Areas of freezing fog and mist tonight; mild weekend ahead; windy on Sunday

This weekend continues to look mild, but I think record warmth is unlikely on Sunday (February 2nd) given a few things which I will get into a little further down in this post.

First for Saturday, should have widespread 30 to 35 degree high temperatures in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. I can’t guarantee will see a whole lot of sun though.

Source region for this weekend’s warmth is currently over the Northern Rockies and will spread farther south/east through Sunday morning.

Source: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/

Sunday does look windy as will have very strong winds aloft (~5,000 feet) of 45 to 65 knots covering the Northern Plains and upper Midwest, some of this will mix down to the surface resulting in 20 to 40 mph wind gusts across the Northland.

Source: 21z RAP model 1.31.20; https://weather.cod.edu/

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Here are the climate normals for Duluth, Minnesota for the month of February, and by the way February is the last month of Meteorological winter which consists of the months of December, January and February. It’s all uphill from here, right?

Normal high on the 1st: 20F
Normal high on the 29th: 29F

Normal low on the 1st: 2F
Normal low on the 29th: 11F

Precipitation: 0.81″
Snowfall: 12.4″

Records for February

Warmest: 31.3 degrees set in 1877
Coldest: -2.1 degrees set in 1875

Wettest: 4.24″ set in 1922
Driest: 0.10″ set in 1877

Snowiest: 36.4″ set in 2019
Least snowiest: 2.1″ set in 1896

On average, 11 days in February have a subzero low temperature.

On average, 6 days in February have a high temperature of 32 degrees or warmer.

10 days have at least 0.1″ snowfall.
4 days have at least 1.0″ snowfall.

Note: 5 of the top 10 snowiest Februaries on record in Duluth have occurred since 2000, records for Duluth go back to 1875.

Astronomical Data for Duluth for February

Sunrise on the 1st: 7:34 AM CST
Sunrise on the 29th: 6:48 AM CST

Sunset on the 1st: 5:11 PM CST
Sunset on the 29th: 5:53 PM CST

Monthly outlooks much like seasonal outlooks are always a crap shoot, but here is the forecast for February 2020 per CFS model. Note: Don’t bet the house on this forecast being right.

Orange/Red colors=Above normal temperatures

Blue colors=Below normal temperatures

Source: https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

Green colors=Above normal precipitation

Yellow/Brown colors=Below normal precipitation

Still dealing with widespread low clouds in the Northland today, but just like in previous days, we have seen a few brief breaks in the low clouds which has allowed for a tiny bit of sunshine, but overall it continues to be quite gloomy around here with the lack of sun.

Source: Goes-16 visible satellite loop 1.31.20; https://weather.cod.edu/

Low temperature forecast for Saturday morning, February 1, 2020. Source: https://graphical.weather.gov/

High temperature forecast for Saturday, February 1, 2020.

…Weather Summary…

Mostly cloudy skies will continue tonight with areas of fog, haze and freezing mist. Lows will be on the mild side for this time of the year ranging from the teens to the upper 20s with winds out of the southwest at 5 to 15 mph.

Given how persistent the clouds have been for about a week, I don’t have much confidence will see much clearing on Saturday, but maybe will get a little more sun compared to what we’ve seen lately, will just have to wait and see. Highs on Saturday will be in the 30s with southwest or west winds at 10 to 20 mph.

This leads us to Sunday which still looks mild, but probably not as warm as what I was hoping for 24-hours ago. One of the issues I’m seeing is the warmest air moves over the Northland early in the day when 850mb temperatures peak in the +2 to +6C range, then will start to get into some cold air advection before Noon Sunday thanks to a fast moving cold front which is forecast to move through the area Sunday morning, so instead of seeing highs in the 42 to around 50 degree range on Sunday, it’s looking more likely will have highs somewhere in the 37 to 45 degree range which will still feel nice, but just a little cooler than what I was forecasting on Thursday. The deep snow pack we have right now doesn’t help either if you want real warm temperatures.

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Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mostly cloudy, hazy. Areas of fog and freezing mist. Flurries also possible. Low 20 to 25. Wind southwest 5 to 15 mph.

.Saturday… Mostly cloudy (partial clearing possible at times) Patchy fog and haze. Freezing mist early. High 32 to 37. Wind southwest 10 to 20 mph.

.Sunday… Windy. Partly to mostly cloudy. High 40 to 45. Record high for February 2nd is 47 degrees set in 1991. Wind west 15 to 30 mph.

