Cold through Thursday; Some snow possible this weekend and again next week

A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for portions of north-central, northeast and east-central Minnesota from 9 PM this evening to 11 AM Wednesday. Source:

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

Wind chills as low as 35 below zero in the advisory area. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

Very cold wind chills will be found over the Northland tonight into Wednesday morning, and again Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Wind Chill Forecast thru 6 AM Thursday per 12z European computer model.


An active weather pattern in place this week.

Water vapor loop from Tuesday, January 26, 2021.



…Weekend System January 30-31, 2021

  • Low pressure is forecast to dive SE out of the Northern Rockies on Friday, then will watch this low move east or east-northeast across the Midwest this weekend.
  • This type of storm track is too far to the south to bring the Northland a significant amount of snow, however, this system will be a little different since a trough is expected to extend N-NW of the surface low, and some accumulating snow will likely occur near that trough as moisture gets drawn N-NW. Where that trough sets up, and just how much moisture/snow occurs well north of the low pressure track is uncertain at this time.
  • Majority of the computer models show this being a light snowfall event for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin this weekend, but the GFS/GEFS models are considerably wetter and show quite a bit more snow than the other computer models, this is especially true along the North Shore of Lake Superior where lake enhanced snow is possible late Friday through early Sunday, but this will be dependent on wind direction and temperatures.

…Next Weeks’s Storm Threat…

  • Computer models have been consistently showing a system impacting parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes next week, sometime in the February 3-7 time frame.
  • Storm track, timing and intensity have varied from day to day and from model run to model run which is typical, but the main takeaway from the models is that they continue to show a system next week, and it could impact the Northland depending on its track.

A warm winter has led to this. Only 2% of Lake Superior is covered by ice as of Tuesday morning, January 26, 2021.


Ice coverage is only at ~2% on Lake Superior here in late January when it should be up ~20% at this time of the year.

We still have a ways to go to see where 2021 will end up in terms of how much of Lake Superior will be covered by ice, since peak ice concentration doesn’t typically occur until early March.

The chart below shows ice coverage in 2021 (red) compared to the long term average (blue)



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