PM CST

Tim

Barbaric cold moving into the Northland accompanied by gusty winds with wind chills 40 below to 65 below zero

/Issued 4:00 PM CST, Monday, January 28, 2019/

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 1-28-19














Wind Chill Warning (Blue shaded area on map)

•Location:  All of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

•Timing:  9 PM this evening to 9 AM Thursday for all but Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer and Price Counties in northwest Wisconsin, here the wind chill warning is in effect from 4 PM Tuesday to 9 AM Thursday.

•Wind Chills:  40 below to 65 below zero.  The coldest wind chills are expected from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning.

•Impacts:  The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 5 minutes. 

Note:  A wind chill warning is issued when the combination of wind and very cold air create dangerous wind chills.  Hypothermia can set in quickly, which may lead to death, and frostbite can develop within minutes.  Take action to protect yourself from the cold.  Cover up, dress warmly and in layers, and limit your time outdoors.  Travel with extra blankets or additional clothing in case of vehicle trouble.

Wind Chill Advisory (Light blue shaded area on map)

•Location:  Portions of northwest Wisconsin.

•Timing:  Midnight tonight to 4 PM Tuesday

•Wind Chills:  25 below to 40 below zero.

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Monday, January 28, 2019.

Here comes the upper low (Polar vortex) dropping south into central Canada as it passes just west of Hudson Bay Canada today.

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

18z NAM 1-28-19

Here’s a model forecast showing the progression of the upper low (polar vortex) as it drops S-SE through Minnesota on Tuesday.

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

18z GFS model 1-28-19

The 2 PVU forecast shows the white fuzzball dropping south through parts of Minnesota on Tuesday.  Per AFD out of the Twin Cities NWS , the Tropopause will “descend down to 875mb” on Tuesday which is astonishingly low, and a historic event!

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

18z NAM model 1-28-19

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

18z NAM-Nest model 1-28-19

Gusty winds will accompany the frigid temperatures through Thursday morning.  On average we’re looking at wind speeds from 10 to 20 mph, but wind gusts of 25 to 30 mph are possible.  Not only will these winds produce potentially life-threatening wind chill values at times through Thursday morning, but they will also cause areas of blowing snow at times.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 1-28-19

Wind chills will get progressively colder later tonight as arctic air blows into the Northland.  There will be little improvement through the day Tuesday, in fact wind chills could remain in the 25 below to 45 below range even during the afternoon before even colder wind chills develop Tuesday night.  This is dangerous stuff!

…Climate Data for January 27, 2019…

Ashland, Wisconsin

4th lowest maximum temperature on record for January 27 with a high on Sunday of 0 degrees.  The coldest high temp on record for January 27 is -3 degrees set in 2014.

Brainerd, Minnesota

5th lowest minimum temperature on record for January 27 with a low on Sunday of -31 degrees.  The record low for January 27 is -34 degrees set in 1976.

Note:  Low temperature of -40 F at Hibbing, Minnesota on January 27, 2019 was the first time since January 16, 2009 with a low temperature of -40 F or colder.

Snowfall reports for January 27-28, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

1 N Fort Ripley, MN:  5.3 inch
5 NW Walker, MN:  5.0 inch
4 ESE Casino, MN:  4.8 inch
6 S Whipholt, MN:  3.5 inch
1 SSW Grantsburg, WI:  3.0 inch
7 SSW Grand Rapids, MN:  2.8 inch
3 SSW Bruno, MN:  2.0 inch
2 NNW Gary New Duluth, MN:  2.0 inch
6 NE Hertel, WI:  1.7 inch
1 W Solon Springs, WI:  1.5 inch
Wrenshall, MN:  1.5 inch
Duluth Airport:  1.4 inch
Kettle River, MN:  1.3 inch

Record cold is possible in Duluth mid-week, see list below

January 30:

Record low:  -35 degrees set in 1994
Record low high:  -11 degrees set in 1887

January 31:

Record low:  -33 degrees set in 1982
Record low high:  -9 degrees set in 1971

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Arctic front blows through tonight and it’s all downhill from there.  Will get some light snow especially this evening as that front comes through with accumulations generally of an inch or less. 

The airmass over the Northland late this Monday afternoon consists of 850mb temperatures of around -20 to -26C with 500mb heights of around 516 Decameters.  By Tuesday afternoon, the 850mb temps fall into the -30 to around -40C range while 500mb heights fall to between 490-495 Decameters, very impressive!

