A mild Christmas Eve ahead (highs near 40 in parts of the Northland) Snow chances Christmas Day, Sunday PM-Monday and again mid to late next week

Widespread accumulating snow is possible in the Northland from Sunday afternoon through Monday, in addition to the system snow, an easterly wind coming off Lake Superior may lead to some heavier lake enhanced snow Sunday night and Monday along the North Shore of Lake Superior where snow totals of 6″+ are possible. Wind may also be an issue especially near Lake Superior Sunday into Monday, with east winds gusting 15 to 20 mph (possibly stronger), the gusty winds may lead to areas of blowing snow.

But before we get to the Sunday-Monday event, we have two systems to deal with (both look pretty weak at the moment in terms of the amount of precipitation they produce in our area), and after the Sunday-Monday system, we have two more systems which may affect parts of our area mid to late next week with hints of a full-blown blizzard (showing up at times on model guidance) impacting parts of the upper Midwest sometime around December 31-January 2.


We continue to slowly chip away at our large precipitation deficit in Duluth.

Total Precipitation thru Dec. 23: 24.67″ (80% of normal)
Normal to Date: 30.83″
Departure: -6.16″ below normal

January 1, 2020, thru December 23, 2021

Total Precipitation: 45.93″ (74% of normal)
Normal to date: 62.01″
Departure: -16.08″ below normal


An area of low pressure and cold front will move through the Northland on Friday. This system may bring a little precipitation to the Northland, but nothing widespread or significant is expected, and the greatest chance for any precipitation looks to be prior to Noon on Christmas Eve. Otherwise, we’re looking at a mild Christmas Eve in the Northland as high temperatures top out in the 30s to lower 40s, but I don’t think will set any new record high temps on Friday.


Ashland, WI: 53F set in 1923
Duluth, MN: 47F set in 1881
Brainerd, MN: 45F set in 1899 and 1994
Hibbing, MN: 44F set in 1994
International Falls, MN: 42F set in 1994

Areas of light snow, rain and possibly some freezing rain are possible in parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on Friday, mainly in the morning.

European computer model simulated radar forecast valid Midnight Friday to Noon Friday.
Snow in blue
Rain in green
Mixed precipitation types in pink and orange


The pattern ahead looks active!

A tremendous temperature gradient is expected to setup over the next several days with increasingly colder air dropping south into the Pacific Northwest into the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains with bitterly cold arctic air expected in those areas for much of next week — Meanwhile across the Southern U.S. into the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Eastern U.S. it’s all about the warmth with several days of record or near record warmth likely.

Temperature Anomaly Forecast valid December 24 to December 29, 2021

Below normal temps (arctic air) in green, blue and purple colors
Above normal temps in orange, red and white colors



Another fast-moving disturbance may impact parts of the Northland Christmas afternoon-evening, and this one may bring an area of mainly light snow to parts of the area with accumulations generally in the half inch to two-inch range the way it looks now.

European computer model simulated radar forecast valid Noon Saturday to Midnight Sunday.
Snow in blue colors



The entire Northland has a chance to get accumulating snow Sunday into Monday, it just comes down to timing of when the snow starts and ends, and just how much snow will see that remain a bit uncertain today per model guidance, but at the very least I’d say there’s a decent chance the entire area will pick up at least 1-4″ of snow in the Sunday-Monday time frame.

At the moment the North Shore of Lake Superior has the greatest potential to see snow amounts exceed warning criteria from late Sunday into Monday.


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