Meteorological spring begins on Friday! Highs ~30 F in Duluth (yeah right!) Some snow on the way followed by potentially record breaking cold Sun-Mon — Past March snowfall totals for Duluth, Minn in this post

/Issued 3:47 PM CST, Thursday, February 28, 2019/

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for Friday’s event.

•Greatest amounts over far southern portions of the area with 2 to 3 inches of snow possible roughly along and south of a line from Pine River to Solon Springs to Glidden, including Brainerd, Sandstone, Hinckley, Shell Lake, Hayward and Winter.

•1 to 2 inches of snow generally along/south of Highway 2 in northeast Minnesota and over far northwest Wisconsin including Hill City, Cloquet, Duluth, Superior and Ashland.

•Around an inch of snow for Grand Rapids, Bigfork, Hibbing, Babbitt, Two Harbors and Silver Bay.

Link to road conditions

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

Wisconsin — https://511wi.gov/map

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 2-28-19

Timing of when the snow will start is always tricky, and I’m sure Friday’s snow event won’t be any different.

Looks like the snow will begin in western-southern portions of the Northland between 8-11 AM Friday.  The snow is then forecast to move farther to the E-NE Friday afternoon, snow ends Friday evening from west to east.

Note:  Snow could begin in Duluth between 11 AM-1 PM Friday with snow coming to an end later Friday evening (around midnight)

Source:  https://www.tropicaltidbits.com

12z European computer model (ECMWF) 2-28-19

Widespread very cold, possibly record breaking cold on the way this weekend into early next week from the northern and central Plains to the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.  Forecast below shows the 850mb temperatures from Saturday through Tuesday, March 2-5.

The first day of Meteorological spring is almost here!

Friday, March 1 marks the beginning of Meteorological spring, the 3 month period from March 1 to May 31.  Days are getting longer, sun is getting stronger, now we just have to melt 2 to 4 feet of snow and nearly 85% ice coverage on Lake Superior — It will take a while, possibly a long while for all that to happen, but spring will show up, eventually!

March Climate Averages for Duluth, Minnesota (1981-2010)

Temperature:  26.0 degrees
Precipitation:  1.49 inches
Snowfall:  13.2 inches

9 days with a high of at least 40 degrees
3 days with a high of at least 50 degrees
1 day with a high of at least 60 degrees

3 days with a subzero low temperature

9 days with snowfall of at least 0.1 inch
4 days with snowfall of at least 1.0 inch

Normal high on the 1st:  29 degrees
Normal high on the 31st:  41 degrees

Normal low on the 1st:  11 degrees
Normal low on the 31st:  24 degrees

March records

Warmest:  39.2 degrees set in 2012
Coldest:  13.5 degrees set in 1923

Wettest:  5.12 inches set in 1965
Driest:  0.22 inches set in 1959

Snowiest:  48.2 inches set in 1917
Driest:  Trace set in 2012

Notes:

Average date for first 50 degree day is March 18, but last year the first 50 degree day in Duluth didn’t occur until April 19, a full month and one day later than usual.

Astronomical Data for March

Sunrise on the 1st:  6:49 AM CST
Sunrise on the 31st:  6:50 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st:  5:54 PM CST
Sunset on the 31st:  7:35 PM CDT

Note:  Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 10 at 2 AM.

Past March snowfall totals for Duluth, Minnesota (2000-2018)

Average March snowfall is 13.2 inches

2000:    9.5 inches
2001:    7.9 inches
2002:  29.7 inches
2003:  17.1 inches
2004:  11.6 inches
2005:    6.3 inches
2006:  12.5 inches
2007:  25.5 inches
2008:  13.6 inches
2009:  15.5 inches
2010:  Trace (least snowiest March on record)
2011:    7.4 inches
2012:  11.9 inches
2013:  25.8 inches
2014:  20.9 inches
2015:    8.1 inches
2016:  17.3 inches
2017:    5.3 inches
2018:    5.1 inches

Note:  The past 2 March snowfall totals have been well below average in Duluth, while the snowiest March since 2000 occurred in 2002 with 29.7 inches of snow.

…Climate Data for February 27, 2019…

Hibbing, Minnesota

4th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 27 with a high on Wednesday of 12 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 27 is -3 degrees set in 2014.

Brainerd, Minnesota

5th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 27 with a high on Wednesday of 12 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 27 is -12 degrees set in 1919.

