Some wet snow or a mix of precipitation tonight; a little cooler Wednesday-Thursday; a few snow showers possible late Wednesday afternoon/night

  • Wet snow or a mix of rain and snow will eventually develop and or spread into parts of the Northland this evening, with precipitation continuing into early Wednesday morning before coming to an end.
  • Snow totals for tonight have been reduced compared to 24 hours ago.
  • Turns a little cooler Wednesday and Thursday (near normal temps) with a chance for a few passing snow showers on Wednesday.
  • No signs of any big storms impacting the Northland at least thru the middle of next week.

Tonight’s system will move through pretty quickly with all of the precipitation ending in east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin before 6 AM Wednesday.

Note: Timing for when we could see some wet snow or a mix of precip in Duluth and Superior tonight is from around 8 PM to 4 AM.

18z NAM 3km simulated radar forecast valid from 6 PM this evening to 6 AM Wednesday.


This just hasn’t been our winter for snow in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, it’s been a struggle just to get a few minor to moderate snowfall events around here since December, and with only a few days left of Meteorological winter 2020-21 (ends Feb. 28) looks like will finish the winter around -15″ below normal in snowfall in Duluth.

I made some big changes to my snowfall forecast for tonight as the computer models have finally come into better agreement with this system. They all show lower precip/snowfall totals across the Northland, this combined with the warm temps in place will keep snow to liquid ratios on the low side, ranging from around 7:1 to 10:1 (a wetter snowfall)

  • 1-2″ of snow tonight from Brainerd and Aitkin, east into southern portions of northwest Wisconsin, with a chance for a few isolated 3″ totals in that 1-2″ zone.
  • Around an inch or less of snow north of there including for Cass Lake, Grand Rapids, Duluth, Cloquet, Superior, Bayfield and Ashland.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect in parts of the Northland for tonight (purple areas on map below)

-Winter Weather Advisory continues until Midnight tonight for a small part of north-central Minnesota including the cities of Cass Lake, Walker and Pine River, and until 5 AM Wednesday for most of northwest Wisconsin, including the cities of Solon Springs, Bayfield, Washburn, Ashland, Hayward, Winter and Hurley. Plan on slippery road conditions which could impact the Wednesday morning commute.

Tonight’s system has some good dynamics with it so it’s a bit of mystery as to why it won’t bring heavier snow to our area tonight.

-Strong winds aloft over the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

-Areas of stronger lift and frontogenesis near and just north of the surface low track which looks to be near the I-94 corridor in central Minnesota tonight.

-We even have a plume of steeper mid level lapse rates of around 6.5-8.0 c/km moving ESE out of the Northern Plains, so some of the precipitation may even have some convective elements tonight in central Minnesota.


Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Note: Red line on animation below represents the forecast track of an area of low pressure thru 6 AM Wednesday.



With no signs of a persistent pattern change occurring anytime soon, the ongoing drought will continue to be one of the bigger weather stories for the Northern Plains and parts of the upper Midwest as we head into spring 2021.

Note: For Duluth, this dry pattern really took hold starting last April and has been going pretty much non-stop since. We’ve only had 18.98″ of precipitation in Duluth since April 1, 2020 (normal from April 1 to February 22 is 29.24″) We continue to run roughly 3 months worth of precipitation below normal in Duluth which isn’t a good thing as spring is fast approaching. So unless we see a major shift in the pattern over the next few months, fire weather conditions might get pretty ugly around here later in the spring as we lose the snow pack and we await the green-up, and drought conditions will worsen as well over the next few months, unless we can get a major shift in the weather pattern.

The darker yellow and orange areas on the map below indicates precipitation deficits of -8″ to as much as -16″ since April 1st, 2020.



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