It’s been an interesting afternoon watching the computer models try to come into agreement on a storm track for this weekend. HRRR model is a miss, NAM’s a near blizzard, GFS shows mostly rain, Euro quite a bit of snow, fun times!
-There seems to be at least a little bit of a trend showing up this afternoon for this system to shift a bit more south than what it looked like 24 hours ago, this makes me nervous as I think the bust potential is rather high for this storm as a southern shift in the storm track could continue in the models through Saturday morning, and if this continues, most of the precipitation may end up staying south of Duluth and Superior this weekend.
-The potential is still there for an area of heavy wet snowfall to impact a portion of the Northland, but its likely to be a rather small area, so any shifts in the storm track will change the location of the heaviest snow.
-Most of the day Saturday should be dry in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, although I suppose there could be a little rain or drizzle, but overall it just looks like a breezy day under mostly cloudy skies.
-Precipitation in the form of rain and wet snow increases from south to north Saturday evening and during the overnight, and this precipitation will continue Sunday, but should diminish by Sunday afternoon.
-Heaviest precipitation whether its snow or rain looks to fall from about mid or late Saturday evening through Sunday morning (roughly in the 9 PM to 9 AM time frame) with the area at greatest risk for heavy precipitation from eastern Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin, but again this area may shift a little more north or south depending on the storm track.
Here’s my snowfall forecast for Saturday night through Sunday morning (confidence is very low)
I went back and fourth a few times this afternoon with my forecast, but this is what I’m going to go with as of 4 PM Friday.
*4 to 7 inches of snow across parts of northwest Wisconsin and far eastern Minnesota including Holyoke, Solon Springs, Lake Nebagamon, Minong, Iron River, Port Wing, Bayfield, Washburn, Cable and Ashland.
*2 to 4 inches of snow including Duluth, Superior, Cloquet, Moose Lake, McGregor, Sandstone and Hayward.
*1 to 2 inches of snow including Two Harbors and Aitkin.
*Less than an inch of snow from Brainerd to Floodwood to Silver Bay.
…Bust potential is rather high, and I may need to change my forecast by either increasing or decreasing snow totals, and by shifting the gradients around over the next 24 hours… Stay tuned!
-Winter Storm Watch (blue area on map) in effect from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon including the cities of Grand Marais, Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Isabella, Hibbing, Duluth, Cloquet, Moose Lake, Aitkin, Hill City, Superior, Solon Springs, Port Wing, Bayfield and Washburn.
-Accumulating snow is possible in the watch area along with gusty winds which may cause areas of blowing snow Saturday night through Sunday morning.
-Plan on slippery road conditions. Travel could be very difficult.
Lakeshore flooding is possible Saturday evening through Sunday morning along the South Shore of Lake Superior. The areas most at risk for lakeshore flooding and erosion includes Canal Park and Park Point, eastward across the Bayfield Peninsula to Saxon Harbor.
A dangerous severe weather day is possible on Saturday across portions of the middle Mississippi Valley with numerous rounds of severe thunderstorms capable of producing large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes (some of which could be strong) The risk for tornadoes is greatest Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening, and mainly from far eastern Iowa into northwest and west-central Illinois. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has put portions of extreme southeast Iowa and northwest and west-central Illinois in a moderate risk or a 4/5 category for severe weather on Saturday. Note: Moderate risks are only issued a few times a year.
A potent setup for severe weather will be in place on Saturday as a deep and strong trough currently over the Rockies moves NE through the Plains while an area of warm and humid air spreads north out of the Southern US, this combined with very strong winds aloft will create the ingredients necessary for a severe weather outbreak on Saturday across portions of the mid-Mississippi Valley.
Source: RAP model; https://www.spc.noaa.gov/
Goes-16 water vapor imagery shows this weekend’s storm moving across the Rockies today, eventually it will move out into the Plains where it will interact with abundant moisture.
Low temperature forecast for Saturday morning, March 28, 2020. Source: https://lab.weathermodels.com/
High temperature forecast for Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Most of the day Saturday looks dry in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but some light rain or drizzle is possible at times mostly over eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
System arrives Saturday night, lingers into Sunday morning, and this is when the bulk of the precipitation should fall across parts of the Northland.
Temperatures are going to be marginal for snow with boundary layer temps around 33-34 degrees. Farther up in the atmosphere also doesn’t look very cold with 850mb temps of around -1 to -3C, and 925mb temps around -1C. So will need strong lift/ heavy precipitation rates to occur to cool the column enough in order to get snow, this should happen Saturday night through Sunday morning in parts of the Northland.
Much of northern Minnesota should miss out on the precipitation this weekend including the Bigfork, International Falls, Orr and Crane Lake areas.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
-Dry tonight under partly to mostly cloudy skies. Low 30 to 33. East wind 10 to 15 mph.
-Becoming windy Saturday. Mostly cloudy (few peeks of sun possible) High 36 to 41. Wind east 15 to 30 mph.
–Winter Storm Watch Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon
-Rain and wet snow gradually develops Saturday evening, precipitation changing to wet snow late Saturday night. Gusty northeast wind 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Low 33 to 35.
-Wet snow or a mix of rain and snow Sunday gradually diminishing in the afternoon. Total snowfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible. High 38 to 43. Wind north to northwest 15 to 25 mph.
Thanks for reading!