Normal temperatures for February 1

High 20
Low 2

Sunrise Saturday 7:34 AM CST
Sunset Saturday 5:11 PM CST

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Warm weekend ahead, record/near record warmth possible Sunday – highs 40s to around 50 degrees! Turning cooler next week (closer to normal)

No snow or arctic air to talk about so might as well talk about the spring tease coming to the Northland this weekend with Sunday being the warmest day of the weekend, this is when we should see widespread 40 to 45 degree temperatures in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, there’s even a chance that some locations make a good run at 50 degrees Sunday afternoon.

The map below shows the forecast temperature anomalies for Sunday, February 2nd, 2020, yes it will be well above normal!

Source 12z European model 1.30.20; https://weathermodels.com/

*Record High Temperatures for February 2nd*

International Falls: 55F set in 1991
Ashland: 50F set in 1991
Hibbing: 50F set in 1991
Brainerd: 49F set in 1991
Duluth: 47F set in 1991

Note: The record high temperature for February 2nd at International Falls is likely safe on Sunday, but the other records listed above could be tied or broken, especially the records for Brainerd and Duluth.

Some parts of the Northland saw some sun this afternoon, it wasn’t a lot of sun, but at this point will take what we can get considering how cloudy/gray its been lately.

Source Goes-16 visible satellite loop 1.30.20; https://weather.cod.edu/

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Ice coverage on the Great Lakes is running well below average for late January with just 6.6% of the Great Lakes ice covered as of January 29th, 2020, average for late January is 28%.

Note: The record low ice coverage for late January was set in 2002 with 3.3% ice coverage.

Source https://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/

Meanwhile on Lake Superior, only 1.4% ice covered as of January 30th, 2020. Note: Average for late January is right around 20%.

Source https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/

Temperatures trend cooler for next week with perhaps one night with zero or subzero temps in parts of the Northland, but overall temperatures for next week remain above normal, cooler yes, but really just closer to where we should be in early February.

Source 12z European ensemble model 1.30.20; https://weathermodels.com/

Low temperature forecast for Friday morning, January 31st, 2020. Source https://graphical.weather.gov/

High temperature forecast for Friday, January 31st, 2020.

…Weather Summary…

Mostly cloudy skies tonight with patchy fog and light freezing mist possible. Some snow showers are also possible tonight especially across eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with a light dusting of accumulation. Lows tonight will be in the teens to around 20 degrees with southerly winds around 10 mph.

Mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies on Friday. Morning flurries/snow showers and possibly some patchy fog and freezing mist. Highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s with south to southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Two warm fronts move across the area this weekend, one Friday night, the other Saturday night. Not expecting any precipitation with either front.

Will be in the warm sector of a system on Sunday with strong low pressure to our north, warm front to the east and a cold front to the northwest, this cold front will move through the Northland on Sunday, but before it does we should warm into the 40s over most of the area, with even a chance at hitting 50 degrees! 850mb winds will be on the strong side on Sunday with west winds 40-50 knots, some of this should mix down to the surface resulting in wind gusts around 20 to 25 mph, maybe up to 30 mph on Sunday.

Things that could prevent us from getting well into the 40s/near 50 degrees on Sunday include the deep snow pack which ranges from 1 to 3 feet across the area, but we are getting closer to spring, and the sun is getting stronger, days are a little longer now as well, so if we get enough sun, I think temps will warm well into the 40s on Sunday despite the deep snow pack. Extensive cloudiness could also put the kibosh on 45 to 50 degree temps. But as of now I’m all in on temperatures taking off Sunday afternoon given the setup that is forecast to be in place.

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Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog and haze. Light freezing mist or flurries also possible. Low 15 to 20. Wind south to southeast around 10 mph.

.Friday… Mostly cloudy (some peeks of sun possible) Patchy fog, freezing mist or flurries in the morning. Haze. High 28 to 33. Wind east around 10 mph, becoming southwest.

.Saturday… Partly to mostly cloudy. High 32 to 37. Wind southwest 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for January 31st

High 20
Low 2

Sunrise Friday 7:35 AM CST
Sunset Friday 5:10 PM CST

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Clouds, possible flurries/patchy freezing mist through Friday; much warmer this weekend, 40s possible Sunday

Welcome to November part two! A little unusual to see this many days in a row with generally cloudy skies at this time of year, this weather is more typical for November, not for late January. A lack of arctic air may be one of the reasons as to why its been so dang cloudy and gray lately.

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Super Sunday continues to look like an absolute blowtorch with widespread well above normal temperatures by some 20 to 35 degrees! This should lead to widespread 30s and 40s for high temps in Minnesota on Sunday, with 50s, 60s and maybe even a few 70s over the Central Plains.

