Long Range Forecast for February 2022 and a look at past February snowfall totals for Duluth, Minnesota

The good news about the month of February is that we have 28 days in the month instead of the typical 30 or 31 days in a month, so there’s that.

Days continue to get longer during the month of February, with sunset for Duluth nearing 6 PM by the end of the month, while a sunrise before 7 AM begins on February 23rd.

February also marks the final month of meteorological winter, the three-month period from December 1st thru February 28th, spring is right around the corner!

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Here’s a look at the climate Averages and records for Duluth, Minnesota for February

Normal high on the 1st: 21 degrees
Normal high on the 28th: 30 degrees

Normal low on the 1st: 2 degrees
Normal low on the 28th: 11 degrees

Average monthly temperature: 15.4 degrees

Warmest February on record: 31.3 degrees set in 1877
Coldest February on record: -2.2 degrees set in 1936

Average precipitation: 1.01″

Wettest February on record: 4.24″ set in 1922
Driest February on record: 0.10″ set in 1896

Average snowfall: 15.1″

Snowiest February on record: 36.4″ set in 2019
Least snowy February on record: 1.0″ set in 1896

On average we have 10 subzero nights in February, most is 24 subzero nights set in February of 1875, least is 0 subzero nights set in February 1998, 1882, 1878 and 1877.

On average we have 11 days in February with snowfall of 0.1″ or greater
On average we have 5 days in February with snowfall of 1.0″ or greater

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Here’s the last 10 CFS model temperature forecasts for February 2022

Below average temps in blue
Above average temps in orange and red

For northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — No real consistent signal showing up when it comes to the temperature outlook for February, with a few runs showing colder than average temps, and a few others showing warmer than average temps, so perhaps February 2022 will be pretty close to average? Time will tell.

Here’s the last 10 CFS model precipitation forecasts for February 2022

Above average precipitation in green
Below average precipitation in yellow and brown

For northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — Near average precipitation is forecast for February 2022 with a chance for above average precipitation in far northern Minnesota.

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February Snowfall Totals for Duluth, Minnesota
Period: 2000-2021

2000: 13.3″
2001: 32.1″
2002: 11.2″
2003: 6.4″
2004: 23.4″
2005: 20.2″

2006: 23.4″
2007: 19.7″
2008: 7.1″
2009: 7.1″
2010: 8.5″

2011: 3.2″
2012: 19.7″
2013: 19.1″
2014: 29.5″
2015: 8.2″

2016: 12.2″
2017: 14.1″
2018: 24.2″
2019: 36.4″
2020: 5.4″
2021: 8.6″

  • February 2019 was the snowiest February on record at Duluth (snowfall records go back to 1885)
  • February 2001 was the 4th snowiest February on record at Duluth.
  • February 2014 was the 6th snowiest February on record at Duluth.
  • February 2018 was the 9th snowiest February on record in Duluth.
  • February 2006 was the 10th snowiest February on record in Duluth.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Mild tonight; Turning windy and colder Tuesday with some snow showers and flurries; Arctic air Wednesday-Friday morning

4:52 PM Monday, January 31, 2022

A return to colder temperatures, frigid wind chills and gusty winds will be the main weather stories around here over the next few days because there really isn’t a whole lot of snow coming to the Northland anytime soon.

Will start with a mild southerly wind tonight, but that wind direction will shift to the northwest Tuesday morning, and those northwest winds will really ramp up with wind gusts of 30 to 45 mph likely in much of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin during the day Tuesday.

Much colder temperatures will also return to the Northland starting on Tuesday with our highs for the day occurring before sunrise, but after that it’s all downhill in the temperature department as will see temperatures fall into the single digits and teens during the day on Tuesday.

Arctic air will be with us Tuesday night through Friday morning with overnight lows in the single digits and teens below zero Tuesday night and ranging from around 15 below to 30 below zero Wednesday night, and in the teens and 20s below zero Thursday night.

Our high temps will be in the single digits below to single digits above zero for Wednesday and Thursday.

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The system for tonight is actually quite strong with a nice looking 500mb trough cutting NE across the area, but it’s a quick moving system and the main forcing will generally pass-through northwest Minnesota and into Canada closer to the track of a surface low, and this is where most of the snow will fall with tonight’s system.

Far northern Minnesota will see some snow at times later tonight (after 10 PM) and through mid-morning Tuesday with only a few snow showers or flurries possible over the rest of the Northland on Tuesday.

