Dry pattern continues; 40s Wednesday, turning a little cooler this weekend (closer to normal)

This weather pattern sucks if you like snow.

A few days ago, computer models were showing signs of hope on a somewhat more active/potentially snowier pattern developing in the Northland for mid to late December, but in just the last two days the models have changed considerably. The pattern doesn’t look good (if you like snow) at least through most of next week, now this doesn’t mean we won’t get any snow, in fact it does look like we might squeeze out a dusting to maybe an inch or two of snow in parts of the Northland over the next 5-7 days, but I’m not seeing any signs of a significant snow event >4-6″ impacting our area through late next week. Good news for folks who don’t like snow, but bad news for snow lovers.

One wimpy clipper might graze far northern Minnesota with a coating of snow or slush on Thursday, but most of that should be confined to the Minnesota/Ontario border area the way it looks now.

As for the system this weekend, no chance of it hitting the Northland. Latest track per model guidance has it targeting the Midwest and lower Great Lakes (Chicago, Milwaukee areas) Only chance of snow in the Northland this weekend would be if the lake effect machine kicks in (northerly flow) so perhaps the South Shore might see a little fluff this weekend.

18z NAM simulated radar forecast valid Midnight Thursday to Midnight Friday.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

We have a ways to go here in December, but so far just a trace of snow has fallen at Duluth, Minnesota thru December 8.

Listed below are the top 10 least snowiest Decembers on record at Duluth, Minnesota. Keep in mind that the average snowfall in December at Duluth is 17.7″.

1) 0.9″ set in 1905

2) 1.1″ set in 1894

3) 1.2″ set in 1892

4) 1.3″ set in 1939

5) 1.8″ set in 1952

6) 2.0″ set in 1930, tied in 1979

7) 2.2″ set in 1888

8) 2.3″ set in 1990

9) 2.5″ set in 1898

10) 2.9″ set in 1916


A balmy December afternoon across the Northern Plains and upper Midwest.

Mid 50s this afternoon in southwest Minnesota, 60s in parts of South Dakota.

500mb heights are as high in northeast Minnesota as they are west of Baja (558 meters) on this 8th day of December. What a crazy pattern! Oh, and a 582 meter ridge near Salt Lake City, Utah in early December. Ridiculous!

December 2020 temperature departures across the Northland (thru the 7th)

International Falls: +9.9 degrees above normal

Brainerd: +8.2 degrees above normal

Hibbing: +6.4 degrees above normal

Duluth: +5.7 degrees above normal

Ashland: +4.0 degrees above normal

Just your typical umm La Nina pattern showing up so far in December 2020, but wow this certainly looks more like an El Nino, I get that you can have fluctuations in the weather pattern, but still.

Source: https://lab.weathermodels.com/

Bone dry across the Northland over the last 2 weeks.

Duluth only had 15% of its normal precipitation from November 24 to December 7.

Near to below normal precipitation is forecast across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin through December 23. A fitting way to end what has been a very dry year across the area.

Source: https://weathermodels.com/

Note: 20.27″ of precipitation has fallen so far this year (thru Dec. 7) at Duluth, Minnesota. 2020 is on track to finish in the top 10 for driest years on record at Duluth.

Listed below are the top 10 driest years on record at Duluth, Minnesota.

1) 18.11″ set in 1910

2) 19.70″ set in 1898

3) 19.76″ set in 1918

4) 19.84″ set in 1987

5) 19.96″ set in 1885

6) 20.55″ set in 1925

7) 20.67″ set in 1976

8) 20.98″ set in 1997

9) 20.99″ set in 1936

10) 21.34″ set in 1912

Will need an additional 1.08″ of precipitation this month in Duluth in order to fall out of the top 10 driest years on record list, but chances of that happening don’t look very good at the moment.

Thanks for reading!


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