Mild and dry through early next week; colder risks return mid/late next week

The next few days will certainly have an early spring like feel across the Northland as afternoon temperatures climb into the middle 30s to lower 40s, and there’s even a chance that some locations sneak into the middle 40s Saturday and Sunday. All this warm air can make some folks a little crazy, so be careful out there.


Not only can you watch the lake effect clouds shift NE on the low level southwesterly winds across Lake Superior today on Goes-16 satellite imagery, but if you look closely, one can also see the ice across the South Shore of Lake Superior shifting NE as well today thanks to the southwest wind, pretty cool! Speaking of the ice, there isn’t much, with only 19% of the lake covered by ice as of Thursday morning, and most of that is confined to the shores of Lake Superior, no ice farther out over the lake.



Source region for our weekend warm-up will be that mild bubble of air which is over Montana and the western Dakotas today.

Source: RTMA model;

Odds favor a continued dry pattern for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for the rest of this month and into early March per long range model guidance.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 2.20.2020;

Low Temperature reports from around the Northland for Thursday morning, February 20th, 2020


Brimson, MN: -38F
Cotton, MN: -38F
Embarrass, MN: -35F
Hibbing, MN: -33F
Cook, MN: -29F
Eveleth, MN: -28F
Babbitt, MN: -28F
Crane Lake, MN: -27F
Floodwood, MN: -26F
Ely, MN: -26F
Bigfork, MN: -26F
Pine River, MN: -26F
Aitkin, MN: -24F
Cass Lake, MN: -24F
Grand Rapids, MN: -23F
Walker, MN: -23F
Brainerd, MN: -22F
Hayward, WI: -22F
Silver Bay, MN: -22F
Hinckley, MN: -22F
3 E Wright, MN: -21F
Butternut, WI: -21F
International Falls, MN: -20F
Siren, WI: -20F
Orr, MN: -18F
Moose Lake, MN: -18F
McGregor, MN: -18F
Solon Springs, WI: -18F
Cloquet, MN: -15F
Duluth Airport: -15F
Superior Airport: -14F

Note: Hibbing, Minnesota set a new record low temperature for February 20th of -33 degrees, the previous record low temperature for February 20th was -25 degrees set in 1966.

Low temperature forecast for Friday morning, February 21st, 2020. Source:

High temperature forecast for Friday, February 21st, 2020.

…Weather Summary…

Mild, Pacific air is moving in!

Mainly clear skies tonight and Friday with continued warm air advection on breezy southwesterly winds.

Temperatures tonight although still chilly won’t be nearly as cold compared to the last few nights with lows tonight in the single digits below to lower teens above zero. Highs on Friday will be in the 30s.

A strong westerly 850mb jet increasing to 45 to 55 knots on Friday will lead to a breezy day across the Northland with wind gusts of 20 to around 30 mph.

Dry this weekend with highs in the mid 30s to low/mid 40s.

Note: One thing that could keep our temperatures down this weekend is if we begin to see low clouds/fog develop due to some melting snow. The NAM guidance is the most aggressive on the development of low level stratus this weekend which would keep temperatures in the 20s and 30s.

Looking ahead to next week – There isn’t a whole lot of change in the pattern as all the storms pass well south of the Northland. Could be some flakes mid to late next week as the pattern flips to a chillier one, but nothing major in terms of snowfall the way it looks now.


Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Mostly clear. Low 6 to 11. Wind southwest 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday… Breezy and milder. Partly cloudy. High 34 to 39. Wind southwest 15 to 25 mph.

.Saturday… Partly cloudy. High 37 to 42. Wind southwest 10 to 20 mph.

Normal temperatures for February 21

High 26
Low 8

Sunrise Friday 7:03 AM CST
Sunset Friday 5:42 PM CST

Thanks for reading!


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