Something we’ve seen numerous times this month is this temperature gradient which is helping to fuel these storms. Wednesday afternoon temperatures ranging from around zero in eastern Montana to the low-mid 30s in southeast Minnesota and southern Wisconsin.
Radar loop through 5 PM Wednesday — Snow continues across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The snow will taper off from SW-NE by late tonight.
Winter Storm Warning in pink; Winter Weather Advisory in purple — All winter weather headlines expire at Midnight tonight.
Link to road conditions
Wisconsin — https://511wi.gov/map
Here’s my total snowfall accumulation map through late this evening, overall this looks pretty good based on reports I’ve seen late this afternoon, although probably won’t see very many totals over 6 inches in that 5 to 8 inch zone, in other words snow totals will be on the low end of that 5 to 8 inch range (likely closer in the 5 to 6 inch range)
Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Wednesday, February 20, 2019.
Impressive looking storm affecting the Upper Midwest and Western Great Lakes today.
Goes-16 infrared satellite loop from Wednesday afternoon, February 20, 2019.
A potent winter storm continues to lift N-NE through the region late this Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s the latest on this weekend’s storm threat
•Computer models are coming into better agreement on the overall storm track, timing and intensity.
•Low pressure could deepen rapidly from around 1002mb Saturday morning to around 980mb by Sunday morning as it moves northeast out of northern Texas/western Oklahoma.
•A narrow swath of heavy snow is possible northwest of the surface low with areas from northern Iowa to southeast Minnesota to central Wisconsin and western Upper Michigan having the greatest chance for significant snowfall amounts.
•Gusty north winds will develop Saturday night into Sunday with blowing snow and possible near blizzard conditions for parts of the Upper Midwest and Western Great Lakes.
•It’s still possible that the storm track could shift farther west or east in coming days, and that would also shift the area of heaviest snowfall.
Note: Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin is not out of the woods just yet, although based on Tuesday night and Wednesday’s model data it would appear that the heaviest snow associated with this storm would fall south/east of our area.
12z European ensemble model (EPS) 2-20-19
Temperatures across the Northland will be warming up a bit through the weekend with the coldest temperatures remaining over the northern Rockies and northern Plains before they advance farther south/east next week, in fact next week looks rather cold as we wrap up the month of February.
Orange and red colors indicate above normal temperatures
Blue, green and purple colors indicate below normal temperatures
Preliminary Snowfall Reports from Wednesday, February 20, 2019
2 SW Hinckley, MN: 7.0 inch
4 E Cloverdale, MN: 6.5 inch
3 SSW Bruno, MN: 6.0 inch
Ashland, WI: 5.6 inch
Grantsburg, WI: 5.5 inch
Webster, WI: 5.0 inch
Sandstone, MN: 5.0 inch
1 S Brainerd, MN: 4.8 inch
Butternut, WI: 4.8 inch
3 N Mahtowa, MN: 4.1 inch
1 N Cloquet, MN: 4.0 inch
3 E Payne, MN: 4.0 inch
Moose Lake, MN: 3.8 inch
Gordon, WI: 3.8 inch
McGregor, MN: 3.5 inch
Trego, WI: 3.5 inch
7 ESE Superior, WI: 3.1 inch
7 SE Grand Rapids, MN: 3.0 inch
1 WSW Two Harbors, MN: 3.0 inch
2 E Kettle River, MN: 2.9 inch
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Snow continues to fall across much of the Northland as of 6 PM Wednesday, the snow will gradually end from southwest to northeast by late tonight. Expect very hazardous driving conditions through the night with poor visibility continuing this evening because of the falling and blowing snow.
Gusty northeast winds will continue this evening near Lake Superior with blowing and drifting snow. Winds will diminish and shift to the west later tonight. Those NE winds coming off Lake Superior could cause some lake enhanced snow through around 8-9 PM tonight, but there isn’t a very large temperature difference between the surface and 850mb with H85 temps of around -8C this afternoon, typically you wanna see those values around -12 to -15C or colder for a better chance at lake enhanced snow.
Lows tonight will be in the single digits to around 20 degrees, but if skies clear in parts of the area, then low temps could drop a few degrees below zero.
Will get a break in the snow on Thursday with improving road conditions by the afternoon. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected Thursday with highs in the mid 20s to low 30s, yes some locations should climb into the low 30s Thursday afternoon which will lead to wet road surfaces by Thursday afternoon, but the morning hours could still feature slick/hazardous road conditions.
Snow chances increase across parts of the Northland sometime Friday afternoon or Friday night, with some snow possibly lingering through the weekend.
The snow Friday-Saturday morning would be caused by moisture lifting north on southerly winds ahead of a trough of low pressure, also will see some good dynamics with strong jet streaks setting up across the Upper Midwest. There likely will be a narrow stripe of possibly greater than 3 inches of snow somewhere in the Northland from Friday evening through Saturday morning, but there is uncertainty on exactly where the heaviest band of snow sets up.
The snow from Saturday evening through Sunday would be caused by the powerful storm coming out of the southern Plains, but there is still a lot of uncertainty on whether or not this storm would impact any of our area. Stay tuned.
Duluth, Minnesota Climate Normals for February 21
Sunrise Thursday: 7:03 AM CST
Sunset Thursday: 5:42 PM CST