Messy winter storm on the way this weekend lingering into early next week; Winter Storm Watch issued for parts of the Northland

-Winter Storm Watch (blue area on map) in effect from Saturday morning through late Sunday night for north-central and northeast Minnesota including the cities of International Falls, Bigfork, Grand Rapids, Walker, Brainerd, Aitkin, Moose Lake, Cloquet, Duluth, Hibbing, Ely, Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Grand Marais.

-Heavy mixed precipitation. Ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch. Snowfall accumulations of 6 inches or more.

-Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

-Travel will likely become very difficult across much of Minnesota this weekend.


This is going to be a slow moving system with precipitation beginning in the Northland on Saturday and possibly not ending until sometime on Tuesday. Note: There likely will be some breaks in the precipitation though as a dry slot advances north/west into the Northland on Sunday.

This does look like a warm system with plenty of warm air getting scooped up from the south and thrown NW into our area while the low lifts NE out of the Plains this weekend, if temps climb above freezing, then we could be looking at quite a bit of rain in parts of the Northland (especially EC Minnesota and NW Wisconsin) but if temps remain right around or a few degrees below freezing, then we could be dealing with an ice storm in parts of the area this weekend.

I think everyone will start as snow during the day Saturday, but then will likely see a change-over from snow to other precipitation types which will spread from S-N across parts of the Northland later in the day on Saturday the way it look snow.

Here’s my preliminary snowfall forecast for the storm this weekend into early next week.

*Based on the current storm track, the swath of heaviest snow accumulations of 8-12″ are over northern Minnesota including International Falls, Bigfork, Orr and Walker.

*Another area with 8-12″ accumulations along the Higher Terrain of the North Shore where some lake enhancement is possible.

*6-8 inches of snow for Brainerd, Aitkin, Hibbing, Cook, Ely, north side of Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Grand Marais.

*4 to 6 inches of snow for Moose Lake, south side of Duluth, Superior, Bayfield and Ashland.

*2 to 4 inches of snow farther south including Sandstone and Hayward.

Note: There is also a chance for freezing rain and sleet over most of the Northland this weekend with some ice accumulations possible.

Additional changes to the storm track are possible over the next 24 hours, and this could result in snowfall amounts increasing or decreasing in some parts of the area. Stay tuned!


An area of light snow (blue colors on map) is forecast to move quickly E-NE across parts of east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin tonight with up to an inch of snow possible in some locations.

Source: 18z NAM-WRF model 12.26.19;

Low temperature forecast for Friday morning, December 27. Source:

High temperature forecast for Friday, December 27.

Snowfall Reports from around the Northland

Date: December 25-26, 2019

Bigfork, MN: 3.5″
International Falls, MN: 3.4″
2 SSW Kabetogama, MN: 3.3″
5 NW Walker, MN: 2.5″
3 E Orr, MN: 2.5″
4 ENE Zemple, MN: 1.8″
Cook, MN: 1.0″

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

*Winter Storm Watch* for Duluth from Saturday morning through late Sunday night

.Tonight… Mostly cloudy. Some light snow possible. Accumulations of an inch or less. Low 20 to 25. Wind west to southwest 10 to 15 mph.

.Friday… Partly to mostly sunny. High 27 to 32. Wind west to southwest 10 to 15 mph.

.Saturday… Snow developing. Snow could mix with sleet, rain or freezing rain. High 30 to 33. Wind becoming east 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for December 27

High 20
Low 4

Sunrise Friday 7:53 AM CST
Sunset Friday 4:26 PM CST

Thanks for reading!


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