Update on the system for late this week, less rain for the Northland?

Seeing quite a few changes in some of the computer models today regarding a late week system and its timing for the Northland, and whether or not it will even affect our area, and if it does how much rain will we get?

–The biggest change I’ve seen is with the European computer model, as today’s run (12z) has slowed down the onset of rain in our area.

–NAM model shows little if any rain for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late this week, and whatever rain does fall wouldn’t be until later Thursday night or Friday (similar to what this model was showing on Monday).

–GFS model has been going back and fourth between rain and very little rain for the Northland late this week, with the latest run (18z) siding more with the NAM guidance with a later arrival time and lower rainfall totals in most of our area.

So that’s where we stand as of Tuesday afternoon, I would expect a few more changes in the days ahead as computer models get a better handle on the system for late this week.

12z European computer model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 AM Thursday to 7 AM Friday.

Note: Rain would reach Duluth and Superior Thursday evening (~8 to 10 PM) per latest Euro model forecast. This is roughly 6 hours later than what this model was showing 24 hours ago.

Note the changes in the European ensemble guidance on where the highest probabilities are for getting a half inch or more of rain Thursday-Friday morning.

New model run today shifted things much further south, with only low probabilities for rainfall to exceed a half inch now in place in most of the Northland, except around the Brainerd Lakes area. Now this doesn’t mean it won’t rain at all in our area late this week, it simply means that any rain we get would mostly be on the light side, amounting to a quarter inch or less per Euro ensemble model guidance.

Yesterday’s run had much higher probabilities for over a half inch of rain much farther north to include all of northern Minnesota.

Setup for late this week includes dual lows approaching from the west with a cold front and warm front moving east into the upper Midwest.

Although we do have a few rain chances ahead starting late this week and carrying over into early next week, none of them look very significant in terms of rainfall amounts for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, so in the end most of the Northland is looking at below normal to near normal precipitation totals for the next 7 days. Good news, bad news as any rain is obviously a good thing since our area remains in a drought, and any rain would help reduce fire danger, but bad news since the rain we could get really doesn’t look like a whole lot to cut into the deficits we have for the year, and also to help in lessening the severity of the ongoing drought in our area.

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The stabilizing effect of winds off Lake Superior was in full display today by a lack of cloud cover closer to Lake Superior (stable air mass) while cumulus clouds form farther inland from the lake today.

Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Note: Remember to bookmark my blog (northlandweatherblog.com), or sign up to receive my blog posts via email.

Tim

September Climate Normals; Long range forecast for September; and a look at first fall freeze dates for the Northland

September 1st marks the beginning of Meteorological fall, or the three month period of September, October and November.

The official start of Fall 2021 is on September 22.

Here’s a look at the climate normals and records at Duluth, Minnesota for the month of September.

Normal high on the 1st: 73
Normal high on the 30th: 61

Normal low on the 1st: 52
Normal low on the 30th: 42

Average monthly temperature for September: 57.3 degrees
Warmest September on record: 62.6 degrees set in 1897
Coldest September on record: 47.8 degrees set in 1974

Normal precipitation: 3.48″
Wettest September on record: 11.52″ set in 1881
Driest September on record: 0.19″ set in 1952

Normal snowfall: 0.1″
Snowiest September on record: 2.4″ set in 1991

Duluth averages 2 days at or above 80 in September (record is 10 days in Sep 1908)
Duluth averages 1 day at or below 32 in September (record is 7 days in Sep 1974)

Mean date for last 80 degree day in Duluth is September 11th. The latest last 80 in Duluth was on October 21, 1901. Last year’s final 80 degree day in Duluth was on October 9.

Mean date for first 32 degree or colder temperature in Duluth is September 30. The earliest first 32 degree or colder temperature in Duluth occurred on August 27, 1986, and the latest first 32 degree or colder temperature in Duluth was on November 6, 1900. Last year’s first 32 degree or colder temperature in Duluth came on September 17.

