Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for Friday’s event.
•Greatest amounts over far southern portions of the area with 2 to 3 inches of snow possible roughly along and south of a line from Pine River to Solon Springs to Glidden, including Brainerd, Sandstone, Hinckley, Shell Lake, Hayward and Winter.
•1 to 2 inches of snow generally along/south of Highway 2 in northeast Minnesota and over far northwest Wisconsin including Hill City, Cloquet, Duluth, Superior and Ashland.
•Around an inch of snow for Grand Rapids, Bigfork, Hibbing, Babbitt, Two Harbors and Silver Bay.
Link to road conditions
Wisconsin — https://511wi.gov/map
18z NAM-WRF model 2-28-19
Timing of when the snow will start is always tricky, and I’m sure Friday’s snow event won’t be any different.
Looks like the snow will begin in western-southern portions of the Northland between 8-11 AM Friday. The snow is then forecast to move farther to the E-NE Friday afternoon, snow ends Friday evening from west to east.
Note: Snow could begin in Duluth between 11 AM-1 PM Friday with snow coming to an end later Friday evening (around midnight)
12z European computer model (ECMWF) 2-28-19
Widespread very cold, possibly record breaking cold on the way this weekend into early next week from the northern and central Plains to the upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Forecast below shows the 850mb temperatures from Saturday through Tuesday, March 2-5.
The first day of Meteorological spring is almost here!
Friday, March 1 marks the beginning of Meteorological spring, the 3 month period from March 1 to May 31. Days are getting longer, sun is getting stronger, now we just have to melt 2 to 4 feet of snow and nearly 85% ice coverage on Lake Superior — It will take a while, possibly a long while for all that to happen, but spring will show up, eventually!
March Climate Averages for Duluth, Minnesota (1981-2010)
Temperature: 26.0 degrees
Precipitation: 1.49 inches
Snowfall: 13.2 inches
9 days with a high of at least 40 degrees
3 days with a high of at least 50 degrees
1 day with a high of at least 60 degrees
3 days with a subzero low temperature
9 days with snowfall of at least 0.1 inch
4 days with snowfall of at least 1.0 inch
Normal high on the 1st: 29 degrees
Normal high on the 31st: 41 degrees
Normal low on the 1st: 11 degrees
Normal low on the 31st: 24 degrees
Warmest: 39.2 degrees set in 2012
Coldest: 13.5 degrees set in 1923
Wettest: 5.12 inches set in 1965
Driest: 0.22 inches set in 1959
Snowiest: 48.2 inches set in 1917
Driest: Trace set in 2012
Average date for first 50 degree day is March 18, but last year the first 50 degree day in Duluth didn’t occur until April 19, a full month and one day later than usual.
Astronomical Data for March
Sunrise on the 1st: 6:49 AM CST
Sunrise on the 31st: 6:50 AM CDT
Sunset on the 1st: 5:54 PM CST
Sunset on the 31st: 7:35 PM CDT
Note: Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 10 at 2 AM.
Past March snowfall totals for Duluth, Minnesota (2000-2018)
Average March snowfall is 13.2 inches
2000: 9.5 inches
2001: 7.9 inches
2002: 29.7 inches
2003: 17.1 inches
2004: 11.6 inches
2005: 6.3 inches
2006: 12.5 inches
2007: 25.5 inches
2008: 13.6 inches
2009: 15.5 inches
2010: Trace (least snowiest March on record)
2011: 7.4 inches
2012: 11.9 inches
2013: 25.8 inches
2014: 20.9 inches
2015: 8.1 inches
2016: 17.3 inches
2017: 5.3 inches
2018: 5.1 inches
Note: The past 2 March snowfall totals have been well below average in Duluth, while the snowiest March since 2000 occurred in 2002 with 29.7 inches of snow.
…Climate Data for February 27, 2019…
4th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 27 with a high on Wednesday of 12 degrees. The record cold high temperature for February 27 is -3 degrees set in 2014.
5th lowest maximum temperature on record for February 27 with a high on Wednesday of 12 degrees. The record cold high temperature for February 27 is -12 degrees set in 1919.
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Partly to mostly sunny skies were found across the area today with highs mainly in the 20s as we wrap up a memorable February which included new record monthly snowfall totals at Duluth and Brainerd; 4th snowiest February on record at International Falls. Many other locations across the northern Rockies and upper Midwest had a top 10 or an all-time snowiest February on record as well. A February for the ages!
RAP model analysis from late Thursday afternoon showed a W-NW 500mb flow in place over the upper Midwest. An area of low pressure was located over west-central Ontario province with southwest breezes occurring across the Northland today to the south of that surface low.
The surface low to our north will be moving off to the east through Friday. A cold front connected to that low will move SE into north-central Minnesota tonight, then stall out for a time before getting pushed farther south/east and out of our area by Friday night. This front will get a nice push to the SE thanks to a wave of low pressure which is forecast to move E-NE out of the western High Plains on Friday.
Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy skies with lows in the single digits above to the teens below zero. Winds less than 15 mph and out of the southwest, but becoming more variable in north-central Minnesota later in the night.
Friday: The first day of Meteorological spring brings with it a few inches of snow, I know that’s shocking! Overcast skies with snow developing before Noon across east-central Minnesota. Snow spreads into northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late Friday morning through the midday hours. Note: SREF model guidance shows the dendritic growth zone being maximized over central/eastern Minnesota into west-central Wisconsin on Friday, and that is the area where the greatest snowfall is expected to occur with lighter snowfall totals farther north. Expect hazardous driving conditions due to the snow especially Friday afternoon-evening. Highs on Friday will be in the mid teens to mid 20s.
An arctic blast is on the way this weekend with the coldest days looking to be Sunday and Monday, this is when we could be setting new record cold high and or low temps across the Northland. The cold airmass moves in late Saturday with 850mb temperatures falling to -22 to -28C which is impressive for January, even more impressive for early March!
Although the airmass will modify a bit after next Monday, temperatures still look chilly and will remain below normal through at least March 8.
Record cold high temperatures for March 3
Duluth: 2 F (2002)
International Falls: 3 F (2002)
Hibbing: 3 F (2002)
Brainerd: 5 F (2002)
Ashland: 7 F (2002)
Record low temperatures for March 3
International Falls: -33 F (2014)
Hibbing: -33 F (2014)
Brainerd: -24 F (2014)
Ashland: -24 F (1950)
Duluth: -23 F (2014)
Record cold high temperatures for March 4
International Falls: 2 F (2015)
Brainerd: 3 F (2015)
Duluth: 3 F (2015)
Hibbing: 3 F (2015)
Ashland: 7 F (2015)
Record low temperatures for March 4
International Falls: -25 F (2003)
Ashland: -24 F (1913)
Hibbing: -18 F (2014)
Duluth: -18 F (1875)
Brainerd: -16 F (2015)
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
.Tonight… Clear to partly cloudy. Low 1 below to 4 above. Wind west to southwest at 5 to 15 mph.
.Friday… Becoming mostly cloudy. Snow developing between 11 AM-1 PM. Snow covered/slick roads possible during the afternoon/evening. High 17 to 22. Wind variable around 12 mph. Total snowfall accumulations by late Friday evening of 1 to 2 inches.
Normal temperatures for March 1
Sunrise Friday: 6:49 AM CST
Sunset Friday: 5:54 PM CST