Here’s my snowfall forecast for the early week snow event.
1 to 3 inches north and south of the blue lines on map with 3 to 6 inches in between.
For Duluth and Superior — Potential for 3 to 6 inches of snow. The snow begins late Monday afternoon or Monday evening, continues overnight into Tuesday morning, then tapers off Tuesday afternoon. The Tuesday morning commute could be impacted by snow with slippery road conditions possible. Note: A winter weather advisory is in effect from 6 PM Monday to Noon Tuesday.
Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Sunday, January 20, 2019.
So much cold air rushing down Lake Superior the last few days, and again today, and with surface to 850mb temperature differences of 12 to 22 degrees over the western part of the lake, to as much as 26 degrees across the eastern part of the lake we saw widespread lake effect clouds over most of Lake Superior today with areas of lake effect snow showers along the South Shore, and also over the southwest portion of the North Shore as winds shifted from N-NE to E-SE.
Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Sunday, January 20, 2019.
Active weather pattern continues as one strong storm exits the northeast U.S. today while the next one moves into the western U.S. In between is an upper level low across eastern Canada which is keeping the upper Midwest in the freezer.
Low pressure tracks from eastern Colorado Monday evening to western Illinois by Tuesday evening, precipitation shield associated with that low stays well south of the Northland, but a trough extending north of that low will help produce the snow that is expected to fall over the Northland beginning Monday afternoon.
18z NAM-WRF model 1-20-19
Light lake effect snow showers along the North Shore tonight, then will see snow overspread the Northland Monday afternoon into early Monday evening, some snow should then continue Monday night-Tuesday morning.
12z European ensemble model (EPS) 1-20-19
Temperature anomaly forecast valid through February 4, 2019.
Main takeaway from this forecast is that the cold (below normal temps) could stick around across the Northland into early February, with periods of brutally cold temperatures/wind chills possible. Also of note are the below normal temps which could shift farther west into western Canada and the northern Rockies late this month into early February.
Temperature departure map for the week of January 13 — A mild start to last week, and a cold finish, in the end the observed average temps for the week were above normal for some, below normal for others.
Precipitation departure map for the week of January 13 — A very dry week across the Northland while far southern Minnesota saw well above normal precipitation totals due to the storm that hit that area late last week.
Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota
January 13-19, 2019
High Temperatures/Departure from Normal
1/13: 31 F/+12 degrees above normal
1/14: 31 F/+12 degrees above normal
1/15: 26 F/+7 degrees above normal
1/16: 11 F/-8 degrees below normal
1/17: 16 F/-3 degrees below normal
1/18: 2 F/-17 degrees below normal
1/19: 1 F/-18 degrees below normal
Low Temperatures/Departure from Normal
1/13: 26 F/+25 degrees above normal
1/14: 10 F/+9 degrees above normal
1/15: 8 F/+7 degrees above normal
1/16: -10 F/-11 degrees below normal
1/17: -11 F/-12 degrees below normal
1/18: -9 F/-10 degrees below normal
1/19: -15 F/-16 degrees below normal
Note: Average temperature for the week of January 13: 8.4 degrees (-1.4 degrees below normal) Source: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us
Total precipitation: Trace
Normal: 0.22 inches
Departure: -0.22 inches below normal
State Average for Minnesota for the week of January 13, 2019
Temperature: 14.3 degrees
Departure: +3.1 degrees above normal
Precipitation: 0.15 inches
Departure: -0.02 inches below normal
Low Temperature reports from Sunday morning, January 20, 2019
5 E Seagull Lake, MN: -45 F
5 NW Ash Lake, MN: -44 F
Babbitt, MN: -42 F
Crane Lake, MN: -42 F
2 E Celina, MN: -42 F
Kabetogama, MN: -41 F
Gunflint Lake, MN: -40 F
Ely, MN: -38 F
Cook, MN: -37 F
Littlefork, MN: -37 F
Orr, MN: -36 F
3 SE Cotton, MN: -35 F
Bigfork, MN: -35 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN: -35 F
International Falls, MN: -35 F
Cass Lake, MN: -32 F
Aitkin, MN: -29 F
Grand Marais, MN (Airport) -29 F
Grand Rapids, MN: -29 F
Two Harbors, MN: -27 F
3 WNW Twig, MN: -26 F
3 NNE Hermantown, MN: -24 F
Brainerd, MN: -24 F
