A few snow and rain showers possible in parts of the Northland Thursday and Friday; chilly through the weekend

The first snow of the season will likely fall in some parts of the Northland Thursday and Friday, but no accumulation is expected, just a few flakes falling out of the sky at times, just another sign that winter is approaching!

Included in this post are past October snowfall totals at Duluth, Minnesota from 2000-2019, just scroll a little further down to find that information.

Note: I don’t think will see any snow in Duluth or Superior Thursday or Friday, just a few rain showers at times, but I guess it’s possible that a few snow pellets (graupel) could mix in at times.

The most widespread shower coverage is expected this evening, then mostly just isolated to widely scattered showers of rain and snow Thursday and Friday. Note: Some lake effect snow and rain showers are possible on Friday along the South Shore of Lake Superior, mainly south/east of Ashland with a chance for a light coating of slushy snow in higher elevated areas inland from Lake Superior.

18z NAM 3km radar forecast ending at 7 PM Friday.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

The bigger story over the next few days will be the temperatures as it looks like will be stuck in the mid 30s to mid 40s for daytime highs Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Note: I think the record cold high temps for October 1st are safe, but we could get close to breaking or tying the record cold high temps on Friday (October 2nd)

…Record Cold High Temperatures for October 1st…

Duluth, MN: 37 degrees set in 1974

Hibbing, MN: 38 degrees set in 1974

International Falls, MN: 39 degrees set in 1908 and tied in 1974

Brainerd, MN: 40 degrees set in 1985

Ashland, WI: 41 degrees set in 1985

…Record Cold High Temperatures for October 2nd…

Duluth, MN: 40 degrees set in 1888

International Falls, MN: 40 degrees set in 1989 and tied in 1999

Hibbing, MN: 40 degrees set in 1989

Brainerd, MN: 41 degrees set in 1989

Ashland, WI: 45 degrees set in 1944

A cold air mass continues to move further south out of northern Canada today, and will reach the Northland on Thursday as 850mb temperatures fall to around -4 to -8C. A chilly air mass will remain over the Northland through this weekend.

Here’s how the current pattern looks on water vapor imagery – Its a very amplified pattern with a strong ridge covering the western U.S., while a broad upper level trough stretches from central Canada south to the upper Midwest and Great Lakes, this type of pattern is very favorable for early season cold air to spill south out of the Arctic.

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

September 2020 was a dry month over much of the Northland.

Brainerd and Duluth received only around 25% of their normal precipitation this month. Note: I’ll post the climate summaries for September 2020 on Thursday, but it looks like this September will go into the record books as the 7th driest September on record at Duluth.

Source: https://mrcc.illinois.edu/

We’ve seen numerous scattered showers and a few thunderstorms move southeast across the Northland today. Gusty winds, brief downpours and some small hail has occurred with some of this activity today.

Loop time ends at 5:01 PM, Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Source: https://weather.cod.edu/

Local Storm Reports from Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Source: https://www.weather.gov/dlh/

3:49 PM: Hail 0.25 inch. 2 NE Bruno, MN (Pine County) A high quantity of small hail accumulated and made roads slippery along Highway 23 between Bruno and Kerrick.

2:00 PM: Hail 0.25 inch. 2 S Backus, MN (Cass County)

1:45 PM: Hail 0.25 inch. Fort Ripley, MN (Crow Wing County)

1:40 PM: Hail 0.25 inch. Oslund, MN (Itasca County) Pea size hail fell for about 4 minutes.

A look at radar estimated rainfall since early Wednesday morning. Note: The yellow outlined area has picked up the most rain today with radar estimating a tenth to over a quarter inch of rainfall today.

A cool final day of September with temperatures ranging from the middle 40s to lower 50s across the Northland this afternoon. Temperatures will be even cooler on Thursday.

A new month begins tomorrow, and it’s the same old weather pattern. Looks like at least the first half of October will be drier than normal across the Northland.

Note: Duluth is closing in on a 10″ precipitation deficit for 2020. Currently sitting at 9.77″ below normal for the year thru 5 PM, September 30th.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

October Climate Averages and Records for Duluth, Minnesota

Normal high on the 1st: 58 degrees
Normal high on the 31st: 44 degrees

Normal low on the 1st: 40 degrees
Normal low on the 31st: 30 degrees

Averages for October

Temperature: 43.2 degrees
Precipitation: 2.85″
Snowfall: 2.3″

Records for October

Wettest: 7.53″ set in 1949
Driest: 0.09″ set in 1895

Snowiest: 14.0″ set in 1933

On average we get 2 days in October with a maximum temperature of at least 70 degrees, and 10 days with a minimum temperature of 32 degrees or lower.

On average we get 2 days in October with at least 0.1″ snowfall.

Astronomical Data for October

Sunrise on the 1st: 7:08 AM CDT
Sunrise on the 31st: 7:50 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st: 6:47 PM CDT
Sunset on the 31st: 5:53 PM CDT

Past October Snowfall Totals at Duluth, Minnesota
2000-2019

Average Snowfall in October is 2.3″

2000: Trace
2001: 2.0″
2002: 6.3″
2003: 4.5″
2004: Trace
2005: 0.1″
2006: 4.1″
2007: Trace
2008: 0.2″
2009: 3.7″
2010: 7.7″
2011: Trace
2012: 1.1″
2013: 0.3″
2014: 0.1″
2015: Trace
2016: Trace
2017: 11.1″
2018: 1.5″
2019: 0.9″

*Snowiest October since 2000 in Duluth was in 2017 with 11.1 inches of snow. October 2017 was the 3rd snowiest October on record in Duluth.

70% of Octobers since 2000 have had below average snowfall in Duluth, while 30% have had above average snowfall (years where October had above average snowfall include 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2017)

Thanks for reading!

Tim

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