Note: Record high temperatures are probably safe on Sunday with records in the Northland for February 2nd ranging from 55 degrees at International Falls, 50 degrees at Ashland and Hibbing, 49 degrees at Brainerd, and 47 degrees at Duluth. All these record highs were set in 1991. We do have a pretty good chance for a top 5 warmest high temperature on record, however, for February 2nd.

Source 12z European model 1.29.20; https://weathermodels.com/

So much for next week’s cold! Although temperatures will trend cooler next week (closer to normal) the potential for an arctic airmass has decreased considerably, will be lucky to get one day of subzero temps next week in parts of the Northland the way it looks now.

Source 12z European ensemble model 1.29.20; https://weathermodels.com/

I’m not seeing any strong signals in model guidance that a major storm will affect our area looking out the next 2 weeks. Precip amounts look to be close to normal in the Northland through February 13th.

Source 12z European ensemble model 1.29.20; https://weathermodels.com/

Low temperature forecast for Thursday morning, January 30th, 2020. Source https://graphical.weather.gov/

High temperature forecast for Thursday, January 30th, 2020.

…Weather Summary…

Still dealing with a lot of cloudiness in the Northland today, but there have been some small patches of clearing, most notably around the Brainerd Lakes area per visible satellite imagery.

SE flow coming off Lake Superior caused a little lake effect flurry action along the North Shore today with even a real light dusting of fluff in Duluth early this morning.

Mostly cloudy skies will continue in our area through Friday with scattered flurries, patchy fog and freezing drizzle. Note: There could be some breaks in the clouds allowing for a little sun Thursday or Friday, but overall it continues to look fairly cloudy around here.

A system passing well to our SW Thursday night-Friday morning could bring a brief period of snow showers to east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with accumulations of an inch or less possible.

Lows tonight will be in the single digits to around 20 degrees, highs Thursday in the 20s with highs on Friday in the 20s to lower 30s.

South to southeast winds tonight and Thursday at 5 to 15 mph.

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Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog, flurries or light freezing mist possible. Low 11 to 16. Wind south to southeast around 10 mph.

.Thursday… Mostly cloudy (few peeks of sun possible) High 21 to 26. Wind south to southeast 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday… Mostly cloudy. Snow showers or flurries possible early. High 28 to 33. Wind east to southeast 5 to 15 mph.

Normal temperatures for January 30

High 20
Low 2

Sunrise Thursday 7:36 AM CST
Sunset Thursday 5:08 PM CST

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Scattered flurries/snow showers continue tonight and Wednesday; warmer weather this weekend

Interesting weather today over a small portion of the Northland. The weather pattern is so stagnant right now with day after day of low clouds, and because of this we’ve seen snow develop from Industrial Plants and even Airplane induced snowfall. Note: We had a similar setup/event here in Duluth a few winters ago, although that snow was caused by Spirit Mountain with a few inches of snow accumulation occurring over parts of Duluth.

A warm Super Bowl Sunday is on tap this year as a widespread area of well above normal temperatures moves over the Plains and upper Midwest this weekend.

Shown below are the temperature anomalies for Sunday afternoon – Should see widespread 30s and 40s in Minnesota with 50s and 60s across the Plains Sunday afternoon.

Source 12z European model 1.28.20; https://weathermodels.com/

This warm airmass won’t stick around very long though, it’ll be over the area this weekend, then will get pushed off to the east early next week.

Source 12z European model 1.28.20; https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

Another gray winter day over most of the Northland, but there has been some clearing/sunshine at times today mainly along the North Shore of Lake Superior, and even here in Duluth there’s been a few very brief glimpses of sun today.

Source Goes-16 visible satellite loop 1.28.20; https://weather.cod.edu/

One of the bigger weather stories in the Lower 48 today has been this system which is moving east across the Southern Plains, this storm produced an area of heavy snow today from western Kansas to western Oklahoma to the Texas Panhandle.

Source Goes-16 water vapor loop 1.28.20; https://weather.cod.edu/

Source https://www.weather.gov/ddc/

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Low temperature forecast for Wednesday morning, January 29, 2020. Source https://graphical.weather.gov/

High temperature forecast for Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

…Weather Summary…

Some interesting weather occurred over a small portion of the Northland today due to a narrow band of Anthropogenic snow over the Iron Range, this narrow band of snow produced 5 inches of accumulation in Kelly Lake today, and from 2 to 4 inches near Iron Junction.

Otherwise just another mostly cloudy day with sporadic flurries. Highs today were in the teens to lower 20s.

Mostly cloudy skies will continue in the Northland through Friday, but some occasional breaks in the clouds are possible allowing for a little sunshine the next few days, but don’t expect a lot of sun.