Note:  The lowest 500mb height on record for January 29 on the 12z sounding at International Falls is 504 Decameters, this record should be broken on Tuesday.  And the coldest 850mb temp on record for January 29 on the 12z sounding at International Falls is -29C, this record should also be smashed on Tuesday.  So the airmass that moves in on Tuesday really is historic as it will be breaking records not only in the Northland but elsewhere across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes! Weather nerds will be throwing parties!

Lows across the Northland will range from the teens below to around 30 below tonight with highs Tuesday ranging from around 10 below to 20 below which is incredibly cold for daytime highs!

Lows Tuesday night and Wednesday night are expected to be in the teens, 20s and 30s below with a few of the typical cold spots around the area possibly falling into the 40s or even 50s below! Note:  The coldest temps are expected Wednesday night/Thursday morning when wind speeds are the lightest.

The good news is that we should warm-up significantly this weekend with potential for highs on Saturday reaching or exceeding the freezing mark! The bad news is this warm-up looks brief as more cold air returns either on Sunday or after Sunday.  It also looks like there could be a period of active weather setting up somewhere across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes ~February 3rd through 6th but that’s still off in the distance so will worry about that a few days from now.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for January 29

High:  20
Low:    2

Sunrise Tuesday:  7:37 AM CST
Sunset Tuesday:   5:07 PM CST

Tim

Dangerously cold temps and wind chills through Thursday! Some snow tonight-Monday, especially west-south areas (Winter weather advisory in effect for parts of the Northland)

/Issued 5:09 PM CST, Sunday, January 27, 2019/

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

Multiple weather headlines in effect through Monday.

Red=Blizzard warning
Pink=Winter storm warning
Purple=Winter weather advisory

A swath of about 6 to 10 inches of snow (locally higher amounts) are possible in the blizzard and winter storm warning areas, lesser amounts of snow in the advisory area.  Gusty winds are also expected leading to whiteout and blizzard conditions from eastern North Dakota through parts of western and southern Minnesota.

Source:  https://www.spc.noaa.gov

Source:  https://www.wunderground.com

Radar loop through 4:45 PM CST, Sunday, January 27, 2019.

Snow in blue; Mixed precip in pink; Rain in green.

Winter Weather Advisory (purple shaded area on map) for all of northwest Wisconsin, and for parts of northeast and east-central Minnesota.

Expiration times below

•Bayfield, Ashland and Iron Counties until 6 PM Monday.

•Cass, Crow Wing, Aitkin Counties until 6 AM Monday.

•Pine, Carlton, Southern St. Louis and Southern Lake Counties until 9 AM Monday.

•Douglas, Burnett, Washburn and Sawyer Counties until Noon Monday.

•Plan on slippery road conditions in the advisory area with snow covered roads.  Visibilities will be reduced at times.  The snow and slippery road conditions could impact the Monday morning commute.

Link to road conditions

Minnesota — https://lb.511mn.org//mnlb/winterdriving/routeselect.jsf

Wisconsin — https://511wi.gov/map#:Alerts

Another night of dangerously cold wind chills across northeast Minnesota.

•Wind Chill Warning (Darker blue area on map) for Northern Lake and Cook Counties until Noon Monday.  Wind chills as low as 50 below zero.  Frostbite is possible on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

•Wind chills in the advisory area ranging from 25 below to 40 below zero.  Frostbite is possible on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for tonight and Monday

Greatest amounts across far southern areas with 4 to 7 inches of snow possible roughly from Brainerd to Sandstone to Hayward.

Lesser amounts farther north.

Some threat for greater amounts along the North Shore of Lake Superior due to a period of lake enhanced/lake effect snow late tonight into Monday morning, but for now I’m sticking with a range of 2 to 4 inches of snow.

Note:  Model trends from Sunday afternoon have been backing off on how far east the snow will get which makes sense given the arctic/dry airmass that seems to be firmly entrenched now across the Northland.  The HRRR and NAM models show less snow compared to the Euro and GFS models.

For Duluth and Superior

Potential for 2 to 4 inches of snow through Monday afternoon with patchy blowing snow possible overnight.  Snow should begin later this evening or during the overnight hours.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 1-27-19

The 18z model run from this afternoon is picking up on the dry/arctic air preventing the snow from getting much farther north than the Highway 2 corridor in northeast Minnesota tonight.

