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.
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
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.
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.
Goes-16 lower-level water vapor satellite loop from Sunday, February 24, 2019.
Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Sunday, February 24, 2019.
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
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!
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
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
•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
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.
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
Sunrise Monday: 6:56 AM CST
Sunset Monday: 5:48 PM CST