Snow showers and patchy blowing snow continues tonight near Lake Superior; some light snow possible Sunday night; more snow possible Monday night-Tuesday

Cold northeast winds blowing over the open waters of Lake Superior is picking up moisture which is causing lake effect clouds and snow showers today along the South Shore and North Shore of Lake Superior.

Note: Less than 1% of Lake Superior is ice covered as of Saturday morning so there’s a lot of open water (heat/moisture source) for lake effect snow to develop.


Snow showers continue to move southwest down the western shore of Lake Superior early this evening. Heavier snow in darker blue and purple colors.

Lake effect snow showers are forecast to continue near Lake Superior tonight as winds remain out of the east to northeast.

Winds become southeast on Sunday which will shift the lake effect snow potential farther up the North Shore (north of Duluth)

A period of light snow could then affect parts of the Northland Sunday night into Monday morning as a weak disturbance moves through the upper Midwest.

Note: Radar forecast below is valid from 6 PM Saturday to 6 AM Monday.

Source 18z NAM-WRF model 1.11.2020;

Reports of 2.0 to 2.5 inches of snow so far today near and east of Superior per NWS reports.

Here’s my snowfall forecast valid through Noon Sunday.

Low Temperature reports from Saturday morning, January 11, 2020


Kabetogama, MN: -36F
2 E Celina, MN: -35F
Embarrass, MN: -34F
International Falls, MN: -33F
Babbitt, MN: -33F
Bigfork, MN: -33F
3 E Orr, MN: -32F
Cook, MN: -31F
Cass Lake, MN: -29F
Crane Lake, MN: -29F
Orr, MN: -29F
Cotton, MN: -28F
Ely, MN: -26F
Walker, MN: -26F
Longville, MN: -24F
Floodwood, MN: -23F
Hibbing, MN: -22F
Grand Rapids, MN: -20F
Aitkin, MN: -20F
3 E Wright, MN: -20F
Two Harbors, MN: -15F
Cloquet, MN: -13F
Silver Bay, MN: -11F
Duluth Airport: -11F
Past January Snowfall Totals for Duluth, Minnesota from 2000 through 2019

Average January Snowfall in Duluth is 19.4″

Note: Since 2000 there have only been 2 Januaries which have had above normal snowfall in Duluth, and the last time Duluth had above normal snowfall in the month of January was in 2005, that’s hard to believe!

2000: 16.5″
2001: 14.9″
2002: 11.3″
2003: 5.9″
2004: 42.3″
2005: 45.7″
2006: 7.3″
2007: 4.5″
2008: 2.8″
2009: 9.3″
2010: 14.6″
2011: 18.5″
2012: 5.1″
2013: 9.2″
2014: 9.4″
2015: 6.6″
2016: 13.0″
2017: 15.5″
2018: 9.1″
2019: 10.4″

*January 2008 was the 4th least snowiest January on record in Duluth dating back to 1884, while January 2005 was the 2nd snowiest January on record, with the 3rd snowiest January on record occurring in 2004.

Note: So far in January 2020 (thru the 10th) 0.7″ of snow has fallen in Duluth.

Low temperature forecast for Sunday morning, January 12, 2020. Source

High temperature forecast for Sunday, January 12

…Weather Summary…

A fairly active/potentially snowy weather pattern through the upcoming week.

Lake effect snow showers will continue near Lake Superior tonight with brief bursts of heavy snowfall and near whiteout conditions possible. Note: Snowfall amounts, road conditions and visibility will change considerably in short distances tonight.

Northeast winds will continue tonight with plenty of cold air in place for lake effect snow with 850mb temps down to around -15C which is setting up a lake/air temperature difference of 12 to 18 degrees which is favorable for lake effect snow. Overall looks like a general 1 to 3 inches of snow near Lake Superior tonight, but if a more persistent snow band sets up over the same location for a few hours, snowfall totals could end up higher, perhaps as much as 4 to 6 inches through Sunday morning.

The rest of the area (away from Lake Superior) will be dry tonight under clear to partly cloudy skies. Lows will range from the teens below to teens above zero with the ‘warmest’ temps found closer to Lake Superior. Winds will be out of the north or east at 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph near Lake Superior.

Partly to mostly cloudy skies on Sunday. Any lingering lake effect snow showers should shift farther up the North Shore during the day as winds turn southeasterly. Highs on Sunday will range from the teens to around 20 degrees.

A period of light snow could affect parts of the Northland Sunday night into early Monday morning with the greatest chances looking to be over northwest Wisconsin and perhaps eastern Minnesota. Snowfall accumulations of around an inch or less are expected for Sunday night.

Note: Potentially three more snow events are lined up for next week. The first Monday night-Tuesday, a second on Wednesday with a third system during the Friday-Saturday, January 17th-18th time frame. Right now it looks like the early and late week systems have the greatest chance for producing a couple inches of snow across the area. Stay tuned!


Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Breezy with occasional snow showers and patchy blowing snow. Snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches possible. Mostly cloudy. Low 8 to 13. Wind northeast 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph.

.Sunday… Scattered snow showers or flurries early. Partly to mostly cloudy. High 16 to 21. Wind east to southeast 10 to 15 mph.

.Monday… Light snow or flurries possible early. Snowfall accumulations less than one inch. Partly to mostly cloudy. High 25 to 30. Wind east to southeast 10 to 15 mph.

Normal temperatures for January 12

High 19
Low 1

Sunrise Sunday 7:51 AM CST
Sunset Sunday 4:43 PM CST

Thanks for reading!


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