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Partly to mostly sunny skies were found across the area today with highs mainly in the 20s as we wrap up a memorable February which included new record monthly snowfall totals at Duluth and Brainerd; 4th snowiest February on record at International Falls.  Many other locations across the northern Rockies and upper Midwest had a top 10 or an all-time snowiest February on record as well.  A February for the ages!

RAP model analysis from late Thursday afternoon showed a W-NW 500mb flow in place over the upper Midwest.  An area of low pressure was located over west-central Ontario province with southwest breezes occurring across the Northland today to the south of that surface low.

The surface low to our north will be moving off to the east through Friday.  A cold front connected to that low will move SE into north-central Minnesota tonight, then stall out for a time before getting pushed farther south/east and out of our area by Friday night.  This front will get a nice push to the SE thanks to a wave of low pressure which is forecast to move E-NE out of the western High Plains on Friday.

Tonight:  Partly to mostly cloudy skies with lows in the single digits above to the teens below zero.  Winds less than 15 mph and out of the southwest, but becoming more variable in north-central Minnesota later in the night.

Friday:  The first day of Meteorological spring brings with it a few inches of snow, I know that’s shocking! Overcast skies with snow developing before Noon across east-central Minnesota.  Snow spreads into northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late Friday morning through the midday hours.  Note:  SREF model guidance shows the dendritic growth zone being maximized over central/eastern Minnesota into west-central Wisconsin on Friday, and that is the area where the greatest snowfall is expected to occur with lighter snowfall totals farther north.  Expect hazardous driving conditions due to the snow especially Friday afternoon-evening.  Highs on Friday will be in the mid teens to mid 20s.

…Looking Ahead…

An arctic blast is on the way this weekend with the coldest days looking to be Sunday and Monday, this is when we could be setting new record cold high and or low temps across the Northland.  The cold airmass moves in late Saturday with 850mb temperatures falling to -22 to -28C which is impressive for January, even more impressive for early March! 

Although the airmass will modify a bit after next Monday, temperatures still look chilly and will remain below normal through at least March 8.

Record cold high temperatures for March 3

Duluth:  2 F (2002)
International Falls:  3 F (2002)
Hibbing:  3 F (2002)
Brainerd:  5 F (2002)
Ashland:  7 F (2002)

Record low temperatures for March 3

International Falls:  -33 F (2014)
Hibbing:  -33 F (2014)
Brainerd:  -24 F (2014)
Ashland:  -24 F (1950)
Duluth:  -23 F (2014)

Record cold high temperatures for March 4

International Falls:  2 F (2015)
Brainerd:  3 F (2015)
Duluth:  3 F (2015)
Hibbing:  3 F (2015)
Ashland:  7 F (2015)

Record low temperatures for March 4

International Falls:  -25 F (2003)
Ashland:  -24 F (1913)
Hibbing:  -18 F (2014)
Duluth:  -18 F (1875)
Brainerd:  -16 F (2015)

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  Clear to partly cloudy.  Low 1 below to 4 above.  Wind west to southwest at 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday…  Becoming mostly cloudy.  Snow developing between 11 AM-1 PM.  Snow covered/slick roads possible during the afternoon/evening.  High 17 to 22.  Wind variable around 12 mph.  Total snowfall accumulations by late Friday evening of 1 to 2 inches.

Normal temperatures for March 1

High:  29
Low:   11

Sunrise Friday:  6:49 AM CST
Sunset Friday:   5:54 PM CST

Tim

Watching Friday snow chances and potential record cold March 3-4

/Issued 5:15 PM CST, Wednesday, February 27, 2019/

Here’s my snowfall potential forecast for Friday’s event.  Could see a few isolated 3″ totals in northwest Wisconsin but confidence isn’t high enough to include it on the map quite yet. 

Timing:  Spreading generally from west to east, beginning in western-southwest portions of the area Friday morning, then farther east Friday afternoon.  Snow should end by late Friday evening the way it looks now. 

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

What a spectacular view of ice conditions on Lake Superior from Wednesday, February 27, 2019 per Goes-16 satellite imagery — Ice coverage is at ~75% as of February 27.

Source:  https://mrcc.illinois.edu

Total snowfall map from Tuesday afternoon-Wednesday morning, February 26-27, 2019.

