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