*Winter Storm Warning (pink area on map) from 6 AM Wednesday to Midnight Wednesday night.
*Winter Weather Advisory (purple area on map) from 6 AM Wednesday to Midnight Wednesday night.
Expect deteriorating road conditions from south to north through the day Wednesday with hazardous travel conditions likely beginning mid to late Wednesday morning across southern areas, spreading farther north during the afternoon. Visibilities will be reduced to less than a mile at times due to the snow along with some patchy blowing snow.
Link to road conditions
Wisconsin — https://511wi.gov/map
Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for Wednesday’s system.
•4 to 6 inches of snow across all of east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, including the North Shore from Silver Bay to Duluth. Note: Low chance for a few 6″+ totals especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior where some lake enhanced snow is possible Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening.
•3 to 4 inches of snow across much of north-central Minnesota into the Arrowhead.
•1 to 3 inches of snow for far northern Minnesota including the International Falls area.
A few things to keep an eye on
-Duluth, Minnesota only needs 5.2 inches of snow the rest of this month to break the monthly snowfall record for February (record is 33.9 inches set in 1939) We could tie or break this record on Wednesday.
-Record daily snowfall total for February 20 is 10.9 inches set in 2014, this record is likely safe. But a top 5 snowiest February 20 is quite possible on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s low won’t be terribly deep but it will have a lot of dynamics with strong jet stream winds and very good lift while the trough over the Rockies heads into the upper Midwest and turns negatively tilted on Wednesday.
Again not an overly strong surface low on Wednesday with modest deepening from ~1009mb to ~1005mb as it lifts northeast out of northeast Kansas to west-central Wisconsin.
Goes-16 lower-level water vapor satellite loop from Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
Wednesday’s snow event for the Northland is currently affecting much of the central U.S. and points east. There’s been a lot of thunderstorm activity associated with this low across parts of the southern U.S. today, even some ThunderSnow reported in parts of Oklahoma today.
21z RAP model 2-19-19
Strongest lift indicated by the yellow, orange and red colors on this loop, and this is where moderate to heavy bands of snow are possible on Wednesday with snowfall rates up to an inch per hour. These heavier bands of snow are forecast to lift N-NE out of southern Minnesota by late Wednesday morning through Wednesday afternoon.
18z NAM-WRF model 2-19-19
Note: Often times these winter storms start a little later than what is forecast, and this could happen with Wednesday’s storm, so if it’s not snowing in Duluth by 9 AM Wednesday don’t celebrate or panic depending on how you feel about getting more snow, the snow will get here.
Snow is forecast to begin in Duluth between 9-11 AM Wednesday, the snow will begin a little earlier farther south, and probably not until Wednesday afternoon before the snow makes it into far northern Minnesota and the Arrowhead.
It’ll snow through the afternoon-early evening with snow tapering off from west to east Wednesday night.
Goes-16 visible satellite image
Couple things to point out on the visible satellite loop from Tuesday
1) There continues to be enough open water over Lake Superior (heat/moisture source) to generate lake effect clouds and snow showers today.
2) The ice is moving a bit to the northeast thanks to southwest winds today which is helping to shift the ice a bit to the northeast.
3) As winds turn to the east on Wednesday will likely see the ice shift back to the west just a bit.
12z European ensemble model (EPS) 2-19-19
500mb pattern through Sunday evening, basically a rinse and repeat pattern with one trough ejecting out of the Rockies and moving through the upper Midwest on Wednesday, then the ridge over the east builds west a bit, but then gets shoved back to the east thanks to another potent trough which lifts quickly northeast out of the southern Rockies this weekend.
Note: Warmer temps/ridging in red colors on map; Troughs and colder temps in blue and green colors on map.
•Still some uncertainty per model guidance on this weekend’s storm track, but parts of the Northland could be impacted by this storm from late Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
•It looks like a quick hitting storm where-ever it goes, but it could be intense with the surface low possibly deepening from ~1000mb to ~980mb between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, that would be very impressive!
•A corridor of heavy snowfall (possibly a narrow one) with rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour is possible on the NW side of the low with increasing winds possibly leading to near blizzard conditions Saturday night into Sunday.
•Certainly a storm to keep an eye on over the next few days, but it’s not a slam dunk that it will affect northeast Minnesota or northwest Wisconsin.
Low temperature reports from Tuesday morning, February 19, 2019
3 SE Cotton, MN: -29 F
7 E Effie, MN: -25 F
5 NW Ash Lake, MN: -25 F
Embarrass, MN: -23 F
Kabetogama, MN: -23 F
Babbitt, MN: -22 F
Crane Lake, MN: -22 F
Ely, MN: -22 F
Bigfork, MN: -22 F
Chisholm-Hibbing, MN: -21 F
Silver Bay, MN: -20 F
Cass Lake, MN: -20 F
Cook, MN: -20 F
Gunflint Lake, MN: -20 F
Longville, MN: -20 F
Kettle River, MN: -19 F
Aitkin, MN: -18 F
Brainerd, MN: -18 F
Glidden, WI: -18 F
International Falls, MN: -18 F
Walker, MN: -18 F
Moose Lake, MN: -17 F
Barnes, WI: -16 F
7 WNW Minong, WI: -16 F
Grand Marais Airport: -15 F
Grand Rapids, MN: -15 F
Hayward, WI: -15 F
2 ENE Oliver, WI: -15 F
Hinckley, MN: -13 F
Ashland, WI: -12 F
Siren, WI: -12 F
Cloquet, MN: -11 F
Duluth Airport: -11 F
1 ESE Esko, MN: -10 F
Outlook for Duluth and Superior
…Winter Storm Warning from 6 AM Wednesday to Midnight Wednesday night…
This evening: Mostly clear. Temperatures falling into the single digits with light winds.
Overnight: Increasing cloudiness. Temperatures in the single digits. Wind becoming east to southeast 5 to 10 mph.
Wednesday morning: Mostly cloudy. Snow gradually developing between 9-11 AM.
Wednesday afternoon: Snow and blustery with areas of blowing snow. High around 20. Wind east to northeast 10 to 20 mph, gusts to around 30 mph possible.
Wednesday night: Snow tapering off before Midnight. Total snowfall accumulations of 4 to 6 inches.
Note: The heaviest snowfall and strongest winds are expected from Wednesday afternoon through early Wednesday evening (roughly from Noon to 7 PM)
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for February 20
Sunrise Wednesday: 7:05 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday: 5:41 PM CST