May climate normals and records for Duluth, and the long-range forecast for May 2022

10:42 PM Saturday, April 30, 2022

May Climate Normals and Records for Duluth, Minnesota.

Normal high on the 1st: 57
Normal high on the 31st: 68

Normal low on the 1st: 36
Normal low on the 31st: 46

Average monthly temperature: 52.0 degrees
Warmest May on record: 57.7 F set in 2018
Coldest May on record: 38.8 F set in 1907

Normal precipitation: 3.37″
Wettest May on record: 7.99″ set in 1879
Driest May on record: 0.15″ set in 1976

Normal snowfall: 0.8″
Snowiest May on record: 13.3″ set in 2019

Note: Averages below using the 1991-2020 climate period.

Number of days with a high of at least 60: 18
Number of days with a high of at least 70: 8
Number of days with a high of at least 80: 2

Number of days with a low temperature of 32 or colder: 4

Average date of first 60-degree high temperature: April 8
Average date of first 70-degree high temperature: April 23
Average date of first 80-degree high temperature: May 22

Average date of last 32 degree or lower minimum temperature: May 14

On average we see 1 day in May with at least 0.1″ snowfall

Mean date for last 0.1″ snowfall is April 26. Latest date on record for last 0.1″ snowfall is May 28 (set in 1965)

Since 2000 there have been 8 years where we’ve had at least 0.1″ of snow in the month of May, those years include 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016, 2017, and 2019.

Astronomical Data for May at Duluth, Minnesota

Sunrise on the 1st: 5:53 AM CDT
Sunrise on the 31st: 5:18 AM CDT

Sunset on the 1st: 8:19 PM CDT
Sunset on the 31st: 8:54 PM CDT

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CFS model precipitation outlook for May 2022.

For northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — Near normal precipitation.

CFS model precipitation anomaly trend (last 6 model runs) for May 2022.

Green=Above normal precipitation
Yellow=Below normal precipitation
White=Near normal precipitation

CFS model temperature outlook for May 2022.

For northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin — Slightly warmer than average.

CFS model temperature anomaly trend (last 6 model runs) for May 2022.

Orange and red: Above average temperatures
Blue: Below average temperatures
White: Near normal temperatures

Thanks for reading!

Tim

More rain and wind through Sunday, strongest winds near Lake Superior; Flood warning/watch in effect for parts of the Northland; April 2022 wettest April on record at International Falls; A stretch of dry weather ahead after Sunday

7:47 PM Saturday, April 30, 2022

  • Strong northeasterly winds will continue near Lake Superior and in the Twin Ports tonight into Sunday morning with diminishing wind speeds Sunday afternoon, but until then expect wind gusts of 25 to 45 mph to continue.
  • Occasional rain and drizzle through Sunday evening with areas of fog especially near Lake Superior.
  • Chilly temperatures on the first day of May with highs only in the 40s with mid 30s to around 40 degrees near Lake Superior.
  • Looks increasingly likely will put together a string of at least 5 days of dry weather in the Northland next week starting on May 2nd.
  • International Falls destroyed their record for wettest April on record which was 4.53″ set in April 1925. As of 4 PM today, International Falls has picked up 7.55″ of precipitation this month which makes April 2022 the wettest April ever at International Falls. Percent of normal precipitation this month 460% of normal! Incredible.
  • Still looking a pattern change at least for next week with several days of dry weather expected in the Northland starting on Monday, May 2nd.
  • Milder temperatures are on the way too, with daytime highs getting into the 50s and 60s in much of the Northland mid to late next week through next weekend, with even a chance for a few 70s next weekend the way it looks now. Temperatures will likely be cooler however near Lake Superior and in Duluth next week due to a northeast wind at least on a few days next week.
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Another strong spring storm affecting the upper Midwest today as low-pressure lifts slowly northeast out of northern Iowa.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Saturday, April 30, 2022.

And a look at the latest storm to affect the upper Midwest today via Goes-16 visible satellite imagery.

Surface low along with a mid-upper-level area of low pressure will continue to move NE through Sunday evening. Lift generated by these lows will continue to lead to rainy weather at times across the Northland through Sunday evening.

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FLOOD INFORMATION

-Flood Warning in effect until further notice for the Mississippi River at Aitkin.

*At 10:30 AM Saturday the stage was 12.9 feet. At 13.0 feet the boat ramp at Aitkin city park floods. A few driveways become covered with water in the Cedarbrook area. Minor flooding of farmland occurs in the Cedarbrook community.

