A windy, wet storm on the way; 30-35+ mph NE winds near Lake Superior Tuesday PM-Wednesday AM; some light rain arrives Tuesday, heavier rain Tuesday night, rain could mix with/change to snow in parts of the Northland Tuesday night-Wednesday

A strong spring storm will be impacting a large portion of the Northland the next few days

  • Some light rain lifts north into east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on Tuesday while it stays dry across northern Minnesota.
  • Heavier and more widespread precipitation arrives late Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday evening, and continues into Wednesday morning.
  • Still some uncertainty on precipitation types late Tuesday night and Wednesday, as well as how far west/north the heavier precipitation gets.
  • Precipitation ends from west to east Wednesday evening.
  • Strong northeast winds develop near Lake Superior including in Duluth and Superior during the day Tuesday, winds start out in the 10 to 20 mph range Tuesday morning, then increase to 20 to 30 mph by late Tuesday afternoon. Strongest winds expected Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, with wind gusts to 45 mph possible.

Note: Record Warm Low Temperatures were broken on Sunday, March 21st.

Duluth: New record 44 degrees; old record 39 degrees set in 2012.

Hibbing: New record 40 degrees; old record 38 degrees set in 1946.

International Falls: New record 38 degrees; old record 36 degrees set in 1911.


Here’s a look at our storm per Goes-16 water vapor imagery.

This storm will be coming out of Texas, and there should be plenty of gulf moisture north/east of the surface low which should get thrown north into the Northland by Tuesday night.

…Simulated Radar Forecast valid Midnight tonight to Midnight Thursday per 12z European computer model…

Rain in green, snow in blue, mixed precipitation in pink.

  • Some light rain is expected during the day Tuesday generally affecting eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, while it stays dry in northern Minnesota until Tuesday evening.
  • The strongest lift/forcing associated with this storm is forecast to arrive in the Northland Tuesday evening and continue through Wednesday morning, this is when we should see the heaviest precipitation occur in our area.
  • Combination of dynamical cooling and strong lift could lead to the rain switching over to a mix or to all snow in some parts of the Northland late Tuesday night or on Wednesday.

Note: Some light rain is possible in Duluth and Superior during the day Tuesday beginning around 10 AM to Noon, but any rain that falls during the day should be pretty light. Heavier rain is expected in the Twin Ports Tuesday night.

Here’s a look at how much precipitation we could get in the Northland through Wednesday evening.

Widespread half to one inch plus amounts are expected from east-central and northeast Minnesota into all of northwest Wisconsin, with lower amounts of around a quarter inch or less across far northwest areas.

Note: There is some uncertainty just how far north the heavier precipitation will get, and there is a chance that precipitation totals will be a lot lower near and north of that yellow line on the map.

…Snowfall Potential…

These spring storms can be tricky ones so will see how this one plays out, but it still looks like this storm should produce more rain than snow across most of the Northland, but dynamical cooling processes/heavier precipitation rates could help in switching the rain over to a mix or to mainly wet heavy snow late Tuesday night or during the day Wednesday across parts of north-central and northeast Minnesota, and over a portion of northwest Wisconsin.

Here’s my preliminary snowfall forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday.

…Strong NE winds near Lake Superior…


Not a whole lot of rain in the Northland with last night’s system, with amounts ranging from a trace to around 0.20 inches.

Duluth picked up 0.03″ of rain last night, while International Falls fared a little better with 0.08″ of rain.

…Very dry in parts of the Northland…

Precipitation totals over the last 30 days range from <0.25″ in far northwest portions of the area, to 1-2″ from east-central Minnesota into northwest Wisconsin.

International Falls has only had 0.15″ of precipitation since February 21st which is just 19% of normal, while Duluth has picked up 1.43″ of precipitation, and this is 113% of normal.

The black dashed outlined area could really use a good soaking, but it looks like the greatest precip amounts with the Tuesday-Wednesday storm will setup farther south once again, missing the far northwest portion of the area.


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