Messy system on the way with rain and accumulating snow

Precipitation begins Wednesday afternoon across far northern Minnesota, then develops farther south Wednesday evening into the Overnight hours.

Far northern Minnesota should remain cold enough for snow while warmer air farther south leads to rain and a wintry mix which will transition to all snow from NW-SE Thursday morning. Precipitation is forecast to end by Thursday afternoon.

Travel could become difficult in parts of the Northland Wednesday night due to the snow and wintry mix of precipitation, and a messy Thursday morning commute is also possible. Note: Portions of the Northland could be under a winter weather headline for the Wednesday night-Thursday morning time frame, this could be issued by the National Weather Service during the day Wednesday.


12z European model radar forecast (precipitation type) for the times listed on the maps below.


The system which will impact the Northland Wednesday and Thursday is currently over the western U.S. today, it’s actually a two part system with a split flow in place. Energy in the northern stream digging into Montana today will continue to move east while additional energy over the Central/Southern Rockies lifts NE into the Great Lakes by Thursday.

Source: Goes-16 lower level water vapor satellite loop from Tuesday, November 19, 2019;

Here’s my snowfall forecast for the midweek system

-Greatest amounts in far northern Minnesota (north of Duluth) accumulations of 3 to 5 inches for Bigfork, International Falls, Orr, Cook, Ely, and also including the tip of the Arrowhead.

-Potential for 1 to 3 inches of snow along with rain and a wintry mix farther south, including for Duluth and Superior.

Note: Snowfall amounts could end up a little higher in parts of the 1-3 inch zone if the changeover to snow occurs earlier than forecast.


Low temperature forecast for Wednesday morning, November 20. Source:

High temperature forecast for Wednesday, November 20

Snowfall reports from Tuesday morning, November 19, 2019. Source:

1 WSW Maple, WI: 2.0″
7 ESE Superior, WI: 1.2″
1 W Solon Springs, WI: 1.1″
Duluth Airport: 0.4″
3 ENE Holyoke, MN: 0.4″

Computer models have been showing a potentially strong storm system lifting north/east out of the Southern Plains around the middle of next week – This will be one to watch over the next few days.

Note: The red lines on the map indicate three possible storm tracks, while the blue outlined area represents where snow, rain or a mix could occur based on the 3 different storm tracks. Stay tuned.

…Weather Summary…

Mild temps stick around into Thursday morning followed by a brief cool down before warmer air returns this weekend. A complex system on the way for Wednesday into Thursday morning which will be followed by a few days of quieter weather.

Main weather issue for tonight will continue to be the areas of fog which should linger through the night. Along with the fog will come the risk for patchy drizzle or freezing drizzle. Lows tonight will be in the upper 20s to lower 30s with a variable wind direction.

Mostly cloudy skies Wednesday. Patchy fog and drizzle is possible while snow develops in far northern Minnesota. Highs Wednesday will be in the 30s with a few locations in the south possibly warming into the lower 40s. Winds will be out of the east at 5 to 15 mph.

Precipitation should be fairly widespread across the Northland Wednesday night into Thursday morning with decent lift over our area due to a cold front approaching from the NW while low pressure moves NE out of the Plains. Abundant moisture will also be in place with precipitable water of around 0.50 to 0.90 inches.

Temperatures aloft and at the surface will be cold enough for snow in far northern Minnesota, but farther south a warmer airmass will be in place causing rain or a mix of rain, sleet and snow along and south of Highway 2 in northeast Minnesota, including all of northwest Wisconsin, eventually colder air pushes south switching everything over to snow Thursday morning.

Colder temperatures Thursday night and Friday in wake of the midweek system. Lows Thursday night are forecast to fall into the teens with highs Friday in the 20s, the good news is that it looks like will have quite a bit of sunshine on Friday which would end the streak of cloudy days we’ve had around here over the last few days.

Milder temperatures return this weekend with highs both Saturday and Sunday in the 30s, possibly near 40 degrees in parts of the area.


Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mainly cloudy. Areas of fog and drizzle. Low 30 to 34. Wind west 5 to 10 mph.

.Wednesday… Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog and drizzle possible. High 35 to 40. Wind east 10 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday night… Breezy. Rain and snow with some sleet also possible. Low 30 to 35. Wind east to northeast 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph.

.Thursday… Breezy. Rain or a mix of rain, sleet and snow changing to all snow early. Snow ending during the afternoon. Total snowfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. High 30 to 35. Wind north to northwest 15 to 25 mph.

Normal temperatures for November 20

High 33
Low 20

Sunrise Wednesday 7:18 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday 4:30 PM CST

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