Very cold through midweek; milder late this week/weekend with a little snow possible

A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for portions of north-central, northeast and east-central Minnesota from 9 PM this evening to Noon Tuesday. Source:

Some cities included in the wind chill advisory: International Falls, Bigfork, Grand Rapids, Cass Lake, Hill City, Moose Lake, Cloquet, Duluth, Hibbing, Cook, Ely, Isabella, Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Grand Marais.

Wind chills as low as 30 below zero in the advisory area. The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Wind Chill Advisory in light blue on the map below.

A very cold air mass will be over the Northland the next few days, with dangerously cold wind chills at times tonight into Tuesday morning, and again Tuesday night and Wednesday night.

Forecast wind chill temperatures per 12z European computer model thru 6 AM Thursday.


We have a good cold air pipeline setup for the Northland through Wednesday with 850mb temps as low as -20 to -25C sitting to our north, and the southern flank of this arctic air will remain over our area the next few days before we see some milder air work in later this week.

Looks like will add 3 more subzero nights to the 4 we’ve had already this month in Duluth, but considering we average 15 subzero nights in January, a total of 7 subzero nights really isn’t too bad.

Note: Normal highs in Duluth are right around 20 degrees and the normal low is around 0 in late January/early February.


Will be adding a few more below average days this week (blue numbers) but it won’t be enough to pass the number of above average days we’ve had this month in Duluth.



Despite a few shots of arctic air lately, January 2021 continues to run well above normal in the temperature department across the Northland, with all 5 major climate stations having an average temperature for the month ranking in the top 10 warmest Januaries on record (thru the 24th)

Here’s a look at the average temperature and departure from normal for January 2021 (thru the 24th)

  • Ashland, WI: 20.8 F; +7.5 degrees above normal
  • Duluth, MN: 20.0 F; +9.9 degrees above normal
  • Brainerd, MN: 19.6 F; +8.7 degrees above normal
  • International Falls, MN: 18.7 F; +14.6 degrees above normal
  • Hibbing, MN: 16.7 F; +10.2 degrees above normal

Note: Average temps this month continue to run 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal over a wide area from Montana to northern Minnesota.


Snowfall continues to run below normal across the Northland this month.

Snowfall totals and percent of mean for January 2021 (thru the 24th)

  • International Falls, MN: 7.7″ (63% of normal)
  • Duluth, MN: 5.4″ (34% of normal)

A strong jet stream and an active storm track this week from the western to eastern US, but the storm track remains too far south of the Northland to bring any snow to our area at least through Thursday.

All sorts of weather alerts in effect across the western US over the next few days.

Winter Storm Warning (pink)

Winter Storm Watch (blue)

Winter Weather Advisory (purple)

Hard freeze warning (dark purple)

High Warnings/Advisories (brown)

Note: The Phoenix metro area was even under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning around 3 PM CT today.

I’ll be keeping an eye on model trends this week for any possible shifts in this weekend’s storm track, but as of now it looks like this system will pass pretty far to the south which leads to only a little snow or a miss altogether for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, while a greater chance for accumulating snow occurs farther south. If this system trends more to the north, our snow chances would increase in parts of the Northland for this weekend. Stay tuned.


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