Winter Storm Watch issued for parts of northern Minnesota; Update on the storm which will impact the Northland through Friday with accumulating snow for some, rain and snow for others; Gale and Storm Force winds over Lake Superior, waves to 20 feet possible Thursday

  • Winter Storm Watch (blue area on map) is in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning for parts of northern Minnesota including the cities of International Falls, Bigfork, Crane Lake and Ely. Heavy snow possible. Travel could be very difficult in the watch area.
  • Storm Warning and Gale Warning covers a large portion of Lake Superior tonight and Thursday. Waves of 13 to 19 feet are expected over the open waters of the lake, while waves of 7 to 16 feet impact the Nearshore waters along the North Shore of Lake Superior, from Two Harbors to Silver Bay Harbor to Taconite Harbor to Grand Marais to Grand Portage. Note: Waves could build to 20 feet for a time early Thursday from Taconite Harbor to Grand Portage.

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast valid thru late Friday afternoon.

*5 to 8 inches or more of snow for far northern Minnesota including International Falls, Bigfork, Togo and Crane Lake.
*2 to 5 inches of snow for Walker, Cass Lake, Grand Rapids, Hibbing and Ely.
*1 to 2 inches of snow for Brainerd, Aitkin and for areas northwest of Duluth.

Snowfall amounts of a trace to 1 inch for Duluth and Superior, although locations below the hill may see little to no snow with this system.

High temperature forecast for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Thursday 11/11: Mid 30s in northern Minnesota to the 40s in eastern Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin and along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Friday 11/12: 30s to around 40 degrees.

Saturday 11/13: 30s area-wide.


A triple barrel low late this afternoon, but the low currently over northeast Kansas will become the main low from here on out as it lifts NNE into the Northland.

Definitely a bit of an odd storm track!

Low pressure will lift northeast out of southwest Iowa tonight reaching northwest Wisconsin Thursday afternoon, then will see this low hook northwest into northeast Minnesota Thursday evening, then the low moves south-southeast reaching west-central Wisconsin by Friday morning.

A strong mid to upper level low over southern Saskatchewan will continue to dig SE into the Northern Plains and upper Midwest tonight and Thursday, while a broad negatively tilted trough stretching from the Dakotas to Mexico becomes even stronger and even more negatively tilted as it shifts into the upper Midwest on Thursday.

Storm which will impact the upper Midwest continues to organize this afternoon as a strong upper low digs SE out of southern Saskatchewan while a plume of moisture stretches from the Gulf of Mexico all the way north into central Canada.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Wednesday, November 10, 2021.


Rain overspreads the Northland from southwest to northeast this evening, then as temperatures cool aloft and near the surface will start to see the rain transition to a mix of rain and snow in northern Minnesota, with precipitation changing over to all snow in parts of northern Minnesota after Midnight tonight.

Snow north areas Thursday, rain or a rain-snow mix elsewhere with a gradual shift toward all snow for most areas Thursday night and Friday.

Heaviest precipitation rates are expected from tonight into Thursday, with mainly light precipitation expected Thursday night and Friday.

For Duluth and Superior — Rain begins this evening ~7 PM to 9 PM. Rain overnight into Thursday, but the rain may diminish for a few hours in the afternoon, this will be followed by some snow or a mix of rain and snow Thursday night and Friday. Snow is most likely on top of the hill, while rain or a mix is more likely below the hill.

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid thru late Friday night.

Snow in blue
Rain in green

A dry slot (black and red colors) is forecast to move into southern portions of the Northland, or from east-central Minnesota into all of northwest Wisconsin Thursday afternoon, then will watch this dry slot shift north into the Arrowhead and North Shore areas Thursday night. Precipitation will likely diminish for a few hours for areas impacted by this dry slot Thursday afternoon into Thursday night.

Precipitation amounts ranging from around an inch to over three inches are possible in the Northland thru Friday evening, with the highest amounts expected along the North Shore (Higher Terrain area) where lake enhanced precipitation is expected late tonight into Thursday. Another max area of QPF is possible in far northern Minnesota (near the Ontario border) where up to 2 inches of precipitation is possible.

Total precipitation in Duluth is still running well below normal for 2021, with a precipitation deficit of >7″ below normal as of November 9th, so the precipitation we get the next few days will certainly help.


…Strong Wind Potential…

Strong east winds are likely tonight and Thursday near Lake Superior, especially along the North Shore where wind gusts of 30-50 mph or stronger are possible, this would include the areas from Two Harbors to Silver Bay to Lutsen to Grand Marais.

For Duluth and Superior — The strongest winds will occur tonight into Thursday morning with easterly winds gusting 20 to 35 mph, but winds will diminish and shift to the west in the Twin Ports by Thursday afternoon.


As is often the case with these strong systems in the fall we have a threat for severe thunderstorms this evening, with a couple of severe thunderstorm watches in effect.

Quite a bit of lightning activity occurring across parts of the Central Plains late this afternoon per Goes-16 satellite imagery.


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