Most of us ended up with less snow than what was in the forecast for Tuesday night-Wednesday morning — This was especially true in east-central Minnesota, not as much in northwest Wisconsin where a few 3 inch totals were reported, but in east-central Minnesota, north to Duluth, snow amounts were generally around an inch or so (forecast was for 2 to 3 inches of snow) 

Note:  Snow to liquid ratios were only in the 10:1 range in Duluth last night, much lower than what the computer models were showing, models were showing ratios anywhere from around 20:1 to even as high as 30:1, and given how much precip we received (0.10 inches) that would’ve fluffed up to between 2.5 and 3.0 inches of snow if the ratios were as high as what the computer models were showing them to be.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 2-27-19

A very cold pattern is setting up for this weekend through the middle of next week.  Could see record or near record cold across a large portion of the northern/central Plains and upper Midwest from March 2-5.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 2-27-19

Well here’s your temperature anomaly forecast for March 2 through 5.  If you’re a fan of spring you’ll have to head to the southwest U.S. or the southeast U.S for above normal temperatures this weekend, elsewhere it looks very cold!

Blue, green and purple colors=Below normal temperatures
Orange and red colors=Above normal temperatures

Snowfall Reports for February 26-27, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Trego, WI:  3.3 inch
Shell Lake, WI:  3.0 inch
Butternut, WI:  3.0 inch
Hayward, WI:  2.5 inch
Solon Springs, WI:  2.5 inch
Hertel, WI:  2.5 inch
1 S Siren, WI:  2.5 inch
5 W Washburn, WI:  2.0 inch
3 SW Pine Center, MN:  2.0 inch
Gile, WI:  2.0 inch
Brainerd, MN:  2.0 inch
3 N Brainerd, MN:  1.5 inch
3 SSW Bruno, MN:  1.5 inch
7 ESE Superior, WI:  1.4 inch
2 E Kettle River, MN:  1.3 inch
3 N Mahtowa, MN:  1.3 inch
Moose Lake, MN:  1.2 inch
Makinen, MN:  1.0 inch
Pine River, MN:  1.0 inch
1 N Cloquet, MN:  1.0 inch
Duluth Airport:  1.0 inch
Chisholm, MN:  1.0 inch
1 SSW Ely, MN:  0.6 inch
1 W Silver Bay, MN:  0.5 inch

…Climate Data for February 26, 2019…

Ashland, Wisconsin

A new daily record low temperature was set for February 26 with a low on Tuesday of -22 degrees.  The previous record low temperature for February 26 was -21 degrees set in 1963.

4th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 26 with a high on Tuesday of 10 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 26 is 3 degrees set in 1934.

International Falls, Minnesota

Record low temperature tied for February 26 with a low on Tuesday of -32 degrees.  This ties the previous record low of -32 degrees set on February 26, 2015.

Hibbing, Minnesota

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for February 26 with a high on Tuesday of 7 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 26 is 4 degrees set in 2011.

3rd lowest minimum temperature on record for February 26 with a low on Tuesday of -25 degrees.  The record low temperature for February 26 is -28 degrees set in 1963.

Brainerd, Minnesota

5th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 26 with a high on Tuesday of 7 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 26 is -10 degrees set in 1919.

5th lowest minimum temperature on record for February 26 with a low on Tuesday of -19 degrees.  The record low temperature for February 26 is -25 degrees set in 1963.

Note:  Looks like the best chance for breaking or getting close to record cold temperatures will occur on Sunday and Monday, March 3-4 — See records list below.

Record cold high temps:

Duluth:  March 3:  2 F (2002), March 4:  3 F (2015)

International Falls:  March 3:  3 F (2002), March 4:  2 F (2015)

Ashland:  March 3:  7 F (2007), March 4:  7 F (2015)

Brainerd:  March 3:  5 F (2002), March 4:  3 F (2015)

Hibbing:  March 3:  3 F (2002), March 4:  3 F (2015)

Record low temps:

Duluth:  March 3:  -23 F (2014), March 4:  -18 F (1875)

International Falls:  March 3:  -33 F (2014), March 4:  -25 F (2003)

Ashland:  March 3:  -24 F (1950), March 4:  -24 F (1913)

Brainerd:  March 3:  -24 F (2014), March 4:  -16 F (2015)

Hibbing:  March 3:  -33 F (2014), March 4:  -18 F (2014)

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

A lot of sunshine today but another chilly day with highs mostly in the lower to middle teens.

RAP model analysis from 5 PM Wednesday showed a NW flow aloft covering the upper Midwest with a chilly airmass in place with 850mb temperatures around -18C.

High pressure off to our southwest (western South Dakota area) will move slowly off to the east through Friday.  Meanwhile an area of low pressure will be centered to our north, this low will push a warm front through the area Thursday, followed by a cold frontal passage Friday.

