Mild temps stick around, but more clouds and some rain on the way the next few days

Upper level ridge of high pressure which has been in control of our area’s weather the last few days is starting to break down today as we see an upper level trough approach from the west/south, and this trough will more or less remain over the upper Midwest at least through Saturday, so expect more unsettled weather along with more clouds than sun for the next few days.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Thursday, September 30, 2021.

An area of rain along with a few embedded thunderstorms has been lifting north across southwest and central Minnesota late this afternoon.

MRMS radar loop ending 6:30 PM Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Rain chances tonight are highest across north-central and east-central Minnesota, with generally dry conditions continuing for the Arrowhead, North Shore, Twin Ports and northwest Wisconsin tonight.

Some rain is possible area-wide at times Friday into early Saturday morning, but the rain won’t be continuous.

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast thru 7 AM Saturday.

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A few different computer model forecasts for rainfall totals thru 7 AM Saturday.

HREF model

NWS Blend of Models.

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High temperatures the next few days will be cooler compared to what we’ve seen the last few days, but we’re still looking at above normal highs Friday through Sunday, with readings in the mid 60s to low 70s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Tim

Long Range Forecast for October 2021; and a look at climate normals, records and past snowfall totals for October at Duluth, MN

October Climate Normals for Duluth, Minnesota

Normal high on the 1st: 60
Normal high on the 31st: 45

Normal low on the 1st: 41
Normal low on the 31st: 30

Average monthly temperature for October: 44.2 degrees
Warmest: 55.9 degrees set in 1963
Coldest: 33.5 degrees set in 1917

Normal Precipitation for October: 2.91″
Wettest October on record: 7.53″ set in 1949
Driest October on record: 0.09″ set in 1895

Normal Snowfall for October: 2.7″
Snowiest October on record: 14.0″ set in 1933

Mean date for first 0.1″ snowfall at Duluth: October 22
Mean date for last 70 degree temperature at Duluth: October 10

Top 5 Snowiest Octobers on record at Duluth, Minnesota

1: 14.0″ set in 1933
2: 12.0″ set in 2020
3: 11.5″ set in 1925
4: 11.1″ set in 2017
5: 9.7″ set in 1995

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Past October Snowfall Totals for Duluth, Minnesota

(2000-2020)

2000: Trace
2001: 2.0″
2002: 6.3″
2003: 4.5″
2004: Trace
2005: 0.1″

2006: 4.1″
2007: Trace
2008: 0.2″
2009: 3.7″
2010: 7.7″

2011: Trace
2012: 1.1″
2013: 0.3″
2014: 0.1″
2015: Trace

2016: Trace
2017: 11.1″
2018: 1.5″
2019: 0.9″
2020: 12.0″

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Long Range Forecast for October 2021 per CFS model.

Temperatures: Above normal temperatures are forecast for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin per last 15 model runs from the CFS model.

Precipitation: There seems to be a little more uncertainty in the precipitation forecast for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for October 2021, but the trend over the last few model runs is for normal to above normal precipitation totals across the Northland.

Tim

Drought Update 9/28/2021

There wasn’t a whole lot of change in drought conditions across the region this week.

  • 23% of Minnesota is in Extreme Drought, unchanged from last week.
  • 50% of Minnesota is in Severe Drought, unchanged from last week.
  • 76% of Minnesota is in Moderate Drought, unchanged from last week.
  • 93% of Minnesota is Abnormally Dry, unchanged from last week.
  • 0.80% of Wisconsin is in Extreme Drought, up from 0.14% last week.
  • 6% of Wisconsin is in Severe Drought, up from 3% last week.
  • 15% of Wisconsin is in Moderate Drought, unchanged from last week.
  • 31% of Wisconsin is Abnormally Dry, down from 33% last week.
  • 0.43% of North Dakota is in Exceptional Drought, unchanged from last week.
  • 58% of North Dakota is in Extreme Drought, up from 52% last week.
  • 92% of North Dakota is in Severe Drought, unchanged from last week.
  • 99% of North Dakota is in Moderate Drought, and is Abnormally Dry, both unchanged from last week.
  • 4.16% of the Midwest is in Extreme Drought, up from 4.04% last week.
  • 12% of the Midwest is in Severe Drought, up from 10% last week.
  • 23% of the Midwest is in Moderate Drought, up from 21% last week.
  • 42% of the Midwest is Abnormally Dry, down from 45% last week.
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Here’s the U.S. Drought Monitor Class Change — September 28, 2021 compared to September 21, 2021.