Astronomical Data for Duluth, Minnesota

Days continue to get shorter in September

Sunrise on the 1st: 6:28 AM CDT
Sunrise on the 30th: 7:06 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st: 7:47 PM CDT
Sunset on the 30th: 6:49 PM CDT

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Much of the Northland typically sees their first frost and freeze of the season during the month of September, although it usually happens a little later near Lake Superior.

Mean date for first freeze (32 F)

International Falls, MN: September 14
Hibbing, MN: September 15
Ashland, WI: September 18
Brainerd, MN: September 21
Duluth, MN: September 30

Note: In 2020, Duluth recorded its first 32 F or lower temperature on September 17th.

Mean date for first freeze (28 F)

International Falls, MN: September 26
Hibbing, MN: September 29
Ashland, WI: September 29
Brainerd, MN: October 2
Duluth, MN: October 12

Note: In 2020, Duluth recorded its first 28 F or lower temperature on September 18th.

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The long range outlook for September 2021 calls for above average temperatures in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin per CFS model forecast.

The long range outlook for September 2021 calls for above average precipitation in all of northeast Minnesota, and near normal to above average precipitation in northwest Wisconsin per CFS model forecast.

Tim

Wildfire Update

Monday, 8/30/2021

Greenwood Fire is located near Greenwood Lake on the Laurentian Ranger District. The fire is between Greenwood Lake and the intersections of Highways 1 and 2.

Size: 25,991 acres
Total Personnel: 468
Percent of Perimeter Contained: 14%

Significant amounts of rain fell over the Greenwood fire area this past weekend, and the weather forecast includes more rain late this week (Thursday-Friday time frame).

Dry weather is forecast for the next few days, however, and this combined with an ongoing drought could lead to some fire growth into midweek.

Winds out of the northwest on Monday will shift to an easterly direction for Tuesday through Thursday, so any new fire spread should be off to the west or northwest after tonight.

Whelp Fire — 50 acres, this fire is located 23 miles northwest of Lutsen, Minnesota.

John Ek Fire — 1,563 acres, this fire is located 2.5 miles south of Little Saganaga Lake and extends from John Ek Lake to the SE corner of Elton Lake.

Tim

Rain chances return late this week

Dry/pleasant weather will continue in the Northland through midweek, but wet weather could return late in the week as a new low pressure system takes aim at the upper Midwest.

Here’s an early look at the timing of Thursday’s rain, but keep in mind we could see the timing of this rain shift earlier or later than what is shown today since we’re still a few days away from this next system.

Note: Rain could begin in Duluth and Superior Thursday afternoon (~1 PM to 3 PM) the way it looks now, with some rain continuing Thursday night into Friday morning before ending Friday afternoon.

12z European model simulated radar forecast valid from 1 AM Thursday to 1 AM Friday.

Euro ensemble model from Monday shows the highest chances for getting over a half inch of rain late this week centered over west-central and northern Minnesota, with lower chances for the Arrowhead, North Shore and northwest Wisconsin.

Low pressure with its warm front and cold front will move through the Northland Thursday into early Friday bringing more rain to the area, with the heaviest amounts of rain forecast to fall across western portions of the area, from the Brainerd Lakes to the Iron Range north to International Falls the way it looks now.

Forecast map valid for Thursday, September 2, 2021.

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Last week was a one wet in northeast Minnesota and in parts of northwest Wisconsin, with the bulk of this rain falling late in the week.

Observed rainfall totals, normal and percent of normal for the period August 23-29, 2021

Brainerd, Minnesota

Total rainfall: 2.51″
Normal: 0.83″
302% of normal

International Falls, Minnesota

Total rainfall: 2.00″
Normal: 0.66″
303% of normal

Duluth Airport

Total rainfall: 1.84″
Normal: 0.85″
216% of normal

Chisholm-Hibbing Airport

Total rainfall: 1.03″
Normal: 0.73″
141% of normal

Outside of a dry pocket around the Hayward Lakes area in northwest Wisconsin, the remainder of northwest Wisconsin and northeast Minnesota saw wetter than normal conditions last week, with the greatest anomalies in the blue and purple colors.