Tonight:  Some warm air advection and an increase in cloud cover from west to east during the night.  Lows will be in the single digits and teens below zero.  Winds will increase out of the west/southwest tonight with gusts to around 15 mph.

Thursday:  Will end the month of February with no new snow but no thaw either.  Highs will be in the upper teens to middle 20s under partly to mostly cloudy skies with southwest breezes 10 to 20 mph.

…Looking Ahead…

Looks like most of the area will get a little bit of snow on Friday with east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin having the best chance to pick up a few inches of snow on the 1st day of March which by the way is the start of Meteorological spring, or the 3 month period from March 1 to May 31.

It won’t feel at all like spring, though, with a frigid airmass locking in this weekend into the middle of next week with the coldest days looking to be Sunday and Monday.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight…  A clear start followed by some increase in clouds during the night.  Low 2 below to 7 below.  Wind west to southwest at 5 to 15 mph, gusts to 20 mph.

.Thursday…  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 20 to 25.  Wind southwest at 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for February 28

High:  28
Low:   11

Sunrise Thursday:  6:51 AM CST
Sunset Thursday:   5:53 PM CST

Tim

Update on tonight’s snow event (Winter weather advisory in effect for parts of the area)

/Issued 5:10 PM CST, Tuesday, February 26, 2019/

Radar update from late Tuesday afternoon 5:40 PM

Winter Weather Advisory for all of northwest Wisconsin and far eastern Minnesota until 6 AM Wednesday.  Some cities included in the winter weather advisory are Hinckley, Superior, Solon Springs, Bayfield, Ashland, Hurly, Siren, Shell Lake and Hayward.

Snow is expected with slippery road conditions.  The snow could impact the Wednesday morning commute.  Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities.

Link to road conditions

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

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

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for tonight

3 to 5 inches far southern portions of the area from around Hinckley and Sandstone, east to Hayward.

2 to 3 inches from the Brainerd Lakes to Moose Lake, Duluth and Two Harbors through most of northwest Wisconsin.

1 to 2 inches for Grand Rapids, Hibbing and Silver Bay.

Around an inch for Bigfork, Orr, Cook, Ely and Grand Marais.

Less than an inch of snow is expected along the Borderland, including in the International Falls area.

Source:  https://www.pivotalweather.com

18z NAM model 2-26-19

Tonight’s system drops south/southeast out of southern Manitoba province, as it moves over our area later tonight it will enhance the lift in the atmosphere which will help produce some snow.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 2-26-19

•Already seeing some snow this afternoon in parts of northwest Wisconsin and far eastern Minnesota.

•Snow will develop farther north through this evening.

•It’ll be a fairly quick event with snow lasting roughly 8 hours in any given location.

•The snow will end from west to east Wednesday morning and should be out of our area by around 9 AM Wednesday.

Note:  The snow is delayed by several hours for Duluth.  I thought on Monday that we’d see the snow begin between 2-5 PM Tuesday, but also mentioned that a few computer models showed a later start time to the snow, and that later start time is verifying.  Looks like the snow will begin to fall in Duluth between 7-9 PM tonight, snow should be out of the city between 5-7 AM Wednesday.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 2-26-19

Still keeping an eye on another system which could bring us some more snow on Friday.  Amounts are still a bit uncertain, and we could see the swath of 3″+ snowfall shift a little north or south during the next few days.  Stay tuned.

Source:  https://www.tropicaltidbits.com

12z GEFS model 2-26-19

Colder than normal temperatures likely to persist through early March.

Temperature anomaly forecast valid through March 12 — Not much hope for any sustained warmth for the northern Plains, upper Midwest and western Great Lakes for the next 2 weeks.

Blue and purple colors:  Below normal temperatures
Orange and red colors:  Above normal temperatures

…Climate Data for February 25, 2019…

International Falls, Minnesota

A new daily record cold high temperature was set for February 25 with a high on Monday of -1 degree.  The previous record cold high temperature for February 25 was 0 degrees set in 2011.

Hibbing, Minnesota

A new daily record cold high temperature was set for February 25 with a high on Monday of 0 degrees.  The previous record cold high temperature for February 25 was 4 degrees set in 2014 and 2011.

Duluth, Minnesota

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for February 25 with a high on Monday of 2 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 25 is -2 degrees set in 1934.

Ashland, Wisconsin

2nd lowest maximum temperature on record for February 25 with a high on Monday of 5 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 25 is 0 degrees set in 1934.

Brainerd, Minnesota

4th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 25 with a high on Monday of 2 degrees.  The record cold high temperature for February 25 is -10 degrees set in 1919.

