Friday looks pretty nice around here, still a little on the cool side but with the sun it’ll feel decent out there. Winds out of the west 10 to 20 mph.
Low pressure heads into the Northern Plains and upper Midwest this weekend. There is some uncertainty on the track and timing of this system. Right now most of Saturday looks dry across the Northland with scattered showers spreading from SW-NE late in the afternoon or holding off until Saturday night. Some showers could linger into Sunday.
12z European ensemble model 5-9-19
A couple of warm spikes for about the next 2 weeks, but still not seeing any signs of persistent warmth in our area, meaning only a few days will have highs in the 60s, perhaps the 70s through May 24, otherwise below normal temperatures are forecast to continue.
Blue and green colors represent below normal temperatures
Orange and red colors represent above normal temperatures
12z European ensemble model 5-9-19
What we really need is several weeks of mild/dry weather, unfortunately the chances of that actually happening are on the low side for about the next 2 weeks.
Radar image from around 5:50 PM Wednesday, May 8, 2019 — All hell was breaking loose as big heavy wet snow flakes were falling out of the sky over Duluth, east winds were gusting to 30 mph whipping the flakes around, and then out of nowhere a bolt of lightning, followed by a rumble of thunder!
Summary of the May 8-9, 2019 Winter Storm
•Several days prior to this storm hitting the Northland, some of the computer models had been hinting at a snow event affecting northern Wisconsin and far eastern Minnesota on May 8-9.
•A few days before the storm the NAM model started to show some incredibly high snowfall totals impacting parts of the Northland on May 8-9. I would look at the new NAM model runs (updated every 6 hours) and would laugh at what it was showing, thinking no way this is happening, it’s May, typical NAM model going nuts! I mentioned to my Dad on Monday there was one computer model (NAM) showing upwards of 10″ or so of snow in Duluth for Wednesday but told him that I just can’t imagine getting that much snow in May, perhaps an inch or so but that would be about it.
•It was Monday night, May 6, right around 10 PM (usually sleeping by then) but I couldn’t as I was looking forward to what the new NAM model was showing for this midweek storm (00z run usually finishes up around 9:45 PM) yep still showed an amazing amount of snow, and of course I still laughed at what it was showing, can this really happen? This much snow in May?
•Fast forward to Tuesday, May 7, a few of the computer models (so many different ones out there) continued to show heavy amounts of snow impacting parts of the Northland, kept telling myself this could turn into an advisory, then laughed and thought what if this ends up being a winter storm warning on May 8th?!? No way that would happen!
•Was a little disappointed when I woke up for work early Wednesday morning to find out the National Weather Service in Duluth didn’t issue a winter weather advisory, but made sense why they hadn’t issued one yet, I mean it’s May! Can we possibly get as much snow as what the computer models have been showing leading up to this event?
•Come home from work Wednesday (late morning) radar screen is lit up in purple (winter weather advisory) the NWS pulled the trigger and issued a winter weather advisory for Duluth and nearby areas — here we go!!! Game on!
•Wednesday afternoon comes around, and my radar screen changes colors from purple (winter weather advisory) to pink (winter storm warning) for Duluth and surrounding areas. I laughed, mostly because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on May 8th!!!!!!!!!!!!
•Started typing my weather forecast around 3 PM Wednesday, kept looking outside to see if the rain or snow had arrived yet in Duluth. Around 4:30 PM Wednesday, I look outside my window and it was snowing in West Duluth, about an hour or so later, a flash of lightning and a rumble of thunder as snow picks up in intensity, yes THUNDERSNOW in Duluth on May 8th!!!!!! Never thought there’d ever be thundersnow in Duluth in May ! Incredible!
•This storm reminded me of why I like weather so much, looking at computer models, watching how these storms will play out, the incredible things that go on way above our heads (in the atmosphere) to produce not only snow, but thundersnow in May, it really is amazing what goes on up there!
***Snowfall records broken at Duluth, Minnesota***
May Monthly Snowfall: 10.9″
Previous record: 8.1″ in 1954 (65 years ago)
Single Snowiest Day in May: 8.3″, May 8, 2019
Previous record: 5.5″ May 10, 1902 (117 years ago)
Daily Snowfall on May 8: 8.3″ May 8, 2019
Previous record: 5.0″ May 8, 1924 (95 years ago)
Daily Snowfall on May 9: 2.3″ May 9, 2019
Previous record: 0.2″ on May 9, 1990 (27 years ago)
Other interesting facts from the May 8 snowstorm in Duluth
Snowfall ratio was around 9:1, that seems pretty high for a May snowfall.
The 8.3″ of snow on May 8 was the 2nd greatest single day snowfall total for the 2018-19 snow season. The only snow event that had more snow than what fell on May 8 occurred on December 27 with 12.2 inches of snow.
May 8-9 Snowfall Totals
2 NNW Gary New Duluth, MN: 12.0″
2 SSE Wales, MN: 11.5″
Duluth Airport: 10.6″
1 N Cloquet, MN: 10.0″
2 WNW Two Harbors, MN: 10.0″
5 SE Wales, MN: 9.9″
1 WSW Maple, WI: 9.9″
2 N Moquah, WI: 9.5″
4 ESE Twig, MN: 9.5″
Red Cliff, WI: 9.4″
Lake Nebagamon, WI: 9.3″
7 E Patzau, WI: 9.0″
6 E Island Lake, MN: 8.6″
5 NNE Brule, WI: 8.5″
1 S Poplar, WI: 8.3″
Bennett, WI: 8.0″
2 E Kettle River, MN: 7.8″
3 N Mahtowa, MN: 7.6″
1 W Solon Springs, WI: 7.2″
Cornucopia, WI: 7.0″
Brule, WI: 7.0″
4 W Washburn, WI: 6.9″
3 ENE Holyoke, MN: 6.7″
3 ENE Wright, MN: 6.6″
Wrenshall, MN: 6.5″
2 N Cromwell, MN: 6.0″
3 NNE Lester Park, MN: 5.5″
4 E Iron River, WI: 5.5″
Esko, MN: 5.0″
3 SE Finland, MN: 5.0″
2 SW Bayfield, WI: 3.5″
1 S Moose Lake, MN: 3.0″
7 ESE Superior, WI: 2.5″
1 W Silver Bay, MN: 2.5″
Herbster, WI: 2.0″
Cotton, MN: 2.0″
Embarrass, MN: 1.2″
1 E Ely, MN: 1.0″
Local Storm Reports
8:40 AM, May 9, 2019: Non-Thunderstorm Wind Damage. Lake Nebagamon, WI (Douglas County) Conifer and white pine tree branches 5-10 inches in diameter/20-25 feet long downed by wind and heavy snow. Power has been out 12 hours.
Forecast for Duluth
.Tonight… Partly to mostly cloudy. Brief showers early. Low 30 to 35. Wind northwest 10 to 20 mph.
.Friday… Partly cloudy. High 50 to 55. Wind northwest 10 to 15 mph becoming west to southwest.
.Saturday… Partly to mostly cloudy. High 55 to 60 but cooler near Lake Superior. Wind south to southeast 10 to 20 mph.
Normal temperatures for May 10
May 10 Sunrise: 5:41 AM CDT
May 10 Sunset: 8:30 PM CDT
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