There should still be some lake effect snow tonight through Monday morning along the North Shore of Lake Superior, especially north of Duluth, then will see the lake effect snow bands push south over the lake on Monday as winds turn to the N-NW.

Could also see a brief band of snow push E-SE through the area later Monday afternoon/evening as the Polar Vortex/arctic front approaches from the NW.

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

18z NAM model 1-27-19

Check out these forecast wind chill temperatures from Tuesday morning through early Thursday morning.  Potential for widespread wind chills of 40 below to around 60 below zero across the upper Midwest from Tuesday through Thursday morning, with the worse conditions looking to be from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night.

Source:  http://www.pivotalweather.com

18z NAM model 1-27-19

You don’t see this every day.  The mother load of cold air aka Polar Vortex dropping straight south out of Canada and into the upper Midwest this week.  The upper low is expected to pass through Minnesota on Tuesday, exiting to the SE by Tuesday night.  500mb heights underneath the upper low will drop to around 4920-4950 Decameters, incredible!

Source:  https://hprcc.unl.edu

Departure from normal temperature for the week of January 20 — Well below average temps across the entire Northland last week, roughly 6 to 15 degrees below normal!

Source:  https://hprcc.unl.edu

Precipitation departure map for the week of January 20 — Most of northern Minnesota had near to above normal precipitation last week while parts of eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin saw near to below normal precipitation (yellow shaded area on map)

Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota

January 20-26, 2019

High Temperatures/Departure from Normal

1/20:  5 F/-14 degrees below normal
1/21:  16 F/-3 degrees below normal
1/22:  19 F/Normal
1/23:  17 F/-2 degrees below normal
1/24:  15 F/-4 degrees below normal
1/25:  -5 F/-24 degrees below normal
1/26:  5 F/-14 degrees below normal

Low Temperatures/Departure from Normal

1/20:  -20 F/-21 degrees below normal
1/21:  -5 F/-6 degrees below normal
1/22:  3 F/+2 degrees above normal
1/23:  7 F/+6 degrees above normal
1/24:  -15 F/-16 degrees below normal
1/25:  -21 F/-22 degrees below normal
1/26:  -19 F/-20 degrees below normal

Note:  Average temperature for the week of January 20:  0.1 degrees (-9.9 degrees below normal) Source:  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Total precipitation:  0.33 inches
Normal:  0.19 inches
Departure:  +0.14 inches above normal

State average for Minnesota for the week of January 20, 2019
Source:  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Temperature:  0.6 degrees
Departure:  -10.8 degrees below normal

Precipitation:  0.15 inches
Departure:  -0.02 inches below normal

Low temperature reports from Sunday morning, January 27, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Kabetogama, MN:  -49 F
5 NW Ash Lake, MN:  -48 F
Babbitt, MN:  -46 F
5 E Seagull Lake, MN:  -46 F
2 E Celina, MN:  -46 F
International Falls, MN:  -46 F
2 S Brimson, MN:  -45 F
Embarrass, MN:  -45 F
Crane Lake, MN:  -44 F
2 NNW Cotton, MN:  -44 F
3 N Butternut, WI:  -41 F
Gunflint Lake, MN:  -41 F
Littlefork, MN:  -40 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  -39 F
3 WNW Twig, MN:  -39 F
Cook, MN:  -38 F
Orr, MN:  -38 F
Cass Lake, MN:  -35 F
Longville, MN:  -35 F
3 E Wright, MN:  -34 F
Aitkin, MN:  -33 F
Grand Marais, MN (Airport)  -33 F
Grand Rapids, MN:  -33 F
7 WNW Minong, WI:  -33 F
Walker, MN:  -32 F
Silver Bay, MN:  -31 F
Brainerd, MN:  -30 F
4 SSE South Range, WI:  -30 F
2 ENE Oliver, WI:  -30 F
3 NNE Hermantown, MN:  -29 F
Cloquet, MN:  -29 F
Moose Lake, MN:  -29 F
Two Harbors, MN:  -27 F
1 ESE Esko, MN:  -26 F
Hayward, WI:  -26 F
2 WNW Duluth, MN:  -25 F
Siren, WI:  -25 F
Superior Airport:  -25 F
Hinckley, MN:  -24 F
2 SW Proctor, MN:  -24 F
Glidden, WI:  -23 F
Duluth Airport:  -23 F
Washburn, WI:  -21 F
Ashland, WI:  -18 F

Lowest wind chill reports from Sunday morning, January 27, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Grand Marais, MN (Airport)  -57 F
International Falls, MN:  -54 F
Cloquet, MN:  -46 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  -46 F
Walker, MN:  -46 F
Superior Airport:  -42 F
Duluth Airport:  -41 F

Talk about a pattern change recently!