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

One round of snow is ongoing as of 5 PM today, this initial batch of snow impacted a small part of far eastern Minnesota, but mostly impacted southern portions of northwest Wisconsin this afternoon.  The rest of the area was mainly dry today under mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies.  Another cold day although slightly ‘warmer’ compared to Monday with highs today in the single digits to around 10 above zero.

RAP model analysis from 5 PM Tuesday showed the upper Midwest in westerly flow aloft but that won’t last very long thanks to a disturbance to our northwest which drops southeast and puts us back into NW flow on Wednesday.  Strong winds aloft located south of that disturbance today with 120-140+ knot winds stretching from the northern Rockies, east through the upper Great Lakes.

Tonight:  Periods of snow across east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, extending north to the Twin Ports, North Shore and Iron Range while some flurries or a little light snow is possible in extreme northern Minnesota.  Today’s snow over parts of northwest Wisconsin has been driven by a band of frontogenesis, mostly in the 850-700mb layer per mesoanalysis.  Mostly cloudy skies tonight with lows ranging from around zero to the teens below (coldest temps in north-central Minnesota)

Wednesday:  Snow ends from west to east early in the morning, otherwise we’re looking at partly to mostly sunny skies with highs in the teens.

…Looking Ahead…

Snow chances could return to the Northland on Friday, but after that it looks like we may get a stretch of dry weather for most of next week.  The bad news is that it looks very cold this weekend into next week with well below normal temperatures expected.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

Alerts — Winter Weather Advisory for Superior 9 PM tonight to 6 AM Wednesday

.Tonight…  Snow gradually developing this evening (7-10 PM time frame)  Snow overnight.  Low 2 below to 3 above.  Wind variable around 10 mph.

.Wednesday…  Snow ending early (5-7 AM) Total snowfall accumulation of 2 to 3 inches.  Partly to mostly sunny.  High 14 to 19.  Wind west at 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for February 27

High:  28
Low:   11

Sunrise Wednesday:  6:52 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday:   5:51 PM CST

Tim

More snow on the way and still cold (Record/near record cold possible tonight)

/Issued 4:18 PM CST, Monday, February 25, 2019/

Here we go again, rinse and repeat! Bitterly cold tonight, more snow on the way Tuesday afternoon/Tuesday night.

•Wind Chill Advisory for all of northern and northeast Minnesota from 9 PM this evening thru early Tuesday morning.  Wind chills as low as 30 below zero.  Some cities included in the wind chill advisory are International Falls, Bigfork, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Aitkin, Moose Lake, Cloquet, Duluth, Hibbing, Ely, Cook, Orr, Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Grand Marais.

•Winter Weather Advisory for parts of northwest Wisconsin from Noon Tuesday to 4 AM Wednesday.  Snow expected with hazardous driving conditions as roads will become snow covered and slippery.  The snow could impact the Tuesday evening commute.  Snow will cause limited visibilities.  Some cities included in the winter weather advisory are Grantsburg, Siren, Shell Lake, Minong and Hayward.

Here’s my snowfall forecast for Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday morning.

This should be a fluffy snow with the cold airmass in place.

Greatest snow amounts over far southern portions of the Northland where 3 to 4 inches of snow is possible — Brainerd, Hinckley, Hayward areas.

1 to 3 inches of snow farther north from Grand Rapids and Aitkin to Duluth and Moose Lake into parts of northwest Wisconsin, from Superior and Solon Springs east to Ashland.

Around an inch of snow from Bigfork and Hibbing to Silver Bay.

Note:  It’s possible we could see the winter weather advisory expanded westward into portions of east-central Minnesota.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 2-25-19

It will probably take a little while for the atmosphere to saturate on Tuesday, but we should see some snow develop late Tuesday morning or early Tuesday afternoon over east-central Minnesota, this snow is then forecast to lift farther north/east by late Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening.  Snow comes to an end from west to east early Wednesday morning.

Note:  Snow could begin to fall in Duluth between 2-5 PM Tuesday the way it looks now, but there is some uncertainty as to when the snow begins as a few computer models show a later start time, it will all depend on how soon the airmass can saturate allowing snowflakes to reach the surface.

Source:  https://www.tropicaltidbits.com

18z RGEM model 2-25-19

Record lows for February 26 

International Falls:  -32 F set in 2015 and 2011
Hibbing:  -28 F set in 1963
Brainerd:  -25 F set in 1963
Duluth:  -22 F set in 1919
Ashland:  -21 F set in 1963

Note:  Could see a few locations from the list above make a run at their record low temperature for February 26.

