Breezy and warmer Wednesday; a little snow possible this weekend

Much warmer temperatures are on the way for Wednesday as a surge of milder/Pacific air floods into the upper Midwest, but with the warmer temps will come gusty winds! These warmer temperatures won’t last long though as will get another brief shot of cold/arctic air late this week, but I’m still not seeing any signs in model guidance for any long lasting arctic air masses setting up over our area over the next week to two weeks.

  • Low of 0 F at the Duluth Airport this morning, Tuesday, January 19, 2021, coldest morning in Duluth since December 29, 2020 when the low was -10 F.
  • Low of -1 F at International Falls this morning, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. This is the first subzero temp at International Falls since December 31 (-1 F)

Temps will still be on the chilly side in the Northland Wednesday morning as they range from the single digits below to single digits above zero in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but by Wednesday afternoon will see temperatures rise a good 30 degrees from the morning’s lows, with highs on Wednesday in the 30s.

A strong area of low pressure passing by to our north will put us in the warm sector on Wednesday, this combined with a chinook wind results in a pattern favorable for much warmer temps across the upper Midwest.

Most of the snow associated with Wednesday’s low pressure will remain over Ontario Canada, but the southern fringes could clip extreme northern Minnesota and the far Arrowhead region (black outlined area on map)

Simulated radar forecast valid from Midnight tonight to Midnight Thursday per 18z NAM 3km model.


As is often the case when you get quick air mass changes you tend to get windy weather, and that will be the case Wednesday and Thursday.

Will start with a warm air advection pattern Wednesday, followed by another shot of cold air advection on Thursday. The result will be for periods of gusty winds, out of the southwest on Wednesday, and northwest on Thursday. Wind gusts of 20-30 mph are possible across the Northland Wednesday and Thursday.

Shown below is the 18z NAM model 850mb wind forecast valid from Midnight tonight to Midnight Friday with the yellow and red colors indicating winds of 40 to 60 knots up at ~5000 feet.


Three big lows (marked by a red L on the map below) and one ridge (blue H on map) showing up nicely on water vapor imagery today, Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Meanwhile in our area we have our brief arctic shot associated with an mid/upper level trough moving east while a surge of milder air spills SE ahead of low pressure over western Canada today.



This weekend’s snow chances are fading quickly in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin as a low pressure system and its trough takes a more southerly track compared to earlier model runs. So right now it looks like only a dusting to an inch of snow in parts of the Northland late Saturday/early Sunday (light blue area on map) while a few inches of snow are possible farther south (dark blue area on map)



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