Snow on the way Tuesday afternoon-early Wednesday morning, winter weather advisory in effect for parts of the Northland

  • Tuesday’s system will produce a band of snow in parts of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest, but this band of snow is forecast to be pretty narrow, so any shift in the track of the low will also shift the band of snow either slightly more to the north or a little farther south.
  • At this time it looks like the northern extent of the snow will setup right near the Highway 2 corridor in northeast Minnesota, roughly from Cass Lake to Duluth, and then east along the South Shore of Lake Superior in northwest Wisconsin.
  • The 18z NAM model has the snow much farther north compared to the other computer models today, and it appears the NAM is the odd model out at this time with how far north they show the snow on Tuesday. The NAM is also showing a lot more QPF/snowfall with Tuesday’s system compared to the other models which show lesser amounts of QPF/snowfall. Should the NAM model verify with its higher snow totals, then some parts of the Northland could see their advisory upgraded to a winter storm warning.

…Timing of Tuesday’s snowfall…

Computer models have been trending a bit slower in bringing the snow into the Northland on Tuesday, in fact all of Tuesday morning should remain dry in our area, and then we should see the snow spread from SW to NE Tuesday afternoon into early Tuesday evening. Snow tapers off from NW-SE early Wednesday morning, in the 2-5 AM time frame.

Note: Snow is expected to reach the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior around 3-6 PM Tuesday.

12z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 6 AM Tuesday to 6 AM Wednesday.


Computer models are showing rather strong lift (red/purple colors on animation below) with Tuesday’s system, although the strongest lift probably won’t last too long, but while it moves through parts of the area we could see bursts of moderate to even heavy snowfall with half inch to an inch per hour snowfall rates possible late Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening, most likely from parts of east-central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin.

18z GFS model 700mb forecast valid from 6 AM Tuesday to 6 AM Wednesday.


The system which will affect the Northland on Tuesday is moving east across the Pacific Northwest this afternoon. This system is expected to dive southeast reaching the Northern Plains Tuesday morning, and is forecast to be over northern Lake Michigan by Wednesday morning. This is more or less a mix between a Pacific type system and a clipper system.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Monday, February 22, 2021.


Here’s what I have for snowfall accumulations for the Tuesday afternoon-early Wednesday morning system, keep in mind the snowfall gradients/amounts shown on the map below could shift a bit during the next 18 hours or so as is typically the case with almost every winter weather system, and this one doesn’t look any different.

  • Tight snowfall gradients with this system!
  • Swath of greatest accumulations of 3-5″ including Cass Lake, Walker, Hill City, Aitkin, McGregor, Mahtowa, Moose Lake, Solon Springs, Cable, Butternut, Minong and Hayward.
  • 2 to 3 inches of snow for Grand Rapids, Duluth, Superior, Bayfield, Ashland, Hurley, Brainerd, Hinckley, Siren and Spooner.
  • 1 to 2 inches of snow for Hibbing, Two Harbors to near Silver Bay, tapering off to less than an inch from Bigfork to Ely to north of Silver Bay.

Note: A winter weather advisory is in effect from Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday morning for parts of east-central and northeast Minnesota and for all of northwest Wisconsin including the cities of Cass Lake, Walker, Pine River, Brainerd, Hill City, Aitkin, McGregor, Pine City, Hinckley, Moose Lake, Cloquet, Duluth, Superior, Solon Springs, Washburn, Bayfield, Ashland, Hurley, Danbury, Siren, Minong, Spooner, Shell Lake, Hayward and Winter. Accumulating snow is expected in the advisory area, with the snow possibly impacting the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes. Plan on slippery road conditions.


Last Monday morning we had lows in the -30s to around -40 across much of the Northland, fast forward a week and we have temperatures in the 40s above zero this afternoon in much of the area.

High of 39 degrees in Duluth thru 4 PM today, Monday, February 22, 2021, this is the warmest day we’ve had in Duluth since December 10, 2020 when the high was 43 degrees. Today, February 22, also marks the first day this month with a temperature at or above freezing in Duluth, normal for February is 7 days at or above 32 F.

Note: International Falls had a low of -39 F last Monday morning, February 15, and a high of 46 F today, Monday, February 22, 2021. 85 degrees warmer in International Falls this afternoon compared to the low last Monday morning.


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