This past weekend’s storm was a beast! Hurricane force wind gusts reported over eastern portions of Lake Superior Sunday evening with a gust to 74 mph at the Stannard Rock buoy.  Incredible amounts of snow, drifting snow and blizzard conditions from south-central Minnesota through central and northern Wisconsin into western-central portions of upper Michigan.  Certainly a memorable storm!

Peak Wind Gusts from February 24-25, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Blatnik Bridge:  57 mph
2 SE Bayfield, WI:  56 mph
Bay of Grand Marais:  56 mph
Duluth Airport:  51 mph
Ashland, WI:  49 mph
Devils Island:  49 mph
Northome, MN:  49 mph
Duluth Harbor:  47 mph
Ely, MN:  45 mph
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN:  44 mph
Superior Airport:  44 mph
Grand Marais Airport:  43 mph
Two Harbors, MN:  43 mph
Cloquet, MN:  41 mph
2 SW Proctor, MN:  41 mph
Washburn, WI:  41 mph
Brainerd, MN:  40 mph
3 ENE South Range, WI:  40 mph
Grand Rapids, MN:  40 mph
International Falls, MN:  40 mph
3 WNW Twig, MN:  40 mph
Moose Lake, MN:  40 mph
Walker, MN:  40 mph
7 WNW Minong, WI:  39 mph
Silver Bay, MN:  38 mph
Hayward, WI:  38 mph
Cook, MN:  37 mph
Orr, MN:  37 mph
Siren, WI:  37 mph
1 ESE Esko, MN:  36 mph
Aitkin, MN:  33 mph
Glidden, WI:  33 mph
Hinckley, MN:  32 mph
Bigfork, MN:  31 mph

Weather Tidbits

•29 subzero nights so far this winter (since Dec 1)  at Duluth, Minnesota — Average for winter (Dec 1 to Feb 28) is 34 subzero nights.

•87.2 inches of snow so far this month at Marquette, Michigan, and no that’s not even a record for February!  Their record snowfall total for the month of February is 91.9 inches set in 2002.  Marquette’s snowfall total of 87.2 inches thru February 24th is around +30 inches above normal!

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

A very cold late February day with increasing amounts of sunshine this afternoon as clouds from earlier in the day cleared out giving us a lot of late day sunshine! Highs today were only around zero to 5 above which is well below normal for February 25.

RAP model analysis from 5 PM Monday showed NW flow aloft covering the upper Midwest with an arctic airmass overhead with 850mb temps of -22 to -26C from south to north across our area with thickness values ranging from around 505 to 495 meters.

Arctic high pressure will remain over the upper Midwest and Great Lakes through Tuesday but some energy and weak lift moving east out of the northern Plains will lead to some accumulating snow for some parts of the area Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday morning.  Parameters in the dendritic growth zone or DGZ look to be most favorable over portions of northwest Wisconsin, possibly into far eastern Minnesota per SREF model, and that is the area where larger snowflakes are most likely to occur leading to greater snowfall accumulation compared to areas farther north where snowflake size is forecast to be smaller.

Tonight:  Another bitterly cold night as lows fall into the teens and 20s below with a few of the typical cold spots possibly as cold as the 30s below.  The only thing that may keep us a tiny bit warmer would be if clouds move in sooner than expected.  Not much wind tonight, but it doesn’t take much wind with temps as cold as they are to drop your wind chill to around 30 to 35 below.

Tuesday:  Increasing clouds through the day with some snow developing over southern portions of the area.  Highs in the single digits to around 10 above, so yes a little warmer than Monday’s highs.

…Looking Ahead…

More snow chances late this week, although the Thursday system looks like it will pass south of our area, while the Friday system is still being handled differently in model guidance with some models showing some snow for our area, others keep that system much farther south, stay tuned! One thing looks certain and that is the cold temperatures aren’t going away through next week.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

…Wind Chill Advisory for Duluth from 9 PM tonight to 6 AM Tuesday…

.Tonight…  Clear to partly cloudy.  Frigid.  Low 12 below to 17 below.  Wind west to northwest around 10 mph.  Wind chills as low as 30 below.

.Tuesday…  Mostly cloudy to partly sunny.  Some snow is possible especially after 2 PM.  Cold.  High 6 to 11.  Wind becoming south around 12 mph.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for February 26

High:  28
Low:   10

Sunrise Tuesday:  6:54 AM CST
Sunset Tuesday:   5:50 PM CST

Tim

Blowing snow continues this evening, blizzard warning North Shore and parts of northwest WI. Very cold week ahead with a few chances of snow

/Issued 3:39 PM CST, Sunday, February 24, 2019/

Blizzard Warning continues into this evening for the North Shore of Lake Superior, and for parts of northwest Wisconsin (red area on map)  Some cities included in the blizzard warning are Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Grand Marais, Ashland, Hayward, and Hurley.

