21z RAP model 2-1-19
For those wanting early spring temperatures you’ll have to head south to Nebraska or western Iowa on Saturday, those areas are expected to be in the 50s and 60s Saturday afternoon. A lot cooler farther north with highs in the teens and 20s.
18z NAM-WRF model 2-1-19
Light snow ends this evening over the Arrowhead, then we could see a few lake effect flurries along the North Shore Saturday, followed by some patchy freezing drizzle or flurries in parts of the area Saturday evening into Sunday morning.
Updated track for the late weekend system — More details below
February is here, and this is the final month of Meteorological winter, the period from December 1 to February 28.
February Climate Normals for Duluth, Minnesota (1981-2010)
Temperature: 15.1 degrees
Precipitation: 0.81 inches
Snowfall: 12.4 inches
8 days with a high of 32 degrees or warmer
10 subzero nights
10 days with snowfall of at least 0.1 inch
4 days with snowfall of at least 1.0 inch
Normal high on the 1st: 20 degrees
Normal high on the 28th: 28 degrees
Normal low on the 1st: 2 degrees
Normal low on the 28th: 11 degrees
Records for February
Warmest: 31.3 degrees set in 1877
Coldest: -2.2 degrees set in 1936
Snowiest: 33.9 inches set in 1939
Least snowiest: 1.0 inch set in 1896
Wettest: 4.24 inches set in 1922
Driest: 0.10 inches set in 1896
Astronomical Data for February
Sunrise on the 1st: 7:33 AM CST
Sunrise on the 28th: 6:50 AM CST
Sunset on the 1st: 5:12 PM CST
Sunset on the 28th: 5:52 PM CST
Note: The final month of Meteorological winter is here, let’s see how my forecast for this winter for Duluth is doing as we enter into the final month of Winter 2018-19.
Forecast made on November 15 — Link to my winter forecast here https://www.northlandweatherblog.com/2018/11/2018-2019-winter-forecast-for-duluth.html
Average temperature: 11.5 degrees
Actual (thru Jan 31) 14.6 degrees
Number of subzero nights: 35
Actual (thru Jan 31) 19 subzero nights
Snowfall: 40 to 45 inches
Actual (thru Jan 31) 30.2 inches
Will see if my winter forecast verified nicely, or not so nicely 4 weeks from now.
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Did it hit 50 degrees in Duluth today? Oh wait, I mean was it 50 degrees warmer in Duluth today compared to the last few days? Anyways…
Highs today made a good run at the normal high for February 1 which is in the upper teens to around 20 degrees, but they fell short by roughly 5 to 10 degrees. Highs on this Friday afternoon topped out in the 10 above to middle teens range under mostly cloudy skies.
There’s been some snow this afternoon in extreme northern Minnesota, mainly from around Ely to Grand Marais on north. The reason for that snow is the strong warm air advection which was occurring across the upper Midwest today while some additional lift was provided by an area of low pressure and warm front which were over the northern Plains.
850mb temperatures have warmed considerably compared to the last few days with H85 temps as of 5 PM Friday ranging from +2C in the Brainerd Lakes area to -6C around Grand Marais.
There is a large pool of mild 850mb temps of +4 to +8C covering the northern Rockies and northern Plains today, and that airmass will be over most of the upper Midwest this weekend, but as I pointed out in Thursday’s blog, we won’t be able to fully mix these warmer 850mb temps down to the surface, if we did we’d have widespread highs in the 30s, 40s and maybe even some 50s in the Northland, instead we’re looking at daytime highs in the teens, 20s to lower 30s Saturday and Sunday, yes a lot warmer compared to the historic cold the last few days, but nothing really out of the ordinary for early February in regards to the expected temps this weekend.
A frontal boundary will more or less setup to our south this weekend, will eventually build up enough moisture to produce patchy freezing drizzle or snow flurries across parts of the area, mainly from Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning. Could see some lake effect snow showers or areas of freeing drizzle along the North Shore as well Saturday into Sunday morning with winds turning to the east, but this shouldn’t be a big deal.
By Sunday night into Monday a larger area of low pressure will approach from the western High Plains. There has been an overall trend for colder temperatures to work into the Northland ahead of this low, so most of our area should see snow out of this system with the exception to this in parts of northwest Wisconsin where a wintry mix is still possible.
I do have some concerns with this system — read on…
1) How fast the low moves, could cut down on overall precip/snowfall amounts.
2) Potential split, with one area of organized precip lifting E-NE out of west-central Minnesota, while another area of more organized precip impacts parts of Wisconsin. This will have to be watched closely in model runs over the weekend, because it will have an impact on how much snow we get in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
3) This system doesn’t really look to phase completely until it gets past our area, this also raises a red flag in that we might not get much more than a few inches of snow, but for now I think a general 3 to around 6 inches of snow looks like a good starting point for parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin and I’ll adjust accordingly through the weekend.
4) There is still a chance we see the computer models trend back to a farther north/warmer solution like they were showing as late as Thursday afternoon, but at least for now the consensus is for a farther south track to the low, and a colder airmass over the Northland.
Note: As of now I’m not expecting this to be a major winter storm for our area, so don’t believe the hype that media outlets or others may be doing leading up to this potential snow event for late this weekend. I’m thinking we could have enough snow leading to some travel impacts for the Monday morning commute, but then again it doesn’t take much more than a few inches of snow to mess up the roads.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for February 2
Sunrise Saturday: 7:32 AM CST
Sunset Saturday: 5:13 PM CST