Last week’s heavy rain has led to river flooding in the area in red.

Tim

Widespread 1-2+” of rain reported in the Northland over the last few days

A widespread soaking rain fell across the Northland over the last few days, but especially Saturday night when the main trough and cold front with the strongest lift moved through the area. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches or more were widespread in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin over the last few days, with the highest total reported in the Northland occurring near Pleasant Valley, Minn (3.27″ of rain)

24 Hour Rainfall Reports from around the Northland

Totals listed below are for the Saturday-Sunday morning time period (Aug. 28-29, 2021)

1.5 S Pleasant Valley, MN: 3.27″
0.9 WNW Breezy Point, MN: 2.77″
Two Harbors, MN: 2.43″
11.5 WNW Mason, WI: 2.15″
11.8 NNE Duluth, MN: 2.13″
3 W Swan River, MN: 2.12″
3 NE Nisswa, MN: 2.11″
7.8 SSW Poplar, WI: 2.05″
Washburn, WI: 1.86″
0.1 NE Hovland, MN: 1.75″
1 N Big Falls, MN: 1.64″
Moose Lake, MN: 1.64″
Isabella, MN: 1.63″
Skibo, MN: 1.51″
Aurora, MN: 1.46″
Bayfield, WI: 1.41″
Grand Marais, MN: 1.35″
Duluth Airport: 1.34″
1.2 W Solon Springs, WI: 1.32″
Odanah, WI: 1.31″
International Falls, MN: 1.29″
2.4 N Hinckley, MN: 1.23″
Wrenshall, MN: 1.22″
Hill City, MN: 1.22″
Barnes, WI: 1.19″
Wolf Ridge, MN: 1.09″
French River, MN: 1.06″
Ashland, WI: 1.02″
South Range, WI: 0.98″
Superior Airport: 0.98″
Brainerd, MN: 0.89″
Silver Bay, MN: 0.83″
Esko, MN: 0.79″
Chisholm-Hibbing Airport: 0.78″
7 N McGregor, MN: 0.76″
Cook, MN: 0.75″
Embarrass, MN: 0.69″
Deer River, MN: 0.67″
Hurley, WI: 0.65″
Babbitt, MN: 0.61″
Orr, MN: 0.60″
Cass Lake, MN: 0.59″
Effie, MN: 0.51″

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An updated look at rainfall totals, departures and percent of normal in the Northland for August 2021 — Stats below are thru 4 PM August 29.

Duluth, Minnesota

Month to date total: 2.44″
Departure: -1.04″ below normal
Percent of normal: 70%

International Falls, Minnesota

Month to date total: 2.75″
Departure: +0.12″ above normal
Percent of normal: 105%

Brainerd, Minnesota

Month to date total: 3.92″
Departure: +1.04″ above normal
Percent of normal: 136%

Hibbing, Minnesota

Month to date total: 1.62″
Departure: -1.26″ below normal
Percent of normal: 56%

Ashland, Wisconsin

Month to date total: 1.38″
Departure: -1.85″ below normal
Percent of normal: 43%

Summer 2021 Rainfall Totals, Departure from Normal and Percent of Normal

Duluth, Minnesota

Total since 6/1: 6.98″
Departure: -4.81″ below normal
Percent of normal: 59%

International Falls, Minnesota

Total since 6/1: 5.81″
Departure: -4.57″ below normal
Percent of normal: 56%

Summer 2021 ranks as a top 10 wettest summer on record in parts of Wisconsin and lower Michigan (dark green areas) while northern Minnesota has had a top 10 driest summer on record (dark brown area).



Tim