Nice weather on Friday; not so nice this weekend – storm potential with snow, rain and gusty winds

-Computer models continue to show a low pressure system lifting northeast out of the Central Plains this weekend.

-Track of this system looks favorable for precipitation to spread across most of the Northland Saturday, lingering into Sunday morning.

-Some of the precipitation will fall as snow, but how much snow we see is a little uncertain right now as it will come down to the temperature profile in the atmosphere, boundary layer temperatures and the track of the low. Euro model continues to be the colder model suggesting a lot more snow whereas the GFS model is warmer, leading to more rain than snow.

-There is a chance that some parts of the Northland could be under a winter storm watch or some sort of winter weather headline for this weekend if the colder model solutions verify.

Note: A storm track farther south (more in line with track 2) could reduce the amount of precipitation that falls across the Northland this weekend, and this would also diminish the chances for a significant snowfall.

Stay tuned!

Here’s a look at how the weather could play out Saturday night.

Low pressure moves into far southeast Minnesota with widespread precipitation affecting northwest Wisconsin, and parts of northeast and east-central Minnesota. Enough cooling takes place due to dynamical cooling/intense lift to cause the rain to change to wet heavy snow in parts of the Northland.

Here’s a look at wind gust potential for Saturday – Northeast winds gusting 20-30 mph in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with stronger winds of 30-45+ mph possible closer to Lake Superior.

Source: 18z 3km NAM model;

May see enough instability for thunderstorm development on Saturday in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not a huge amount of CAPE with values generally in the 100-500 J/kg range, but this could be enough for spotty thunderstorm development.

Source: 12z European model 3.26.20;

That subtropical jet is something! Check it out today on Goes-16 water vapor imagery. This jet stretches from the South Pacific to the Baja region into the Southern Rockies and Central Plains. Meanwhile energy is moving ashore into California today, and there is also some energy in the northern stream up in Alberta today which is heading E-SE.


Anyone looking for summer? If you are I found it! Widespread mid 80s to mid 90s this afternoon across the Southern Plains.

Source: RTMA model;


Low temperature forecast for Friday morning, March 27, 2020. Source:

High temperature forecast for Friday, March 27, 2020.

…Weather Summary…

Quiet weather conditions continue in the Northland tonight and Friday under partly to mostly cloudy skies.

Lows tonight will be in the teens and 20s with highs Friday in the mid 40s to low-mid 50s, but it will be cooler along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Winds tonight and Friday out of the south/southwest, except for an easterly wind along the North Shore.

Precipitation should gradually spread SW-NE into portions of the Northland on Saturday, but this process could take a while. Heaviest precipitation looks to fall Saturday night through early Sunday morning with a few lingering snow/rain showers Sunday afternoon.

There isn’t a good cold air source for this storm, so dynamics and or intense lift in the atmosphere will need to occur in order for temperatures to become cold enough to support snow. Forecast models show 850mb temperatures generally around -1 to -3C Saturday night with 925mb temperatures of around -1C, and boundary layer temps around 33-34 degrees, so again these are marginal temps for snow, but certainly could see it happen if the dynamics with this storm are strong enough to pull in just enough cold air, you don’t need a lot of cold air, just enough at this time of year. One other thing to keep an eye on will be if there are any thunderstorms mixed in late Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening, this is a possibility, especially in far eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin so some risk for thundersnow exists over a small portion of the Northland.


Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight… Partly cloudy. Low 21 to 26. Wind east 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday… Partly to mostly cloudy. High 45 to 50 but cooler near Lake Superior. Wind becoming south to southwest 10 to 15 mph.

.Saturday… Windy. Some rain or wet snow possible mainly late. High 35 to 40. Wind east increasing to 15 to 30 mph with stronger gusts possible.

Normal temperatures for March 27

High 39
Low 22

Sunrise Friday 6:57 AM CDT
Sunset Friday 7:32 PM CDT

Thanks for reading!


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