The average temperature at Duluth, Minnesota from January 1 through 15:  20.2 degrees (+10.0 degrees above normal) 

The average temperature at Duluth, Minnesota from January 16 through 26:  -0.6 degrees (-10.6 degrees below normal)

Note:  This month is still running above average by 1.2 degrees (thru the 26th) but that won’t last too much longer.

Record cold in the Northland this morning, Sunday, January 27, 2019

International Falls, Minnesota

New record low:  -46 degrees
Old record:  -36 degrees set in 1915, 1955 and 1966

Note:  The last time the temperature dropped to 45 below or lower at International Falls was on January 21, 2011.

Hibbing, Minnesota

New record low:  -39 degrees
Old record:  -32 degrees set in 1966 and 1976

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Warm air advection is now occurring this afternoon as a strong clipper moves across the northern Plains helping to kick last night’s arctic blast off to the east.  850mb temperatures late this Sunday afternoon ranged from +10C in far southwest South Dakota to -28C in far northeast Minnesota to -38C over eastern Ontario province, incredible temperature gradient today.

Temperatures this afternoon across the Northland were in the single digits below to around zero, which is a good 20 to 40 degrees warmer compared to where we started the day at.

The focus for tonight remains on the clipper which will track SE out of North Dakota, reaching the Iowa-Illinois border by daybreak.  This storm will produce a swath of heavy snow tonight from eastern North Dakota through western-southern portions of Minnesota.  The northern edge of this system will affect western-southern portions of the Northland with a light to moderate snowfall event expected tonight.

Lows tonight will range from the teens and 20s below in far northern Minnesota to the single digits below to single digits above zero elsewhere.  Highs on Monday will range from around zero to 10 above.

Light snow and flurries are possible on Monday as tonight’s clipper exits to the SE while an arctic front moves through later in the day.

…Concerning the lake effect snow potential for the North Shore…  Temperatures are plenty cold enough with up to a 34 degree temperature difference from the surface to 850mb with those 850mb temps in the -20 to -35C range over the lake.  Winds will be out of the east tonight, then shift to the northeast Monday morning, then shift to the north by Monday afternoon.  The changing wind directions should prevent any lake effect snow bands from lingering over one particular location for very long, but even 1-3 hours underneath a lake effect snow band could result in a quick several inches of fluffy snow.  For what it’s worth the mesoscale models from Sunday show the greatest potential for several inches of snow occurring northeast of Duluth, mainly from around Two Harbors toward Grand Marais.  It will be windy tonight into Monday morning with easterly gusts to around 25 mph so some blowing snow could develop later in the night into Monday morning, especially for areas that do get some new snow.

The arctic blast for Tuesday through Thursday is still on.  Not much has changed over the last few days with a period of potentially dangerous historic type cold impacting the upper Midwest.  Gusty winds will accompany the bitter cold temps which will make it feel even worse if you have to be outside, which probably isn’t advised unless you really need to be.  We’re looking at daytime highs ranging from around 5 below to 20 below Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with lows in the 20s and 30s below with some 40s below possible especially Wednesday night.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for January 28

High:  20
Low:    2

Sunrise Monday:  7:38 AM CST
Sunset Monday:   5:06 PM CST

Tim

Hyperactive winter weather pattern! Brutally cold tonight-Sun AM; Fluffy snow and blowing snow Sunday PM-Mon AM (Wind chill warnings, advisories and winter weather advisories in effect) Barbaric cold Tue-Thu. Watching snow/possible mixed precip chances ~Feb 2-5

/Issued 4:24 PM CST, Saturday, January 26, 2019/

Here’s my snowfall forecast for Sunday afternoon through Monday.

4 to 7 inches across far southern areas, Brainerd, Sandstone and Hayward areas.

2 to 4 inches farther north, including in the Twin Ports, South Shore and parts of the North Shore.

Lesser amounts of snow across far northern Minnesota, ranging from around 1 inch to 2 inches.

Note:  I may need to increase snow totals by a few inches, especially near Lake Superior, but for now I’m taking a cautious approach on expected snow totals near the lake.