European model simulated radar forecast thru 12 PM Tuesday (snow in blue colors)

A variety of weather alerts are in effect from the Dakotas into western Minnesota later tonight into Tuesday.

Blizzard conditions due to widespread blowing snow may develop in parts of the winter storm warning area late tonight into Tuesday.

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STRONG WINDS

Gusty northwest winds will arrive in Duluth around 6-7 AM Tuesday and it will remain windy through the day Tuesday.

WIND CHILLS

Frigid wind chills of around -15 to -30 degrees will arrive Tuesday evening and will stick around into Wednesday, and likely into Thursday and Friday morning as well.

Here’s the wind chills forecast thru Noon Wednesday.

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Chances that any part of the Northland sees over 6 inches of snow through next Monday is slim to none, with that said, there are a few more chances of snow after Tuesday, with one coming Friday and possibly another chance sometime this weekend, but neither system looks very strong at the moment.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Milder temps this weekend; arctic air returns middle of next week; not a lot of snow anytime soon

5:25 PM Friday, January 28, 2022

A pretty quiet weekend of weather locally with just a chance for a little snow Saturday in far northeast Minnesota (northeast of a line from Ely to Silver Bay) snow amounts of an inch or less are expected in the Arrowhead Saturday, but higher totals are possible around the Grand Marais area due to some lake enhanced snow which may occur on Saturday. The remainder of the Northland should stay dry Saturday.

Although a few flurries can’t be ruled out Sunday, the majority of our area should be dry on Sunday.

There are chances for some snow in the Monday-early Tuesday time frame, but snow accumulations look pretty light once again, and most of this snow is targeting northern Minnesota the way it looks now.

These snow chances are due to a few clipper systems which will pass through the area Saturday and again in the Monday-early Tuesday time frame.

The bigger story for us will be a return to arctic air by the middle of next week, with a couple shots of arctic air possible in the February 2-9 time frame. There is a chance that daytime highs for late next week won’t climb above zero in much of the Northland.

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18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast valid 6 AM Saturday to 6 AM Sunday (snow in blue colors)

Milder temperatures are likely this weekend with highs in the Northland in the teens and 20s, with a few locations possibly near 30 degrees on Monday.

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The big weather story this weekend will be a powerful Nor’easter which is taking shape late today across the southeast U.S. and over the west Atlantic.

An area of low pressure will undergo rapid deepening with a central pressure of ~1005mb early this evening falling to ~978mb by early Saturday afternoon and to ~974mb by early Saturday evening.

18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast ending 6 AM Sunday (snow in blue colors)

Here’s the National Weather Service snowfall forecast for this weekend’s Nor’easter.

A zoomed in view of expected snowfall totals per National Weather Service forecast centered on Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. 20″ or more of snow possible by Sunday morning!

Powerful winds will also occur with the Nor’easter this weekend with wind gusts of 60-75 mph possible on Saturday.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Frigid tonight followed by a warming trend this weekend into early next week; More arctic air possible mid to late next week

5:31 PM Thursday, January 27, 2022

At least this latest round of arctic air will be short lived as it peaks tonight before temperatures begin to moderate, with 20s for daytime highs looking likely for Saturday and Sunday, and by next Monday and Tuesday we may see temperatures as warm as 30-32 degrees in parts of the Northland. Note: Normal highs at this time of year are generally in the mid-teens to low 20s in our area.

The clipper parade is set to return this weekend into early next week, but no real impacts are expected from these clippers besides shifting winds ahead of and behind these low-pressure systems.

The first clipper moves across the area Saturday and may bring a little snow to the tip of the Minnesota Arrowhead, but the remainder of the Northland should be dry on Saturday.

An additional clipper or two may affect the area early next week and those ones may bring minor snow amounts to some parts of the Northland depending on the track they take, but I’m not seeing any strong model signals for a major snow event impacting our area at least through late next week (February 4)

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Back to the subzero stuff tonight with lows in the teens and 20s below zero in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

WIND CHILL ADVISORY in effect from Midnight tonight to 8 AM Friday including portions of northeast, north-central and east-central Minnesota and the cities of International Falls, Bigfork, Grand Rapids, Walker, Hill City, Moose Lake, Cloquet, Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia, Cook, Crane Lake, Orr, Ely, Two Harbors, Isabella, Silver Bay and Grand Marais. IMPACTS — Wind chills as low as 25 below to 30 below zero.

