Surface map from early this Wednesday afternoon had a strong area of low pressure over western portions of Kansas with strong high pressure near Hudson Bay Canada with a very tight pressure gradient between the high and low which is leading to strong winds!
A lot of warm air over the central/southern Plains while cold air pours south out of central Canada.
The surface low moves slowly northeast out of western Kansas toward the Minnesota/Iowa border by Friday morning. The low deepens quite a bit through tonight, then slowly weakens by Friday morning.
Winter storm warning in effect for all of northeast Minnesota and all of northwest Wisconsin from early Thursday morning through early Friday afternoon.
Storm watch continues for western Lake Superior from late tonight through Friday morning with potential of east-northeast storm force wind gusts to 50 knots and waves 15 to 20 feet.
***Lakeshore flood watch*** is in effect from late tonight through late Thursday night for the green shaded area on map, including southern St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas Counties, this includes the cities of Duluth and Superior.
-Large waves may cause lakeshore erosion and tidal overflow into areas like Canal Park. The lakewalk may be damaged especially since the waves will contain large chunks of ice that will loft onto the shoreline.
-Lakeshore flooding is possible along the western shoreline of Lake Superior.
-A lakeshore flood watch means that conditions favorable for lakeshore flooding are expected to develop. Residents on or near the shore should take action to protect property, and listen for later statements or warnings.
No changes made to my snowfall potential map as of Noon Wednesday.
Snow is already falling and blowing around across portions of southern Minnesota with reports of 2 to 6 inches of snow accumulation as of Noon today south of the Twin Cities.
Links to road conditions
Wisconsin — https://511wi.gov/map#:Alerts
Power Outage maps
Minnesota Power — https://www.mnpower.com/OutageCenter/OutageMap
Lake Country Power — http://outage.lcp.coop/#viewer-menu-parent
Link to Duluth Harbor Cam
A powerful spring storm is on the way!
Initial stages of this storm are already occurring in the Duluth area today as easterly winds continue to increase. Winds of 20 to around 30 mph with gusts to 35 mph will continue through this evening in the Twin Ports area.
It’s going to take some time for the snow to spread north into our area which is typical with this kind of setup. Eventually we should see the snow move into southern portions of the Northland tonight, then farther north during the day Thursday.
Based on model guidance — Snow should begin to fall in Duluth-Superior between 6-10 AM Thursday (timing subject to change)
Snow will continue Thursday afternoon into Friday.
A layer of warm air aloft in the 700-850mb layer of the atmosphere will get pulled north into at least east-central Minnesota and portions of northwest Wisconsin Thursday afternoon/Thursday night, this could cause the snow to mix with or change to sleet, drizzle and possibly some freezing rain in those aforementioned areas later in the day Thursday, this could lead to slightly lower snowfall totals for those areas than what I have in my forecast. Note: It’s possible that this warm layer could shift farther north, possibly into the Twin Ports and North Shore areas Thursday night, if this happens, then we could see the snow mix with or change to sleet or freezing rain in these areas.
Wind is going to be a major factor with this storm especially near Lake Superior where east to northeast winds of 25 to 40 mph will occur through early Friday morning, while wind gusts of 40 to around 60 mph develop later tonight, continuing through Thursday evening. Tree limbs and power lines could come down due to the strong winds leading to some power outages.
The weight of the snow onto trees and power lines could also lead to sporadic power outages in other parts of the Northland as well Thursday into Friday morning.
I’ll have another update later this afternoon.