*The river is expected to crest at 13.9 feet Wednesday morning. Flood stage is 13.0 feet. This crest compares to a previous crest of 13.9 feet on May 3, 2008.

-Flood Watch in effect through Sunday evening for the North Shore including the cities of Two Harbors, Silver Bay and Grand Marais.

*Flooding caused by rain and snowmelt is possible.

*Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

Expect more waves of rain to move through the Northland tonight and Sunday with the rain finally coming to an end Sunday evening/overnight.

Simulated radar forecast through Midnight tomorrow night.

Additional rainfall through 7 PM Sunday.

24-Hour Rainfall Reports from around the Northland for April 29-30, 2022

Totals below are through 6 PM April 30.

Brainerd, MN: 0.96″
Hinckley, MN: 0.91″
Moose Lake, MN: 0.87″
Two Harbors, MN: 0.75″
Hill City, MN: 0.64″
Siren, WI: 0.59″
Grand Rapids, MN: 0.55″
Littlefork, MN: 0.55″
Minong, WI: 0.55″
McGregor, MN: 0.54″
International Falls, MN: 0.51″
Washburn, WI: 0.51″
Cloquet, MN: 0.50″
Walker, MN: 0.47″
Solon Springs, WI: 0.45″
Pine River, MN: 0.43″
Aitkin, MN: 0.42″
Duluth Airport: 0.40″
Hayward, WI: 0.38″
Saginaw, MN: 0.38″
Clam Lake, WI: 0.37″
Duluth Sky Harbor Airport: 0.35″
Orr, MN: 0.35″
Effie, MN: 0.34″
Ashland, WI: 0.31″
Cass Lake, MN: 0.30″
Glidden, WI: 0.30″
Superior Airport: 0.29″
Isabella, MN: 0.28″
Grand Marais, The Bay of Grand Marais, MN: 0.26″
Chisholm-Hibbing Airport: 0.25″
Eveleth-Virginia, MN: 0.18″
Ely, MN: 0.05″

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Strong northeast winds continue near Lake Superior tonight and Sunday morning with wind speeds diminishing Sunday afternoon.

Wind gust forecast through 7 PM Sunday.

The gales of November in late April near Lake Superior today with sustained winds out of the northeast of 30 to 35 mph with gusts approaching 50 mph at the Duluth Harbor today.

Here’s a video I took of the wind/waves/gale force winds at Park Point (Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota) late Saturday afternoon, April 30, 2022.

And a photo from today, Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

A pattern change is on the horizon, but first a windy and rainy weekend, gale warning issued for the North Shore and parts of the South Shore for Saturday

6:09 PM Friday, April 29, 2022

The storm track this weekend would’ve been a good one for a significant winter storm (heavy snow) for much of the Northland, but temperatures are just too warm for precipitation to fall as snow, so instead we’re looking at periods of rain and drizzle through Sunday.

Speaking of snow — 94.2″ of snow has fallen at Duluth for the 2021-2022 season. We only need an additional 5.8″ of snow to hit the 100″ mark, but I think the chances for that to happen are slim to none. Last year’s seasonal snowfall total at Duluth was 76.4″.

What a difference in snowfall totals at International Falls, Minnesota.

Over 50″ more snow this year compared to last year at International Falls!

2021-2022 seasonal snowfall total: 93.5″ (thru April 29th).
2020-2021 season snowfall total: 40.3″ (thru April 29th).

Only 1 day this month with a high of 50 degrees or warmer at Duluth (average in April is 13 days with a high of at least 50). April 2022 will rank 2nd place for fewest number of days with a high of at least 50. The record is zero days set in April 1917.

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Three strong low-pressure systems showing up via Goes-16 water vapor loop today.

1: North Atlantic, east of New England.
2: Central/Northern Plains and upper Midwest.
3: West of Washington and Oregon.

Much of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin is forecast to get up to a half inch of rain this weekend, but some areas will likely get more with totals of 1″+ possible.

  • A few showers are possible in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin tonight.
  • A more widespread rain is expected Saturday through Sunday, but some breaks in this rain are likely at times.
  • Rain on Saturday will spread from south to north through the day which means that the Borderland and Arrowhead areas will likely remain dry through early Saturday afternoon.
  • Will finally see the rain diminish Sunday evening/overnight.
  • Patchy fog could also be an issue especially near Lake Superior Saturday through Sunday morning.

Simulated radar forecast through 1 PM Sunday.

A windy weekend ahead especially near Lake Superior including in the Twin Ports.