3 E Wright, MN: -24 F
1 NNW Cloquet, MN: -23 F
Bruno, MN: -23 F
Silver Bay, MN: -22 F
Barnes, WI: -22 F
4 SSE South Range, WI: -20 F
2 SW Proctor, MN: -20 F
Duluth Airport: -20 F
Moose Lake, MN: -20 F
Wind Chill reports from Sunday morning, January 20, 2019
Ely, MN: -55 F
3 ENE Margie, MN: -52 F
Grand Marais, MN (Airport) -49 F
Bigfork, MN: -49 F
2 NNW Cotton, MN: -48 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN: -46 F
Cook, MN: -44 F
International Falls, MN: -43 F
Aitkin, MN: -42 F
Brainerd, MN: -39 F
1 NNW Cloquet, MN: -38 F
Duluth Airport: -38 F
Grand Rapids, MN: -36 F
2 SW Proctor, MN: -36 F
Two Harbors, MN: -36 F
Silver Bay, MN: -33 F
Moose Lake, MN: -33 F
Hinckley, MN: -31 F
Superior Airport: -30 F
Weather Tidbits for Duluth, Minnesota
•Last week, or the week of January 13 was the first week since December 2 where the average temperature finished below normal for the entire week, prior to last week we had a streak of 5 consecutive weeks with an above average temperature.
•7 subzero nights so far this month — Average for January is 14 subzero nights.
•10 subzero nights so far this winter (Since Dec 1) Average for the winter season (Dec 1 to Feb 28) is 34 subzero nights.
Note: A few photos of Sunday morning’s sunrise over Duluth, Minnesota. Skyline, Park Point, Lake Superior.
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Very cold temperatures once again today with highs in the single digits below to single digits above zero. Generally sunny across the area today, but it was cloudier at times along the South Shore of Lake Superior, west to Duluth and along parts of the North Shore due to some lake effect snow showers which occurred today with snowfall totals of around an inch reported 7 miles east-southeast of Superior, also near Herbster and Bayfield, while parts of Duluth picked up a coating of snow this afternoon, mainly on the north side of the city.
RAP model analysis shows NW flow aloft in place across the upper Midwest with 850mb temperatures of -20 to -22C with late Sunday afternoon thickness values ranging from ~510 to 500 meters from SW-NE across the Northland as an arctic airmass remains over the area.
Tonight: Another frigid night ahead under clear to partly cloudy skies. Lows will be in the single digits, teens and 20s below zero with a few of the traditional cold spots in northern Minnesota possibly dropping into the 30s below. Wind speeds ~12 mph combined with the very cold temps will cause wind chills to drop into the 25 below to 40 below range. Note: A few light lake effect snow showers and flurries should continue at times tonight mainly along the North Shore of Lake Superior, and some of this could affect some parts of Duluth for a few hours this evening. Snowfall amounts less than 1 inch tonight.
Monday: Clouds will increase throughout the day as arctic air retreats to the NE thanks to a low pressure system approaching from the west while southerly winds ahead of that low bring in slightly milder temperatures with highs Monday in the single digits to lower teens above zero while lows Monday night stay above zero across the entire area! Warm air advection during the next 24 hours as seen in the 850mb temps which start out in the -17 to -21C range this Sunday evening, rising to -10 to -13C by Monday evening.
Note: Will see snow gradually overspread the Northland from SW-NE during the afternoon-evening hours of Monday, and this snow should continue into Tuesday, but is expected to taper off from NW-SE during the afternoon. This snow will be caused by an area of low pressure which will stay well south of our area, but a trough extending north of that low, combined with a cold front approaching from the NW will help to produce a light to moderate snowfall event over the Northland. With the cold airmass in place, the snow that falls should be fluffy with potential for snow ratios of ~15:1 to 20:1. Given the forecast liquid precip amounts per model data and the expected snow ratios, most of the area can expect up to 3 inches of snow with a corridor of greater than 3 inches of snow likely roughly north of a line from Brainerd to Ashland, and south of a line from Bigfork to Ely.
Another lighter snowfall event is possible sometime in the Wednesday night-Thursday time frame ahead of the next push of arctic air which is forecast to settle into the Northland late this week.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for January 21
Sunrise Monday: 7:45 AM CST
Sunset Monday: 4:55 PM CST