Winter Weather Advisory continues into this evening for all of northern Minnesota, most of northeast Minnesota, east-central Minnesota and far northwest Wisconsin (purple area on map) Some cities included in the advisory are International Falls, Bigfork, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Aitkin, Hinckley, Moose Lake, Duluth, Hibbing, Cook, Orr, Ely, Superior, Solon Springs, Siren, and Shell Lake.

Note:  Will likely see wind chill headlines issued this evening for the entire Northland for the overnight-early Monday morning time frame.

Source:  https://www.spc.noaa.gov

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 2-24-19

Very strong northwest winds will linger through this evening with wind gusts of 25 to around 50 mph, possibly as strong as 60 mph along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Winds will begin to diminish from W-E late tonight, with less windy conditions expected Monday.

Note:  Peak wind gust at the Duluth Airport thru 4 PM Sunday:  50 mph

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

18z NAM-WRF model 2-24-19

Been a while since we’ve had to deal with bitterly cold wind chills, but that changes tonight through Monday morning as wind chill values fall to 25 below to around 40 below zero across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Source:  https://www.tropicaltidbits.com

Let’s take a look at how this massive winter storm looks on satellite imagery…

Goes-16 one minute Meso Sector infrared satellite loop from Sunday afternoon, February 24, 2019.  Major winter storm located just east of Lake Superior this afternoon.

Source:  https://weather.cod.edu

Goes-16 lower-level water vapor satellite loop from Sunday, February 24, 2019.

Source:  https://www.tropicaltidbits.com

Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Sunday, February 24, 2019.

Source:  https://weathermodels.com

12z European ensemble model (EPS) 2-24-19

Looking for signs of spring for the northern Plains and upper Midwest, not seeing any for the next 2 weeks which takes us to March 11.

Below normal temps in blue, green and purple colors on map
Above normal temps in orange and red colors on map

Source:  https://hprcc.unl.edu

Temperature departure map for the week of February 17, 2019 — Another week where the average temperature was below normal across all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.  Note:  Last week was the 6th week in a row where the average temperature was below normal at Duluth, Minnesota, the last time we had a week where the average temperature was above normal was the week of January 6!

Source:  https://hprcc.unl.edu

Precipitation departure map for the week of February 17, 2019 — Most of the Northland had precipitation totals that were above normal last week.

Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota

February 17-23, 2019

High Temperatures/Departure from Normal

2/17:  19 F/-6 degrees below normal
2/18:  18 F/-7 degrees below normal
2/19:  21 F/-4 degrees below normal
2/20:  25 F/-1 degree below normal
2/21:  29 F/+3 degrees above normal
2/22:  28 F/+2 degrees above normal
2/23:  31 F/+4 degrees above normal

Low Temperatures/Departure from Normal

2/17:  0 F/-7 degrees below normal
2/18:  -1 F/-8 degrees below normal
2/19:  -12 F/-19 degrees below normal
2/20:  7 F/-1 degree below normal
2/21:  16 F/+8 degrees above normal
2/22:  6 F/-3 degrees below normal
2/23:  23 F/+14 degrees above normal

Note:  Average temperature for the week of February 17:  15.0 degrees (-1.7 degrees below normal)  Source:  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Total precipitation:  0.55 inches
Normal:  0.23 inches
Departure:  +0.32 inches above normal

State Average for Minnesota for the week of February 17, 2019
Source:  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us

Temperature:  9.2 degrees
Departure:  -8.8 degrees below normal

Precipitation:  0.51 inches
Departure:  +0.33 inches above normal

Note:  With less than a week left of Meteorological winter 2018-2019 let’s take a look at how this winter is doing compared to average.

