Lake Effect Snow possible near Lake Superior late tonight through Friday evening, more chances for snow next week

6:05 PM Thursday, January 13, 2022

Lake effect snow is possible near Lake Superior for both the North Shore and South Shore beginning later tonight, but more so during the day Friday and into Friday night.

There is plenty of cold air coming south out of Ontario which will move over the ‘warmer’ and still relatively ice-free waters of Lake Superior through Friday night.

A northeast wind develops later tonight and likely continues into Friday evening, this combined with the arctic air moving over the lake should lead to some lake effect snow development. The main uncertainty at this point is with the amount of dry air due to a strong high over Ontario, and this dry air mass will likely head south over the lake on Friday which may prevent this lake effect snow from becoming too organized or very heavy, but there is definitely some potential for an organized band or two of heavy lake effect snow with accumulations of 3-6″ or more by late Friday night.

Here’s the 18z NAM 3km model simulated radar forecast ending Noon Saturday (snow in blue colors on the animation below)

Some lake effect snow is forecast to develop along the South Shore this evening, spreading onto the North Shore late tonight as winds shift to the ENE. Lake effect snow continues Friday but diminishes from NW-SE Friday night as conditions to support lake effect snow become less favorable.

Arctic air sitting north of Lake Superior today, while the temperature at North Platte, NE was close to 60 degrees late this afternoon.

Here’s my updated snowfall forecast for Friday.

Note: Will also have a breezy NE wind Friday into Friday evening with wind gusts >20 mph possible near Lake Superior which will cause areas of blowing snow and reduced visibility when combined with some falling snow.

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*9 nights with a subzero low temperature so far this month in Duluth. Average for January is 14 nights.
*15 nights with a subzero low temperature so far this winter (since Dec. 1) in Duluth. Average for a winter season is 32 nights.

Lowest temperatures in the Northland so far this month (thru January 12)

Hibbing, MN: -38F on the 2nd
International Falls, MN: -37F on the 2nd
Brainerd, MN: -35F on the 7th
Duluth, MN: -23F on the 1st
Ashland, WI: -19F on the 10th

Annual Snowfall Totals for Winter 2021-22 (thru 4 PM January 13, 2022)

Duluth, MN

Total: 36.5″
Normal to date: 43.0″
Departure: -6.5″ below normal
Percent of normal snowfall: 85%

International Falls, MN

Total: 34.0″
Normal to date: 36.7″
Departure: -2.7″ below normal
Percent of normal snowfall: 93%

Snowfall Reports from around the Northland from Wednesday night-Thursday morning, January 12-13, 2022

Cook, MN: 2.0″
25 E Ely, MN: 1.3″
International Falls, MN: 1.2″
3 E Orr, MN: 1.0″
4 W Clam Lake, WI: 0.6″
Embarrass, MN: 0.6″
Duluth, MN (Airport) 0.5″

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FRIDAY’S CLIPPER SYSTEM

  • Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in effect for much of the Northern Plains into parts of the upper Midwest.
  • The heaviest snowfall accumulations with this system in Minnesota are forecast to be over parts of western into southwestern Minnesota where 6+” of snow is possible by Friday night.

A tight snowfall gradient is expected on Friday with generally 1-3″ of snow to the west and east of the main swath of heavy snowfall accumulations which may exceed 6″ (purple colors on map).

Here’s the forecast track for our latest clipper system.

Low pressure initially over northeast Montana this evening heads SE to eastern Kansas by Friday evening, then heads into the southeast U.S. by Saturday.

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COLD AIR RETURNS

After a little break from subzero temperatures, those negative numbers return to parts of northern Minnesota tonight, and over much of the Northland for Friday night/Saturday morning which looks even colder than tonight.

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SUNDAY SNOW CHANCES

Another clipper system looks to arrive on Sunday and this one may bring a little snow to the Northland, but amounts look fairly light at the moment, generally around an inch or less of accumulation.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

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