A variety of winter weather headlines are in effect, let’s break them down!

•Wind Chill Warning (Dark blue shaded area on map) wind chills as low as 45 below to 50 below zero.

•Wind chills in the advisory area as low as 35 below to 40 below zero.

•Frostbite is possible on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

Note:  The wind chill headlines are in effect through Noon Sunday.

•Winter Weather Advisory (Purple shaded area on map) in effect from Sunday evening through Monday morning for the North Shore and portions of east-central Minnesota.

•Winter Weather Advisory for the South Shore including the Counties of Bayfield, Ashland and Iron from Sunday evening through 6 PM Monday.

•Winter Weather Advisory for the remainder of northwest Wisconsin, including the Counties of Douglas, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer and Price from Sunday evening through Noon Monday.

Note:  Plan on slippery road conditions in the advisory area with snow covered roads and reduced visibilities at times.  The snow and slippery road conditions could impact the Monday morning commute.

Source:  https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 1-26-19

Snow develops late Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon in western portions of the Northland, snow spreads east Sunday night, tapering off from NW-SE Monday morning.  Some lake enhanced snow is expected along the North Shore Sunday night-Monday morning with winds out of the east, then by Monday afternoon the focus of the snow will shift to the South Shore where lake effect snow showers are expected with winds shifting to the N-NW.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 1-26-19

Winds will shift to the east-southeast and increase to 10 to 20 mph Sunday afternoon/evening, then will see the winds shift to the northeast, and then northwest by Monday morning.  Winds could gust to around 30 mph Sunday night especially near Lake Superior.  Snow that falls will be light and fluffy and should blow around easily Sunday night-Monday morning.

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

21z RAP model 1-26-19

There’s tonight’s shot of arctic air on the SW side of an upper low which will be over eastern Ontario province, then as a clipper approaches from the NW on Sunday it helps kick that upper low/arctic air farther to the east.  Then by Monday morning you can begin to see the south edge of the mother load of cold air (Polar Vortex) dropping south into Saskatchewan and Manitoba provinces.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European computer model (ECMWF) 1-26-19

A potentially dangerous period of weather coming up next week (Tuesday through Thursday) as frigid temperatures combine with gusty winds to produce dangerously cold wind chill values from around 35 below to 60 below zero beginning Tuesday, and continuing through Thursday morning.  Image below is the wind chill forecast from Saturday’s 12z European model.

Low temperature reports from Friday evening- Saturday morning, January 25-26, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

5 NW Ash Lake, MN:  -39 F
3 SE Makinen, MN:  -37 F
Eveleth-Virginia, MN:  -37 F
International Falls, MN:  -37 F
2 NNW Cotton, MN:  -37 F
Ely, MN:  -36 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  -36 F
Crane Lake, MN:  -35 F
Cook, MN:  -35 F
Littlefork, MN:  -34 F
Silver Bay, MN:  -33 F
Glidden, WI:  -33 F
3 WNW Twig, MN:  -33 F
Longville, MN:  -33 F
3 W Clam Lake, WI:  -32 F
Bigfork, MN:  -31 F
7 WNW Minong, WI:  -31 F
4 SSE South Range, WI:  -30 F
Glidden, WI:  -30 F
2 WNW Duluth, MN:  -30 F
Brainerd, MN:  -29 F
Barnes, WI:  -29 F
Cass Lake, MN:  -28 F
2 ENE Oliver, WI:  -28 F
Aitkin, MN:  -27 F
Cloquet, MN:  -27 F
Grand Rapids, MN:  -27 F
Moose Lake, MN:  -27 F
Two Harbors, MN:  -27 F
3 NNE Hermantown, MN:  -26 F
1 ESE Esko, MN:  -26 F
Hayward, WI:  -26 F
Grand Portage, MN:  -23 F
Siren, WI:  -23 F
Hinckley, MN:  -22 F
Superior Airport:  -22 F
Duluth Airport:  -21 F
Washburn, WI:  -21 F
Ashland, WI:  -20 F
Duluth Harbor:  -17 F

Lowest wind chills from Friday evening through Saturday morning, January 25-26, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

International Falls, MN:  -54 F
1 E Birchdale, MN:  -49 F
Grand Marais Airport:  -42 F
Two Harbors, MN:  -42 F
Cloquet, MN:  -41 F
Walker, MN:  -40 F
Grand Rapids, MN:  -38 F
Ashland, WI:  -37 F
Duluth Airport:  -36 F

…Climate Data for January 25, 2019…

Ashland, Wisconsin

Record lowest maximum temperature set for January 25 with a high on Friday of -3 degrees.  The previous coldest high temp on record for January 25 is 1 degree set in 1936.

