Mild temps continue in the Northland this week with no major snow events

It’s been a very warm January in the Northland, with average temperatures for the month some 10 to nearly 18 degrees above normal thru January 9.

Average temperature and departure from normal for January 2021 (thru the 9th)

International Falls, MN: 22.1 F; +17.7 degrees above normal
Duluth, MN: 21.3 F; +10.9 degrees above normal
Brainerd, MN: 21.1 F; +10.0 degrees above normal
Ashland, WI: 20.5 F; +6.8 degrees above normal
Hibbing, MN: 18.2 F; +11.4 degrees above normal

Although the second half of January does look somewhat cooler at times, its unlikely it would be cold enough or persistently cold enough to tilt the average temps below normal for the month.

Warmest January on record and the year it was set

International Falls: 18.8 F (2006)
Duluth: 23.7 F (2006)
Brainerd: 25.2 F (2006)
Ashland: 25.9 F (2006)
Hibbing: 21.0 F (2006)

Very mild temperatures will continue in Duluth over the next few days with highs above freezing possible from Tuesday through Thursday, this will be followed by a cooling trend as temperatures get back closer to normal, but still no subzero temps in Duluth over the next 10 days the way it looks now, although temps may get close to 0 by early next week.


2020-2021 La Nina El Nino continues! Upside down temperature pattern so far this month. Colder than average across the south, and well above average across the north.



A lack of snow so far this month in the Northland.

International Falls has only picked up a trace of snow so far this month, while Duluth has picked up a whopping 0.3″ of snow, or just 5% of its normal snowfall thru January 9.

Note: The least snowiest January on record at Duluth was in 1921 with 2.0″ of snow.


The entire Northland has seen 10% or less of its normal snowfall so far this month, not good for some, and good news for others.

Although we will have a few disturbances move through the area this week, none of them look very impressive in terms of the amount of precip/snow they bring to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. All in all a pretty dry week ahead, with only a few chances for a little snow or mixed precip at times through Friday.

Shown below is the 18z NAM model 500mb vorticity forecast valid thru 12 AM Thursday, January 14, 2021.


The pattern could turn a little snowier in the Northland as we head into mid and late January, with 8/20 or 40% of GEFS model members showing at least 6″ of snow accumulation thru January 26. Should we see a snowier second half of January, it would be very similar to what we saw happen in December where the first half of that month was very dry, which was followed by a snowier second half of the month.


It’s been quite a winter across portions of the Southern Plains with another significant snow event hitting parts of Texas today, and this one will also affect parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi into Monday morning.

Winter Storm Warning in pink

Winter Weather Advisory in purple


There are signs that continue to show up in long range model guidance for a shift in the weather pattern toward the end of this month, but for the week ahead not a whole lot of change in the pattern.

Source: 12z European ensemble model 1.10.21;


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