Here’s my snowfall potential map for this weekend’s system. Note: Adjustments to snowfall amounts/gradients shown on the map are possible the next 24-36 hours.
This snow should have more water in it compared to recent snow events around here, in other words a wetter snow/more concrete like, not real easy to move.
•For Duluth — I’m going with lower snow totals than what most model guidance is showing as I have a feeling the snow is going to take a while to get here, and will have a tough time penetrating through the dry airmass coming off Lake Superior, eventually the snow should make it into Duluth, but that might not happen until sometime Saturday night, say between the hours of 7-11 PM, and it may even be a little later than that. 3 to 5 inches of snow is possible in Duluth from Saturday night into Sunday. East winds 5 to 15 mph Saturday morning, increasing to 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning. Some blowing and drifting snow is possible, especially Saturday night.
•1 to 3 inches of snow over extreme northeast Minnesota, from around Grand Marais on north.
•A broad swath of 3 to 5 inches of snow across north-central and northeast Minnesota through far northwest Wisconsin, including International Falls, Cook, Ely, Bigfork, Hibbing, Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Superior, Bayfield and Ashland.
•The heaviest snow of 5 to 8 inches looks to setup across east-central Minnesota into southern portions of northwest Wisconsin including Brainerd, Aitkin, Moose Lake, Hinckley and Hayward.
Winter storm watch remains in effect for all of northwest Wisconsin and for east-central and parts of northeast Minnesota from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. This watch could be upgraded to a warning or an advisory by Friday evening, and we could see additional winter weather headlines issued farther north.
Some cities included in the winter storm watch — Walker, Brainerd, Aitkin, Hill City, Pine City, Moose Lake, Cloquet, Duluth, Superior, Solon Springs, Bayfield, Ashland, Shell Lake and Hayward.
A larger view of the area that is covered by a winter storm watch this weekend (blue shaded area on map)
Computer models agree on an area of low pressure being located over west-central portions of Kansas Saturday morning. This low will lift northeast toward northern portions of Lake Michigan by Sunday morning.
Snow is expected northwest of the surface low with rain to the southeast of the low and a wintry mix of precipitation in between.
93% of Lake Superior is covered by ice as of Thursday morning, March 7, 2019. Will it get to 100% ice covered or close to 100%? Will see!
After this weekend’s storm, there is another one that has been showing up in model guidance for a while now for the middle-end of next week.
This storm could have a stronger push of warm air with it, and as a result we could see a messy mixture of precipitation of snow, rain and possibly even some freezing rain across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — Significant amounts of snow, ice or rain are possible with this storm the middle of next week. Stay tuned!
This isn’t want you want to see with all the snow still on the ground and a delayed spring thaw. Potential for widespread 1 to 2 inch plus precipitation totals across the northern Plains and upper Midwest through the middle of next week, a lot of this will fall as snow, but some rain or ice is possible as well, especially with next week’s storm. Note: The potential for snowmelt flooding continues to increase across parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest over the next few weeks.
Weather Synopsis for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
Ridge of high pressure stretched from the upper Midwest to Ohio Valley this afternoon. Mostly sunny skies were found across the area today with just some passing mid/high level clouds at times. Highs today were mainly in the upper teens to lower 20s (roughly 10 degrees below normal for March 7)
RAP model analysis from 4 PM Thursday had the upper Midwest in a W-NW flow aloft. Airmass continues to modify with 850mb temperatures of around -10C over the Northland this afternoon.
Tonight: Partly cloudy skies and still on the chilly side although not as frigid as it has been lately. Lows will be in the single digits below to single digits above zero with a few spots possibly falling into the teens below. Winds will be out of the southwest at 5 to 15 mph.
Friday: Warmest temps we’ve seen around here in roughly 2 weeks are on the way Friday with highs in the middle 20s to lower 30s which is near to a few degrees cooler than normal for March 8. Partly to mostly sunny skies are forecast with winds out of the south/southwest at 10 to 15 mph.
Snow gradually develops across the Northland from SW-NE Saturday afternoon-night. Usually these storms come in slower than what model guidance shows, and with increasing east winds and some dry air, a slower trend could certainly play out with the onset of accumulating snow.
Heaviest snow is expected Saturday night with lingering light snow during the day Sunday.
Travel conditions will deteriorate from SW-NE late Saturday afternoon/Saturday night. Roads will become snow covered and slippery, and visibilities will be greatly reduced due to the snow and some blowing snow. It’s possible that snowfall rates could reach 1 to around 2 inches per hour late Saturday afternoon/Saturday night, especially over portions of east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
.Tonight… Clear to partly cloudy. Low 0 to 5 above. Wind southwest around 10 mph.
.Friday… Partly to mostly sunny. High 28 to 33. Wind south to southwest at 10 to 15 mph.
Normal temperatures for March 8
Sunrise Friday: 6:36 AM CST
Sunset Friday: 6:04 PM CST