Still cold tonight and Wednesday followed by a warming trend; Some snow possible Thursday mainly for the Arrowhead and parts of northwest Wisconsin; A larger winter storm expected to hit parts of southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin Friday-early Saturday

A few flurries are possible in parts of the Northland for tonight and Wednesday, but this won’t be a big deal.

Lows tonight will range from around 10 below to the single digits above zero with highs on Wednesday in the middle teens to lower 20s.

A somewhat stronger system arrives on Thursday and this one may bring a few inches of snow mainly to the Arrowhead of Minnesota and in parts of northwest Wisconsin although at the moment the chances for snow are highest north/east of Duluth on Thursday.

An even stronger system (Colorado type low) moves quickly to the NE through the Midwest and into the Eastern Great Lakes from Friday into early Saturday, but the storm track is too far south to bring any snow to the Northland, but an area from southern Minnesota to central and northeast Wisconsin may see a decent snow event from that aforementioned low for Friday into early Saturday with accumulations of 4-8″ possible.


Today’s clipper targeted much of southern Minnesota with a few inches of fluffy snow – Radar estimated snow since Midnight, ending just before 6 PM today.

An arctic air mass remained over the upper Midwest today, but it is already starting to retreat off to the NE.

The Northland received a glancing blow from this shot of arctic air as the coldest temperatures stayed off to our north across Central Canada where temperatures this afternoon are only in the teens and 20s below zero!

The Duluth Airport recorded its first subzero temperature of the season on December 6, 2021, with a low of -7 F. The last time the Duluth Airport had a subzero temperature was on February 20, 2021, low of -6 F.


An early look at snowfall estimates for Thursday, December 9, 2021.

This won’t be a big storm, with areas that see some snow picking up generally <1″ of accumulation but the exception to this may be in the Arrowhead where some lake enhanced snow is possible on Thursday with a chance for a 1-4″ snowfall.


Massive ridge still expected early to mid-next week

One way to look at the strength of this ridge for next week is by using the standardized height anomaly product per GFS model, and well the ridge forecast for next week looks to be pretty strong/unusual for this time of year, with height anomalies of +1 to +2 sigma.

There is a good chance will have highs in the 30s and 40s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin from ~December 12 to 16, so we will probably melt some of the snow currently on the ground next week and even more so if we happen to get some rain, and that is also a possibility around the middle of next week as a low-pressure system moves out of the Rockies, but the track of this potential storm is pretty far to the west, meaning much if not the entire Northland would be on the warm side of the low which gives us a better chance for seeing rain instead of snow, again this would be for the middle of next week so there is plenty of time for things to change.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that there is even some CAPE (instability) showing up per model guidance in parts of the upper Midwest with that system for the middle of next week. December thunderstorms anyone?


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