Record/Near Record Warmth likely Tuesday (cooler near Lake Superior) Rain, Snow, isolated thunderstorms late Wednesday-Thursday morning; active weather pattern possible next week

Warm weather continues on Tuesday with highs in the 50s to lower 60s across the Northland, but winds will be shifting out of the east which means cooler temperatures for areas closer to Lake Superior, highs for lakeside areas will likely range from the upper 30s to middle 40s on Tuesday.

…Record High Temperatures for March 9th…

  • Ashland 59 degrees set in 1977
  • Brainerd 58 degrees set in 1977
  • Hibbing 55 degrees set in 2010
  • Duluth 54 degrees set in 1911
  • International Falls 51 degrees set in 1977

Note: Duluth, Minnesota recorded its first 50 degree temperature of 2021 today, Monday, March 8th, this is the exact same date to when the first 50 degree temperature occurred last year in Duluth. The average date for first 50 degree temperature in Duluth is March 20th.

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…Storm Potential Wednesday into Thursday morning…

  • An area of low pressure is forecast to develop in the Central Plains on Wednesday, most likely near the Nebraska-Kansas state line. This low is then forecast to lift to the northeast ending up somewhere over western or central Lake Superior by Thursday morning.
  • This system is expected to bring a variety of precipitation types to the Northland from Wednesday into Thursday morning.
  • East-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin should see mostly rain out of this system, but there is a chance for some snow to mix in for a time Wednesday night from around the Hinckley and Moose Lake areas, northeast to Superior, Solon Springs, Washburn and Ashland.
  • Northeast Minnesota will likely see some rain Wednesday afternoon before the rain mixes with and possibly changes over to all snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning, this would include the Duluth metro area. There is also a chance for some freezing rain or sleet Wednesday night which could lead to some light ice accumulations as well.
  • North-central Minnesota continues to have the greatest chance at seeing mostly all snow with this system, with snow arriving late Wednesday afternoon and continuing into Thursday morning before ending. Several inches of wet heavy snow are possible in north-central Minnesota, with accumulations of greater than 4 inches possible.
  • Isolated thunderstorms are also possible Wednesday into Wednesday evening, mainly from eastern Minnesota into northwestern Wisconsin.

Stay tuned to later updates as changes to the storm track and what areas see rain, ice and snow could shift around a bit over the next 24-36 hours.

Here’s my preliminary snowfall forecast for the Wednesday evening to Thursday morning system…

Note: Sharp cutoffs in snowfall amounts to the northwest and southeast of the main snow band are likely with this system. Storm track is not set in stone as of Monday evening, and the highest snow totals could shift further northwest or southeast over the next day or so.

  • Snowfall of 3 to 5 inches or more are possible from around Pine River and Walker, northeast to Grand Rapids, Hibbing and Ely.
  • Snowfall of 1 to 3 inches are possible northwest and southeast of the 3 to 5 inch zone, including for Bigfork, International Falls, the entire North Shore, Duluth, Cloquet, McGregor, Aitkin and Brainerd.
  • Around an inch of snow is possible from around Hinckley and Moose Lake, northeast to Superior, Solon Springs, Bayfield, Washburn and Ashland.

…Strong to Severe Thunderstorm Threat…

The system for midweek could also bring a threat for a few strong to possibly severe thunderstorms to parts of southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and western Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. Hail looks to be the main hazard if thunderstorms develop on Wednesday.

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…Active Weather Pattern Next Week…

Computer models are starting to come into a little better agreement in regards to next week’s pattern, and it’s one that has potential to be quite active!

Multiple storm systems look to eject east/northeast out of the Rockies next week, and at least one of those systems could impact the Northland with another round of snow or rain sometime in the March 14-19 time frame. Note: The pattern for next week has the looks of spinning up a major storm somewhere from the Plains to the Great Lakes so I’ll be keeping a close watch on model trends the next several days on this threat.

Euro ensemble model shows the potential for above normal precipitation in much of the Northland for the next two weeks, a rare sight to see around here the last few months. Time will tell if this verifies or not.

Tim

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