Radar loop ending at 4:30 PM, Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
Rain in green; snow in blue.
Already seeing the rain changing over to snow late this Wednesday afternoon in parts of east-central Minnesota and far northwest Wisconsin, this trend should continue through the evening as precipitation lifts north reaching the Iron Range, North Shore and Arrowhead.
Heavier bands of precipitation farther south will be lifting north into portions of the Northland tonight with heavy snow possible at times.
…Here’s my updated snowfall forecast…
•Generally 1-3 inches of snow in the advisory area, and 3-6 inches of snow in the warning area, however, totals greater than 6 inches, possibly approaching double digit snow totals can’t be ruled out in some spots that are in the 3-6 inch zone.
•Other impacts include strong northeast winds especially near Lake Superior where wind gusts of 25 to around 40 mph are possible tonight into early Thursday morning.
•Patchy blowing snow and reduced visibilities once the snow begins.
Winter Storm Warning in pink including the cities of Duluth, Cloquet, Moose Lake, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Isabella, Grand Maris, Superior, Solon Springs and Bayfield.
Winter Weather Advisory in purple including the cities of Crane Lake, Ely, Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Hill City, Aitkin, McGregor, Hinckley, Sandstone, Grantsburg, Minong, Shell Lake, Hayward and Ashland.
Note: Both the warning and advisory are in effect from this evening ( 7 PM) through Thursday morning (10 AM)
Travel could be very difficult later this evening into Thursday morning, the hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.
There may be power outages due to the wet and heavy nature of the snow.
18z NAM-WRF model 5-8-19
•Rain will continue to lift north/northeast across the Northland late this afternoon-early this evening.
•The combination of evaporative and dynamical cooling will cause the low level temperatures to become cold enough (between 32-35 degrees) allowing the rain to mix with snow, and change to all snow tonight in parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
•Some of the snow could be heavy at times from mid evening through the overnight hours, especially in far eastern Minnesota, parts of northwest Wisconsin and near Lake Superior.
•Snow and rain or snow changing to rain/drizzle will occur Thursday morning with precipitation tapering off from west to east by mid or late Thursday morning.
•Spotty rain showers could redevelop Thursday afternoon with temperatures ranging from the 40s to low-mid 50s (warmest temps) near the Brainerd Lakes area.
Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from May 8, 2019.
A strong spring storm lifting N/NE across the Central Plains into the upper Midwest and Great Lakes today and tonight.
Link to Road Conditions
Link to Power Outage maps
Minnesota Power: https://www.mnpower.com/OutageCenter/OutageMap
Lake Country Power: http://outage.lcp.coop/#viewer-menu-parent
An historic May snowstorm on the way in Duluth?
Top 5 highest calendar day snowfall totals on record in Duluth, Minnesota
1) 5.5 inches May 10, 1902
2) 5.0 inches May 8, 1924
3) 4.4 inches May 7, 2010
4) 4.3 inches May 2, 1950
5) 3.6 inches May 17, 1903
Top 5 snowiest Mays on record in Duluth, Minnesota
1) 8.1 inches May 1954
2) 6.0 inches May 1950
3) 5.7 inches May 1924
4) 5.5 inches May 1902
5) 4.5 inches May 2010
Note: Snowfall total so far this month is at 0.3 inches, will need an additional 7.8 inches of snow this month to tie the snowiest May on record, and 7.9 inches of additional snow this month to break the record from May 1954.
May 8th weather history — Only 7 snowfall events with 0.1 inch or greater accumulation in Duluth; just 5% of years since 1885 with snowfall of at least 0.1 inch on May 8th, and 1% of years with snowfall of 1 inch or more, or 3 inches or more on May 8th, dating back to 1885.
May 9th weather history — Only 1 snowfall event with 0.1 inch or greater accumulation in Duluth, that occurred on May 9, 1990 with 0.2 inches of snow. Just 1% of years since 1885 with at least 0.1 inch of snow on May 9th, and 0% of years with snowfall of 1 inch or more, or 3 inches or more. Note: Bottom line is that we could be in very rare territory depending on how much snow we get out of this storm in Duluth.
Lots of changes taking place with this storm. First off the issuance of a winter weather advisory, which has since been upgraded to a winter storm warning for some parts of the area. The NAM model has been consistently showing a significant amount of snow with this storm while other models showed some snow, but not nearly as much as the NAM. Computer model runs today have been trending toward the NAM solution so confidence has increased enough where the National Weather Service has upgraded parts of the Northland to a Winter Storm Warning, this still doesn’t guarantee that heavy snow accumulations will occur in the warning area, it is May after all, and it could take a while for the snow to start accumulating on grassy/elevated surfaces, and perhaps even longer for the snow to begin accumulating on roads, but the potential is there for a rare heavy May snowfall event, thus the upgrade to a winter storm warning.
…Gale Warning has been issued for western Lake Superior. The gale warning is in effect until 10 AM Thursday. Waves 9 to 11 feet with northeast winds 15 to 25 knots, gusts up to 35 knots…
Forecast for Duluth
Event: *Winter Storm Warning*
Timing: 7 PM this evening to 10 AM Thursday
.Tonight… Windy with snow or a mixture of rain and snow changing to all snow. Snow could be heavy at times. Low 32 to 35. Wind east to northeast 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Areas of blowing snow developing during the night.
.Thursday… Snow early mixing with and changing to light rain and drizzle before ending. Total snowfall storm accumulations of 3 to 6 inches, locally higher amounts possible. A few afternoon rain showers possible under partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies. High 45 to 50. Breezy. Wind north to northwest 15 to 25 mph.
.Friday… Partly to mostly cloudy. High 53 to 58. Wind southwest 10 to 20 mph.
Normal temperatures for May 9
May 9 Sunrise: 5:42 AM CDT
May 9 Sunset: 8:29 PM CDT