Highs around 70 Wednesday afternoon, 30s this weekend! Powerful fall storm on the way with heavy wind driven snow for the Dakotas; rain (few t-storms) for the Northland with some snow this weekend

Powerful winter storm is forecast to impact the North-Central Rockies and Northern Plains through Saturday with heavy snow and strong winds. It’s possible will see portions of the winter storm watch and warning areas upgraded to a blizzard warning later this week. Source: https://www.pivotalweather.com/

***Storm Impacts for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin***

1) More rain (isolated t’storms)

2) Some wind

3) Turning much colder Friday

4) Rain/snow mix, changing to snow at times this weekend

There certainly is potential for more than 14 inches of snow with this storm in parts of the Dakotas with a long duration winter storm likely from late Wednesday through Saturday.

Adding even more moisture, and in this case snow to an already saturated ground in the Red River Valley where significant river flooding is possible, and in some areas is already occurring/imminent. Source: https://www.weather.gov

Precipitation totals of one-half to one inch with locally higher amounts are forecast in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through Sunday with the North Shore of Lake Superior possibly getting more than 2 inches of precipitation due to a period of terrain enhancement with the E-SE wind coming off Lake Superior Thursday into Friday. Source: https://www.pivotalweather.com/

Potentially historic October snowstorm for the Northern Plains is beginning to take shape today as a strong upper level trough digs SE through the Rockies per Goes-16 water vapor imagery. This should be one fascinating storm to watch to see how it evolves during the next few days. Source: https://weather.cod.edu

This is going to be one heck of a storm and a slow mover! The overall pattern has some similarities to the Halloween storm of 1991 with an upper level low off the east coast, this combined with a ridge over southeast Canada will prevent the storm which will affect the Rockies, Northern Plains and upper Midwest from moving very fast, and the upper ridge and low to our east will also cause the area of low pressure to hook northwest across parts of Minnesota on Friday. One big difference with this storm compared to the October ’91 storm is the track, with this one taking a farther west track compared to the October 1991 storm which had a farther east storm track through west-central and northern Wisconsin then into the Arrowhead of Minnesota. This is important since this westerly storm track keeps the Northland on the mild/wet side of this storm at least through most of Friday.

Source: 12z HREF model; https://www.spc.noaa.gov/

Upper level low will undergo rapid intensification on Friday as it moves into the upper Midwest. 500mb heights of around 540 meters Friday morning are forecast to drop to around 522 meters by Friday evening. Source: 18z NAM model; https://weather.cod.edu

A pretty dramatic model animation showing the progression of colder temperatures (40s) shows up as the darker green color on the image below with even colder temps in the 20s and 30s across the Dakotas (blue colors on map) Note: Model forecast below is from 7 AM Thursday to 1 AM Friday.

The Northland will remain on the mild side of this fall storm through Thursday evening, but the cold air will move in from the south/west during the day Friday as low pressure lifts north/northwest of our area.

Source: 18z NAM-Nest model; https://weather.cod.edu

Strong cold air advection will move into the Northland Friday with cold air moving in from the west and south once the area of low pressure reaches northwest Minnesota. Note: 850mb temperatures of +5 to +10C in the Northland Friday morning dropping to around -3 to -8C by Friday evening.

Source: 12z European model 10.08.19; https://www.tropicaltidbits.com


Low temperature forecast for Wednesday morning, October 9, 2019. Source: https://graphical.weather.gov

High temperature forecast for Wednesday, October 9

…Weather Summary…

Beautiful fall weather for now, but it will feel a little like winter by this weekend.

Quiet weather continues tonight under partly cloudy skies. Lows will be in the mid 40s to around 50 degrees which is relatively mild for this tome of year (normal lows in our area in early October are in the low to mid 30s) Southerly winds will continue tonight at 5 to 15 mph with gusts of 20 to 35 mph continuing this evening.

Partly to mostly cloudy skies on Wednesday with another mild day as highs get into the 60s to around 70 degrees once again. South winds 10 to 20 mph with stronger gusts likely.

Moisture increases Wednesday night with scattered showers developing through the night as low pressure moves out of the Rockies and into the Plains. A few thunderstorms are also possible Wednesday night with elevated CAPE of a few hundred J/kg.

Periods of rain and drizzle along with areas of fog are expected Thursday into Friday as low pressure heads north into Minnesota while an upper level low undergoes rapid intensification as it moves NE into the upper Midwest on Friday.

Much colder temperatures will sweep into the Northland behind a strong cold front on Friday with temps by Friday afternoon only in the mid 30s to mid 40s. Gusty southwest winds will also develop behind the cold front on Friday with gusts of 20 to 30 mph.

Gusty winds and cold temps are expected to persist through the weekend with periods of snow and rain showers with some snow accumulation possible where heavier and more frequent snow showers setup over the weekend. Highs Saturday and Sunday are forecast to be in the 30s to around 40 degrees (well below normal for the time of year)


Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Partly cloudy. Low 45 to 50. Wind south 5 to 15 mph with gusts of 20 to 30 mph this evening.

.Wednesday… Breezy. Partly to mostly cloudy. High 65 to 70. Wind south 15 to 25 mph.

.Wednesday night… Scattered showers. Isolated thunderstorms also possible. Low 50 to 53. Wind southeast 10 to 20 mph.

.Thursday… Occasional rain and drizzle with areas of fog. High 53 to 56. Wind east 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for October 9

  • High 55
  • Low 37
  • Sunrise Wednesday 7:18 AM CDT
  • Sunset Wednesday 6:33 PM CDT

Thanks for reading!

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