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