Scattered flurries and snow showers will continue tonight and Wednesday, and will even have some lake effect snow showers along the North Shore with 850mb temps of around -12C while winds shift to the east. Note: About 1 to 4 inches of snow is possible on Wednesday along the North Shore, mainly around the Isabella, Finland, Silver Bay and Little Marais areas.

Lows tonight will be in the single digits and teens with a slight chance for some below zero temperatures if we get enough clearing which doesn’t look very likely. Highs on Wednesday will be in the 20s. Wind speeds generally around 12 mph tonight and Wednesday, wind direction east to southeast.

There could be a skiff of snow in other parts of the Northland away from the North Shore sometime Thursday or Friday, but this shouldn’t be a big deal.

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Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mostly cloudy. Flurries. Low 8 to 13. Wind variable less than 10 mph.

.Wednesday… Mostly cloudy (few peeks of sun possible) Flurries. High 20 to 25. Wind east to southeast 5 to 15 mph.

.Thursday… Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 24 to 29. Wind south to southeast 5 to 15 mph.

Normal temperatures for January 29

High 20
Low 2

Sunrise Wednesday 7:37 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday 5:07 PM CST

Thanks for reading!

Tim

A little cooler (closer to normal) through midweek

Normal highs in the Northland for January 28th range from 17 degrees at International Falls to 23 degrees at Brainerd and Ashland.

Highs on Tuesday are forecast to range from around 20 to 25 degrees in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Source https://weathermodels.com/

Lake Superior ice coverage continues to run well below average for late January with only 2.5% of Lake Superior covered by ice as of January 27th.

Source https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/

Red line on the graph below represents the ice coverage for Lake Superior in 2020; blue represents the long term average ice coverage from 1973 to 2019.

Note: Should be close to 20% ice coverage on Lake Superior in late January, only sitting at 2% right now. At this time last year, Lake Superior was ~15% ice covered.

Source https://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/

January 2020 ranks in the top 20 for warmest Januaries on record at the following locations in the Northland.

With a few days left to go this month will see if January 2020 remains in the top 20 warmest or if it falls out of the top 20.

Ashland – 14th warmest January on record thru the 26th with an average temperature of 19.1 degrees. Warmest January on record occurred in 2006 with an average temperature of 25.9 degrees. Records for Ashland date back to 1893.

Brainerd – 16th warmest January on record thru the 26th with an average temperature of 15.3 degrees. Warmest January on record occurred in 2006 with an average temperature of 25.2 degrees. Records for Brainerd date back to 1899.

Hibbing – 17th warmest January on record thru the 26th with an average temperature of 10.7 degrees. Warmest January on record occurred in 2006 with an average temperature of 21.0 degrees. Records for Hibbing date back to 1931.

International Falls – 15th warmest January on record thru the 26th with an average temperature of 9.9 degrees. Warmest January on record occurred in 2006 with an average temperature of 18.8 degrees. Record for International Falls date back to 1895.

Note: January 2020 currently ranks as 23rd warmest January on record in Duluth with records going back to 1870.

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Low temperature forecast for Tuesday morning, January 28, 2020. Source https://graphical.weather.gov/

High temperature forecast for Tuesday, January 28.

…Weather Summary…

Temperatures trended cooler today compared to previous days, and one of the reasons behind the cooler temps are the 850mb temperatures which have fallen to around -8C today, certainly not an arctic airmass, but cooler – more average for late January. High temperatures today ranged from the middle teens to middle 20s with generally overcast skies once again along with a few snow flurries/patchy freezing drizzle.

High pressure builds into the upper Midwest through midweek. Uneventful weather continues under mostly cloudy skies, but I’m still holding out hope that we see at least a little sunshine either Tuesday or Wednesday.

With a colder airmass overhead, temperatures will be closer to normal for daytime highs through Wednesday while overnight lows remain above normal.

Lows tonight and Tuesday night are forecast to be in the single digits and teens with highs Tuesday and Wednesday in the 20s. Winds through Tuesday will be out of the north or northwest at 5 to 15 mph. Winds shift to the east on Wednesday which could cause some light lake effect snow along the North Shore of Lake Superior, but little accumulation is expected.

Note: I’m not seeing a whole lot of snow in our area through this weekend per model guidance, but a system ~February 3rd might bring a little snow to parts of the area but model agreement is poor on the track of this system.

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Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mostly cloudy. Low 10 to 15. Wind northwest 5 to 15 mph.

.Tuesday… Mostly cloudy (few peeks of sun possible) High 20 to 25. Wind north 5 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday… Mostly cloudy. Few flurries possible. High 24 to 29. Wind east around 10 mph.

Normal temperatures for January 28

High 20
Low 2

Sunrise Tuesday 7:38 AM CST
Sunset Tuesday 5:05 PM CST

Thanks for reading!

Tim