Snow possible late this week

There really isn’t much model agreement yet concerning the track of a late week system, and how much snow we could get out of this system in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

  • Euro and UK models dig the system further south which increases the chances for a more significant snow event in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.
  • NAM, Canadian and GFS models keep the system more to the north/east, this leads to less snow in most of the Northland late this week, with the NAM model showing the least amount of snow at the moment.
  • Should also be noted that although the Operational GFS model doesn’t show much snow in our area per its 12z and 18z runs today, the GFS Parallel model does hit us pretty good, similar to the Euro.

Main takeaway is will likely see snow Thursday and Friday, but how much is not clear yet, amounts could range from only an inch or less, to around 4-12″+.


Not a whole lot of agreement (yet) in the Euro guidance on where an area of low pressure will be located Friday morning.

Here’s the last 3 model runs from the European model valid for 6 AM Friday, January 15, 2021, with the last image being the most recent run which looks pretty good if you want a more significant snowfall in most of the Northland since the surface low (red L on map) is located south of our area, down near near Eau Claire, WI which not only gives us synoptic snow, but also a chance for some lake enhancement near Lake Superior as winds would be out of the east or northeast, so it’s not a surprise to see such high snowfall amounts being forecast by the Euro guidance for late this week. Stay tuned.


Again if the late week system digs further south, similar to what the Euro guidance is showing today, that would increase the chances for a more impactful snow event in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Euro ensemble 500mb forecast valid 6 AM Thursday to 6 AM Saturday.

On the other hand, should the GFS model have the correct solution for the late week system, then we would see less snow across most of the Northland since the system tracks farther north and is more broad in nature compared to a more consolidated low per Euro guidance.

18z GFS model 500mb forecast valid from 6 AM Thursday to Midnight Saturday.

Blue colors on the maps below indicate snowfall 2″+, while purple colors indicate snowfall 6″+.

18z GEFS model 20 member snowfall forecast ending 6 AM Saturday, January 16, 2021 – GEFS model keeps the most significant snowfall east of the Twin Ports late this week all the result of the different storm tracks in the GFS and Euro models.


72% of Euro Ensemble members (12z run from Monday) crank out 6″ or more of snow in Duluth between Thursday and early Saturday, compared to just 28% of members which show <6″ of snow in Duluth late this week.


  • 0.3″ of snow so far this month at Duluth. Normal snowfall in January is 19.4″.
  • On average Duluth sees 12 days with at least 0.1″ snow in January (So far just 1 day this January)
  • On average Duluth sees 4 days with at least 1.0″ of snow in January (None so far this January)

It’s certainly possible we could get the bulk of our normal January snowfall (19.4″) in a period of 2 weeks depending on how the pattern sets up over the next few weeks.

Haven’t seen greens on this map around here in quite some time! Green colors indicate above normal precipitation.



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