Meteorological winter is the 3 month period from December 1 to February 28

Duluth, Minnesota (Thru Feb 23)

Average temperature:  13.8 degrees
Departure:  +0.9 degrees above normal

Snowfall:  64.5 inches
Departure:  +17.6 inches above normal

International Falls, Minnesota (Thru Feb 23)

Average temperature:  6.9 degrees
Departure:  -0.8 degrees below normal

Snowfall:  44.9 degrees
Departure:  +6.1 inches above normal

Weather Tidbits

•Alpena, Michigan — New February low pressure record set today (24th) 978.7 mb.  Previous February record was 980.7 mb from February 25, 1975.  Source:  Twitter; @DRmetwatch

•Sault St. Marie, Michigan — New February low pressure record set  today (24th) 975.7 mb.  Previous February record was 977.3 mb set on February 11, 1932.  Source:  Twitter; @DRmetwatch

•In southern Minnesota — Freeborn County Sheriff’s office reported that it rescued 25 people in vehicles as of late Sunday morning, and the National Guard has rescued another 30.  Add in 3 more people rescued by State Patrol and 1 more by state Department of Transportation personnel, and that brings the total in this one county to 59 since the blizzard began late Saturday evening.  Source: Twitter; @StarTribune

•In southern Minnesota — Steele County — 24 people stranded because of the weather.  Source:  Twitter; @StarTribune

•February 2019 is now the snowiest month on record for any month at Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  41.0 inches of snow so far this month.  The previous snowiest month on record occurred in January 1929 with 35.3 inches of snow.  Source:  Twitter; @NWSTwinCities

•Numerous road closures across south-central Minnesota as of Sunday afternoon with additional travel not advised alerts over northwest Minnesota — Link to Minnesota road conditions https://lb.511mn.org//mnlb/winterdriving/routeselect.jsf

•Roads are also closed across parts of central and northern Wisconsin as of Sunday afternoon — Link to Wisconsin road conditions https://511wi.gov/map

24-Hour Snowfall Reports from February 23-24, 2019
Source:  https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Gile, WI:  10.5 inch
5 WSW Butternut, WI:  10.0 inch
3 N Butternut, WI:  8.0 inch
5 S Herbster, WI:  6.0 inch
5 SW Webb Lake, WI:  5.1 inch
2 SSE Winter, WI:  5.0 inch
1 WSW Maple, WI:  4.9 inch
International Falls, MN:  4.8 inch
9 N Bayfield, WI:  4.5 inch
2 S Hawthorne, WI:  4.5 inch
4 W Clam Lake, WI:  4.0 inch
9 WNW Hovland, MN:  3.0 inch
Cook, MN:  2.5 inch
1 W Solon Springs, WI:  2.5 inch
1 SSW Grantsburg, WI:  2.1 inch
3 ENE Holyoke, MN:  1.9 inch
Wrenshall, MN:  1.5 inch
7 ESE Superior, WI:  1.4 inch
Duluth Airport:  1.2 inch
6 E Island Lake, MN:  1.1 inch
1 N Cloquet, MN:  1.0 inch

Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Windy and cold day as a powerful storm just east of Lake Superior affected the region today with a very tight pressure gradient in place between a 974mb low over eastern Ontario province and a 1038mb high over western Canada, this combined with strong cold air advection and good pressure rises led to strong winds across the area today.  Wind speeds have been in the 15 to 25 mph range with gusts from 30 to around 50 mph! Blowing and drifting snow with brief whiteout conditions occurred across the area today while accumulating snow associated with the powerful low ended before Noon over all but far northeast Minnesota and around the Ashland, Gile and Hurley areas along the South Shore, those areas continued to see some snow this afternoon.

Strong low pressure will track northeast out of eastern Ontario province through Monday, the central pressure of the low will deepen a few millibars tonight, dropping down to ~971mb before it starts to slowly weaken on Monday.  Gusty winds will continue across our area tonight due to the tight pressure gradient between this low and an approaching arctic high from western Canada.  Winds will diminish on Monday as the aforementioned arctic high builds over the upper Midwest.

Tonight:  Windy and frigid.  Strongest winds before midnight, ranging from 15 to 30 mph, gusts to 50 mph especially along the North Shore.  Blowing and drifting snow will continue most of the night with blizzard conditions continuing this evening along the North Shore and over portions of northwest Wisconsin.  Lows tonight will be in the teens and 20s below zero with overnight wind chills of 25 below to 40 below.

Monday:  A dry but very cold day but with less wind.  Highs will be in the single digits below to single digits above zero.  Note:  Normal highs in late February are in the mid 20s.

…Looking Ahead…

There is a chance for some snow in parts of northeast and east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning, amounts are still a little uncertain, but at the moment this looks like around an inch, maybe two inches of powdery snow.

Another chance for some snow comes late this week, most likely in the Friday-Saturday morning time frame.

Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for February 25

High:  27
Low:  10

Sunrise Monday:  6:56 AM CST
Sunset Monday:   5:48 PM CST

Tim