Areas in yellow saw their drought worsen.
Areas in green saw improvement in their drought.
Areas in gray saw no change in their drought.

USDA Topsoil Moisture map for the period ending September 26, 2021.

Red=Very Dry
Yellow=Dry

Palmer Drought Severity Index ending September 25, 2021.

All of northwest Wisconsin needs an additional 2-3″ of precipitation to end their drought.

All of northeast and northern Minnesota needs an additional 3-4″ or more of precipitation to end their drought.

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14-Day Percent of Normal Precipitation (9/15/2021 – 9/28/2021)

30-Day Percent of Normal Precipitation (8/30/2021 – 9/28/2021)

Tim

Some rain at times Thursday night-Saturday; Mild temps continue through early next week

Will finally see a bit of a change in the weather pattern over the next few days as a strong upper level ridge which has been anchored over the upper Midwest the last few days begins to break down thanks to a trough approaching from the Northern Rockies – That trough combined with a warm front and cold front moving across the area late this week will cause rain chances to go up in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, especially from late Thursday night through Friday night, but some lingering showers are possible even into Saturday.

Note: Much of the Northland looks to get about a quarter to half inch of rain out of this system for Thursday night-Saturday, but higher amounts up to an inch are possible in spots.

An upper level ridge will remain over our area for one more day on Thursday before we see a trough currently over the Rockies move into the upper Midwest. Moisture is lifting north ahead of the approaching trough from the west today.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Most of the day Thursday will be dry in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but some rain is possible by Thursday night/Friday morning.

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid from 7 AM Thursday to 7 AM Friday.

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Record warmth in the Northland today – Here are the new record high temps which were set for September 29th.

Brainerd, MN: New record 84; old record high was 83 set in 1905

Hibbing, MN: New record 79; old record 77 set in 2000

Very warm temperatures continued across the region today with widespread 70s and 80s, and even a few 90s once again in parts of northwest Minnesota. Temperatures were a lot cooler, however, near Lake Superior due to a stronger onshore wind today.

Temperatures will continue to be well above normal in the Northland on Thursday with highs in the 70s to lower 80s, but it will be cooler once again closer to Lake Superior.

Record Highs for September 30th

Hibbing, MN: 84 set in 1976
Brainerd, MN: 83 set in 1932
Ashland, WI: 83 set in 1937 and 1976
Duluth, MN: 82 set in 1897
International Falls, MN: 82 set in 1922 and 1989

Note: Thursday will likely be our last real warm day this week, but even after Thursday we’re still looking at above normal high temps, with 60s and perhaps a few 70s from Friday through this weekend, and probably even into early next week. There really are no signs showing up per long range model guidance for widespread frost/freeze conditions in the Northland through most of next week.

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Widespread low clouds and fog over western Lake Superior and along the North Shore (yellow outlined area) this morning and early this afternoon has been eroding this afternoon, but low clouds and fog could return tonight into Thursday morning, and some of that fog could become dense.

Goes-16 visible satellite loop from Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Tim

Record warmth in the Northland on Tuesday; Warm temperatures continue today

Note: Normal highs in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin are generally in the lower 60s this time of year. Highs Tuesday were in the 70s and 80s, and similar temperatures are likely for today, except near Lake Superior where it will be quite a bit cooler.

High Temperature reports from around the Northland for Tuesday, September 28, 2021

International Falls, MN: 84 F
Bigfork, MN: 84 F
Orr, MN: 82 F
Cass Lake, MN: 82 F
Cook, MN: 81 F
Walker, MN: 81 F
Brainerd, MN: 80 F
Hibbing, MN: 80 F
Grand Rapids, MN: 80 F
Babbitt, MN: 80 F
Crane Lake, MN: 79 F
Eveleth, MN: 79 F
Longville, MN: 79 F
Pine River, MN: 79 F
Moose Lake, MN: 79 F
McGregor, MN: 79 F
Aitkin, MN: 77 F
Hinckley, MN: 77 F
Ashland, WI: 77 F
Siren, WI: 77 F
Hayward, WI: 75 F
Cloquet, MN: 75 F
Duluth Airport: 75 F
Solon Springs, WI: 75 F

A new record high temperature was set for September 28th at International Falls, Minnesota

New record high: 84 set 9/28/2021
Old record high: 82 set 9/28/2011

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Much of the Northland will remain clear this afternoon, but low clouds and fog will be common closer to Lake Superior thanks to a humid onshore flow today.

Goes-16 satellite loop from Wednesday morning, September 29, 2021.

Tim