Here’s my preliminary snowfall forecast for Wednesday’s system.
•A swath of around 4 to 6 inches of snow is possible across east-central Minnesota, all of northwest Wisconsin including in the Twin Ports and North Shore areas. Locally higher amounts are possible along the North Shore of Lake Superior where some lake enhanced snow could develop, although ice coverage over Lake Superior could limit the amount of lake enhanced snow we see.
•2 to 4 inches of snow is possible over much of north-central Minnesota into the Arrowhead.
•1 to 2 inches of snow over far northern Minnesota including in the International Falls area.
18z NAM model 2-18-19
Should be some good lift with Wednesday’s system with the darker colors on map representing the strongest lift and possibly moderate to even heavy snowfall bands which are expected to lift north/northeast out of southern Minnesota during the late morning and afternoon hours on Wednesday.
18z NAM-WRF model 2-18-19
Timing of Wednesday’s snow
•Looks to begin early Wednesday morning across southwest portions of the area (Brainerd Lakes area)
•Snow is then expected to overspread the remainder of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from south to north Wednesday morning thru early Wednesday afternoon.
•Snow ends from southwest to northeast Wednesday night.
Note: Looks like the snow will begin in Duluth and Superior Wednesday morning between 8-11 AM.
Here’s the basic pattern that is expected through this weekend, possibly lingering into next week.
The storm this weekend could be a big one, but there continues to be differences in the storm track and intensity per model data, however, the trend since the 00z run from Sunday night is for a more northerly storm track with more phasing between the north and south branches of the jet stream.
Computer models will continue to struggle with this storm due to potential split flow.
Will the northern/southern branches of the jet remain phased in future model runs?
How far west will the ridge build that is currently over the southeast US?
How will the trough come out of the Rockies? Will it be negatively tilted?
Still quite a few things for the models to resolve through late this week, but there is at least some potential for a significant winter storm this weekend which may affect portions of the Northland.
This weekend’s storm could have a severe side to it with a risk of severe thunderstorms over portions of the southern US and lower-middle Mississippi Valley regions (yellow area on map)
Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Monday, February 18, 2019.
A nice view of current ice conditions over Lake Superior which is at ~70% as of Monday morning.
Note: Clouds move on the image below.
Low temperature reports from Monday morning, February 18, 2019
5 E Seagull Lake, MN: -31 F
5 NW Ash Lake, MN: -27 F
Babbitt, MN: -26 F
Embarrass, MN: -25 F
Crane Lake, MN: -24 F
Cook, MN: -24 F
Kabetogama, MN: -24 F
Littlefork, MN: -23 F
Ely, MN: -22 F
International Falls, MN: -22 F
Bigfork, MN: -20 F
Aitkin, MN: -18 F
Silver Bay, MN: -18 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN: -17 F
Cass Lake, MN: -16 F
3 WNW Twig, MN: -16 F
1 W Isabella, MN: -14 F
Brainerd, MN: -12 F
Kettle River, MN: -12 F
Siren, WI: -12 F
Grand Marais Airport: -11 F
Hayward, WI: -11 F
3 E Wright, MN: -10 F
Grand Rapids, MN: -9 F
Two Harbors, MN: -9 F
4 SSE South Range, WI: -8 F
7 WNW Minong, WI: -8 F
Barnes, WI: -6 F
Duluth Airport: -1 F
Note: Check out some of these snowfall totals so far this month (thru Feb 18)
Snowfall: 61.3 inches (3rd snowiest Feb so far)
Departure: +38 inches above normal
Record Feb snowfall is 91.9 inches set in 2002
Snowfall: 28.8 inches (6th snowiest Feb so far)
Departure: +21 inches above normal
Record Feb snowfall is 33.9 inches set in 1939
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Snowfall: 28.7 inches (New record for February) previous snowiest was 28.2 inches set in 1936
Departure: +24 inches above normal
Twin Cities, Minnesota
Snowfall: 22.6 inches (4th snowiest Feb so far)
Departure: +18 inches above normal
Record Feb snowfall is 26.5 inches set in 1962
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
A nice looking day out there with plenty of sunshine, but temperatures remained on the cool side with highs in the mid teens to around 20 degrees (roughly 5-10 degrees below normal for Feb 18)
Tonight: Another very cold night ahead with lows Tuesday morning similar to what we saw Monday morning with lows in the single digits, teens and 20s below zero with a few spots dipping into the 30s below zero! High pressure passing through the upper Midwest will lead to mainly clear skies along with fairly light winds tonight setting the stage for a cold night.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies as high pressure remains in control while it moves slowly off to the E-SE later in the day. Highs on Tuesday in the teens to lower 20s.
Snow moves in during the day Wednesday, and this could be the start of what may be a very stormy/snowy stretch of weather for parts of the Northland, with additional snow chances Friday through Saturday morning, and possibly again from Saturday evening into Sunday. Buckle up! Note: At least we melted some of the snow on the ground with how ‘mild’ it’s been lately. Oh wait…
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for February 19
Sunrise Tuesday: 7:06 AM CST
Sunset Tuesday: 5:39 PM CST