Here’s a look at the average number of hours with a wind chill of 20 below zero or lower.

All of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin typically has anywhere from 168 hours to as much as 600 hours during any month with a wind chill of 20 below zero or lower.

It was all about the big-time warmup on Wednesday, but now we’re seeing a return to much colder temperatures today.

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We are looking at a pretty nice warmup and a nice break from the arctic air for this weekend into early next week.

Here’s the high temperature forecast valid for Saturday, January 29, 2022, through Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

Chances for another blast of arctic air are on the rise for mid to late next week, but there are a few things to keep an eye on which may change things a bit.

-One of those things would be a possible area of low-pressure lifting NE out of the Southern Plains mid to late next week. At the moment it looks like that low would pass well to our SE as it makes its way through the Ohio Valley, but if this low tracks farther west, that may help keep the coldest air back over the Dakotas instead of it spilling farther east into the upper Midwest.

-Another thing to watch would be where the arctic highs setup mid to late next week, and the position of those highs may hinge on how that aforementioned low tracks later next week.

-This round of arctic air for later next week may be the coldest air mass we’ve seen this winter, and we’ve had plenty of cold shots this winter. There is a chance that high temperatures remain well below zero in the Northland between February 3-5 with overnight lows possibly as cold as -40 F in the typical cold spots across northern Minnesota.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Blustery and turning colder with a little snow tonight; Milder temps this weekend, another round of arctic air possible mid to late next week

5:24 PM Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A nice warmup moves into the Northland tonight with many locations in our area seeing temperatures climbing well into the 20s to around 30 degrees by late this evening, but a gusty south to southwest wind will also continue this evening with wind gusts to 30 mph.

Peak Wind Gusts thru 4 PM today, Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ashland, WI: 43 mph
Duluth, MN: 40 mph
International Falls, MN: 37 mph
Brainerd, MN: 36 mph
Hibbing, MN: 33 mph

Two cold fronts will pass through the area tonight bringing areas of snow showers and flurries to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but snowfall amounts should remain on the light side (an inch or less)

A colder air mass returns for Thursday and Friday with more gusty winds Thursday this time from a northwesterly direction with wind gusts to around 30 mph.

Subzero temperatures are likely for Thursday night/Friday morning, but after that it does look like will get a bit of a break from the arctic stuff at least through early next week, but there are growing indications in long range model guidance for another blast of arctic air to impact the Northland for the middle to end of next week (~February 2-5)

  • 18 subzero nights so far this month in Duluth (normal in January is 14 subzero nights) Record is 27 subzero nights which occurred in January 1982 and January 1929.
  • Wednesday morning marked the 8th morning in a row with a subzero temperature in Duluth (January 19-26)
  • Average monthly temperature for January 2022 (thru the 25th) is running -7.6 degrees below average in Duluth.

~13% of Lake Superior is covered by ice as of January 25, 2022. Average in late January is ~20 to 25% ice coverage.

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Temperatures are running ~25 to as much as 45 degrees warmer this afternoon compared to Tuesday afternoon across parts of North Dakota into western Minnesota as a brief shot of warmer air moves through.

Temperatures continue to warm across the Northland this afternoon, but the real warm stuff with temperatures in the mid 20s to low 30s won’t arrive in the Northland until mid to late this evening into early Thursday morning.

Some snow showers, flurries and patchy blowing snow in the Northland tonight with some lake effect snow possible Thursday along the South Shore of Lake Superior mainly over Iron County (Hurley, Gile areas).

NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast ending 12 PM Thursday (snow in blue colors)

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A snowier pattern for next week is becoming less likely as computer models have been trending toward a less phased system and lower snowfall chances/amounts for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.

Will still see a broad 500mb trough move east out of the western U.S. early next week, but it appears that this system will be unphased with one piece of energy taking the southern route through the Southern Plains, while another piece of energy passes through the upper Midwest. If this system doesn’t phase (looks unlikely to occur at the moment) then we likely won’t see a whole lot of snow in the Northland next week, or in the February 1-3 time frame.

Probabilities for >3″ of snow continue to diminish in the Northland for next week per Euro ensemble model.

Around 7 or 35% of GEFS members show snowfall totals of 6″ or more in parts of the Northland next week, while the other 13 or 65% show lesser amounts of snow.

Thanks for reading!

Tim