Blizzard Warning issued for the North Shore, Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories remain in effect for the rest of the Northland

5:24 PM Sunday, December 26, 2021

A winter storm is on the way!

Snow develops from SW-NE tonight with periods of heavy snow overnight into Monday morning and lingering into Monday afternoon along the North Shore where blizzard conditions are expected due to strong east winds which will lead to widespread blowing snow.

Some freezing drizzle is also possible during the day Monday mainly from parts of east-central Minnesota into parts of northwest Wisconsin with a light glaze of ice accumulation possible in those areas on Monday.

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A Blizzard Warning is in effect from Midnight tonight to 6 PM Monday for the North Shore of Lake Superior including the cities of Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Tofte, Lutsen, Grand Marais, Hovland and Grand Portage.

  • Blizzard conditions expected
  • Travel could be very difficult to impossible
  • Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility
  • Travel should be restricted to emergencies only

No other changes to the rest of the winter weather headlines issued earlier today.

Expect difficult travel conditions in all of the Northland from late this evening through the day Monday.

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TIMING

It still looks like will see snow begin in western/southern portions of the Northland by early-evening (around 7 PM), then will see the snow lift farther north/east during the night, reaching the Borderland and Arrowhead areas early Monday morning ~2 AM to 4 AM.

Snow continues Monday but is forecast to diminish from SW-NE during the afternoon, earliest in southern areas, and a later end time in northern Minnesota and Arrowhead.

For Duluth — Snow develops later this evening ~9 PM to 11 PM. Snow overnight into the day Monday but the snow is expected to diminish later Monday afternoon ~2 PM to 4 PM. Heaviest snowfall rates are expected after Midnight tonight through Monday morning with snowfall rates of 0.5″ to 1″ per hour possible. Gusty east winds to around 30 mph through Monday morning, winds become west-southwest by late Monday afternoon with gusts to around 30 mph once again. Expect areas of blowing and drifting snow late tonight through Monday. Total snowfall storm accumulations of 10 to 13 inches are possible in Duluth by late Monday afternoon.

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast ending 6 PM Monday.

SNOWFALL TOTALS

I didn’t make any changes to my snowfall forecast from earlier today, although I do think the totals in Duluth will be closer to the 10″ range vs. 13″.

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PROBABILITIES FOR EXCEEDING WARNING CRITERIA SNOWFALL THRU EARLY MONDAY EVENING

WINTER STORM SEVERITY INDEX thru 12 PM Monday, December 27, 2021

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GUSTY WINDS NEAR LAKE SUPERIOR

East winds tonight through early Monday afternoon, with wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph possible along the North Shore of Lake Superior, and to around 30 mph along the South Shore of Lake Superior.

Winds shift to the southwest late Monday afternoon into Monday evening with wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph possible near Lake Superior, with gusts >50 mph possible over the Apostle Islands.

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MID AND UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN AND JET DYNAMICS

A strong mid to upper-level low was over the Pacific northwest today and this system has been producing snow in the Seattle area, and as far south as Astoria, Oregon.

Southeast of this low is a trough which extends SE through the Central Rockies today — Pieces of energy will break off this trough and move quicky NE across the upper Midwest tonight and Monday, with another one slated for Tuesday into early Wednesday.

Very strong winds aloft approaching 160 knots from the Southern Rockies through the Midwest into the Eastern Great Lakes today.

Strong lift (orange and red colors) is forecast to spread NE out of southern Minnesota and across the Northland from late tonight through Monday afternoon. Expect areas of heavy synoptic snow to develop as this strong lift moves through our area.

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This temperature contrast is something else and is one reason behind why we’re seeing such strong winds aloft (jet stream).

Temperatures today range from -45F at Watson Lake (western Canada) to 71F at Hays, Kansas to 88F at Abilene, Texas.

But back to the arctic air for a moment, look at how much of Canada is below zero today. Will be tapping into some of this arctic air this week, but how cold and for how long remains to be seen.

Tim

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