An update on today’s snow event

8:53 AM Saturday, December 25, 2021

A quick hitting snow event will hit portions of the Northland this afternoon into this evening.

The source of today’s snow is a rather strong trough over the Dakotas with enhanced lift occurring just ahead of this feature — As this system moves east across the Northland it will weaken a bit in terms of the amount of forcing it brings to our area, but there should still be enough to produce some snow.

With cold air now in place, snow that falls should be rather fluffy with a potential for higher-than-normal snowfall ratios in our area which could reach 15:1 to as high as 18:1 (normal ratios in the Northland are generally around 12:1).

Radar loop ending 8:50 AM Saturday shows the snow spreading ENE from parts of the eastern Dakotas to western Minnesota.


There is a lot of dry air in place this morning so it will take a while before the atmosphere saturates but this process should occur from west to east this afternoon, with snow starting in western areas (Brainerd Lakes) around Noon, then will see the area of snow spread farther east through late this afternoon.

For Duluth: Snow is possible late this afternoon into this evening with snow starting around 3-4 PM today, snow ends around 10 PM to Midnight tonight with total snowfall accumulations of 1 to 2 inches possible.

HRRR model simulated radar forecast ending Midnight tonight. Snow in blue colors.

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast valid for this afternoon into this evening, enjoy some Christmas snow!


A large temperature contrast in place this morning which is also fueling today’s snow event.

There is strong divergence occurring over the Northern Plains this morning with upper-level winds >130 knots across the Central Rockies, and an area of 90 knot upper-level winds over southern Manitoba.

A look at today’s system on water vapor imagery as it moves across the Dakotas this morning.


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