Hibbing, Minnesota

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for January 25 with a high on Friday of -10 degrees.  Coldest high temp on record for January 25 is -14 degrees set in 1972.

2nd lowest minimum temperature on record for January 25 with a low on Friday of -36 degrees.  The record low for January 25 is -38 degrees set in 1996.

International Falls, Minnesota

4th lowest maximum temperature on record for January 25 with a high on Friday of -10 degrees.  Coldest high temp on record for January 25 is -21 degrees set in 1972.

3rd lowest minimum temperature on record for January 25 with a low on Friday of -37 degrees.  The record low for January 25 is -39 degrees set in 1996.

Duluth, Minnesota

5th lowest maximum temperature on record for January 25 with a high on Friday of -5 degrees.  Coldest high temp on record for January 25 is -11 degrees set in 1972.

Active weather headlines for Duluth

-Wind Chill Warning until Noon Sunday.

-Winter Weather Advisory 6 PM Sunday to 6 AM Monday.

Active headlines for Superior

-Wind Chill Advisory until Noon Sunday.

-Winter Weather Advisory 6 PM Sunday to Noon Monday.

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Hyperactive winter weather pattern! It’s like we’re trying to condense extreme winter weather conditions to a 1 to 2 week period, instead of getting periods of it mixed in throughout the winter.

A lot going on, let’s dive in!

The second portion of this three part Polar Vortex arrives tonight and sticks around through most of Sunday.  The core of it will pass to the N/NE of Lake Superior through Sunday.  Near the track of the upper low, expect 500mb heights from 4850 to 4920 Decameters, and 500mb temps around -45 to -47C with 850mb temps around -40C.  The Northland will be on the SW flank of the aforementioned upper low with a quick shot of brutally cold weather for tonight through early Sunday afternoon.  Lows tonight across our area will be in the teens, 20s and 30s below with a few of the traditional cold spots dipping into the 40s below.  In addition to the frigid temps, winds will be stronger tonight compared to last night because of a push of cold air advection, winds will be out of the NW at 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph.

The airmass will modify a tad Sunday afternoon as a strong clipper approaches from the west which kicks tonight’s arctic airmass off to the east.  850mb temperatures will range from -25 to around -30C across the Northland tonight, but by Sunday afternoon 850mb temps will modify to -15 to around -28C from SW-NE across the area.  As the warm air advection occurs on Sunday will see increasing clouds and eventually some snow developing in western-southern portions of the area during the day with mainly dry weather farther north.  Highs on Sunday (although they likely won’t occur until the evening) are expected to range from the single digits above zero to around 10 below.

Most of the Northland will get some snow Sunday night, greatest amounts along parts of the North Shore to the Highway 2 corridor in northeast Minnesota, and south to the i35 corridor, west to the Brainerd Lakes, including all of northwest Wisconsin.

…Concerning the lake effect potential…  It will be plenty cold enough with 850mb temps over Lake Superior of -20 to -25C.  One thing that could keep things from getting out of hand will be the changing wind directions, going from east to southeast to northeast to northwest all in a span of about 12 hours, so this could keep lake enhanced snow bands from lingering over one location for very long, but still this needs to be watched closely with such a cold airmass covering the area along with winds shifting to the east Sunday night, snow totals could end up higher than what I’m going with at the moment.

What follows this snow still looks extreme, and that will be in the form of brutally cold weather from Tuesday through Thursday as the mother load of cold air associated with the Polar Vortex drops south/east across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.  Daytime highs Tuesday through Thursday of 5 below to around 20 below with overnight lows in the teens, 20s and 30s below (possibly colder) Brisk winds are also expected, especially Tuesday and Wednesday with potential for widespread dangerously cold wind chills approaching 55 below across the Northland.

Note:  It does look like will warm up next weekend, and it could be a significant warm-up depending on how the pattern sets up, there is also a possibility of an active period of weather sometime ~February 2-5 with snow or mixed precipitation possible.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for January 27

High:  20
Low:    2

Sunrise Sunday:  7:39 AM CST
Sunset Sunday:   5:04 PM CST

Tim