Windy with rain and wet snow tonight and Wednesday; winter weather advisory in effect for parts of northeast Minnesota; gale warning issued for western Lake Superior

A strong spring storm will impact much of the Northland tonight and Wednesday.

  • Areas of light rain and drizzle late this afternoon will build to a steadier rain from south to north this evening as forcing increases as low pressure moves into the upper Midwest from the southwest.
  • Will see widespread rain and snow on Wednesday, but precipitation will diminish from west to east Wednesday night as low pressure moves away from the Northland.

Simulated radar forecast thru Midnight Thursday per 18z NAM 3km model.

Precipitation will become widespread across the Northland by late tonight with rain (green) and snow (blue)

Note: Rain moves back into the Twin Ports this evening ~7 PM to 10 PM. We could see the rain mix with or change over to wet snow on Wednesday ~8AM to 2 PM (earliest on top of the hill, higher elevation)

  • Winter Weather Advisory in effect across parts of northeast Minnesota (purple area on map) for Wednesday, including the cities of Meadowlands, Cotton, Hibbing, Eveleth, Babbitt, Ely, Cook, Orr, Crane Lake, Wales, Isabella and Forest Center. Expect slippery road conditions Wednesday. The hazardous conditions could impact the Wednesday morning and evening commutes.

Easterly winds have already gusted to 35 mph at the Duluth Airport this afternoon, and expect these gusty east to northeast winds to continue in the Twin Ports through Wednesday morning.

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There’s a lot of dry air currently across northern Minnesota (white outlined area) with late afternoon dew points only in the teens and 20s, so as precipitation spreads north tonight into this dry air it will evaporate as the atmosphere slowly moistens up. The dew point temperature will slowly climb tonight as the air mass becomes more humid, but the surface temperature will also fall until this process is complete (evaporative cooling) and this is one of the reasons why we should see rain turn over to wet snow late tonight into Wednesday in parts of the Northland.

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for Wednesday

Strong dynamical/evaporative cooling processes will be taking place across parts of northern Minnesota late tonight-early Wednesday morning, this will lead to falling temperatures both aloft and near the surface which will cause the rain to mix with and change over to a heavy wet snow, this process will spread further south during the day Wednesday, and I think will even see at least a little snow in Duluth and Superior by Wednesday afternoon, although I don’t think will see any accumulations by the lake, but on top of the hill there is a chance for a slushy coating, and if the rain turns over to snow early enough, then we could see up to 2 inches of accumulation on top of the hill in Duluth by late Wednesday afternoon.

Still looking at a decent amount of precipitation tonight and Wednesday, with totals of 0.75 to 1.00″+ across a large portion of east-central Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin and near Lake Superior, in fact some of the highest totals may occur near Lake Superior due to some lake enhancement. Note: The least amount of precipitation is still expected in the far NW portion of the area, around International Falls, and this is one area that really needs the precipitation.

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A classic Mid-Latitude Cyclone on full display today as a strong area of low pressure lifts northeast out of northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska.

Blue=High level cloudiness on the NW side of low pressure

Green=A steady rain

Magenta=Risk for a few strong to severe thunderstorms this evening

Orange=Strong northeasterly winds

A look at our storm on water vapor imagery today.

The strongest lift and forcing will arrive in the Northland from south to north tonight and linger into the day Wednesday, and this is when will see more widespread and possibly moderate precipitation rates across most of the area.

Tim

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