East to northeast winds gusting 20 to 30 mph tonight through early Saturday morning will increase even more during the day Saturday through Sunday morning with wind gusts of 30 to 45 mph possible. Wind speeds are forecast to diminish Sunday afternoon.

Wind gust forecast through 1 PM Sunday.

Gale force northeast wind gusts are likely over western Lake Superior including the entire North Shore and parts of the South Shore on Saturday.

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If you were far enough away from Lake Superior temperatures weren’t bad at all today despite the cloud cover.

Widespread 50s and 60s in eastern Minnesota and in much of Wisconsin this afternoon with 40s and 50s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, with the usual cooler by the lake (temps 35 to 40).

Highs this weekend will be in the 40s to lower 50s in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with mid 30s to around 40 for daytime highs closer to Lake Superior.

A classic Central Plains dryline on display today!

Threat for severe thunderstorms, supercells and tornadoes tonight across parts of the Central Plains.

Central Plains dryline shows up nicely on visible satellite imagery as a line of towering cumulus clouds (highlighted in yellow) this afternoon, while wildfires across northern New Mexico are sending plumes of smoke SE into the Texas Panhandle.

Here’s a loop of the above image.

Big time early season heat covering parts of the Central and Southern Plains today with late afternoon temperatures in the 90s!

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Ending this post with some good news as we may finally be seeing a bit of shift in the pattern starting next week, but if this actually happens that’s a whole other story considering how stubborn this pattern that we’ve been in has been, but it can’t last forever.

There is a chance that will put together a 5-7 day stretch of dry weather in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin next week along with more seasonable high temperatures in the 50s and possibly even the 60s! Note: How warm we get near Lake Superior and in Duluth later next week will depend on how the wind direction sets up, so there’s a pretty good chance that temperatures will be cooler near Lake Superior for much of next week as it looks like will have a NE wind on at least a few days next week.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

More wind and rain ahead with cool temps near Lake Superior, milder temperatures inland

6:32 PM Thursday, April 28, 2022

  • Windy and cool weather will continue near Lake Superior through Sunday with milder temperatures inland. Highs mid 30s to low 40s near Lake Superior through Sunday, with highs in the mid 40s to low-mid 50s inland through Saturday, and in the 40s to around 50 Sunday.
  • A few showers are possible tonight and Friday.
  • Widespread rain likely Saturday and Sunday.
  • Two more systems for next week, but currently it looks like both systems will miss us to the south.

An active spring pattern continues with the next large scale system moving ENE across the Rockies today.

Goes-16 water vapor loop from Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Low pressure currently over the southern Rockies this afternoon will move NE through Monday morning with the center of the surface low forecast to pass just west of Marquette, MI early Monday morning.

500mb trough was over the Pacific northwest this afternoon. This trough will dig ESE into the Plains through Friday and then this trough will lift NE through the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes this weekend. As this trough approaches will see better lift move into the area resulting in more widespread rainfall this weekend.

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A look at the updated rainfall forecast through Sunday evening.

Greatest amounts of rain ranging from 0.50″ to 1″ are expected from western through southern parts of the Northland, including for the Brainerd Lakes, North Shore and much of northwest Wisconsin.

The Borderland and much of the Iron Range are expected to get anywhere from 0.10″ to 0.50″ of rain this weekend.

There is a marginal risk (at least 5% chance) for rainfall totals to exceed flash flood guidance (green area) from 7 AM Saturday through 7 AM Sunday.

A few showers are possible in parts of the Northland for tonight and Friday, but a more widespread rain is still expected this weekend, with rain spreading from south to north across the Northland during the day Saturday. Rain continues Sunday but the rain is expected to diminish Sunday night.

Simulated radar forecast through 10 PM Sunday.

Strong northeasterly winds will continue near Lake Superior and in the Twin Ports through Sunday. Wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph are likely this evening and again on Friday, with even stronger wind gusts to 40 mph possible from Saturday through early Sunday morning. Wind speeds will finally diminish Sunday afternoon and evening.

Wind gust forecast through 7 PM Sunday.

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An active weather pattern continues into next week with at least two more systems showing up per model guidance.

One system early next week (late Monday-Tuesday time frame).

A second system mid to late next week (Wednesday-Thursday).

Note: The storm track with both systems is farther south compared to what we’ve seen in recent weeks, and if this holds up, then much of the Northland will probably stay dry most of next week with better chances for precipitation setting up south of our area. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Tim

Rainy weather this weekend; Windy and Cool near Lake Superior through Sunday, milder temperatures inland

5:44 PM Wednesday, April 27, 2022

  • Some sunshine is likely again on Thursday, although clouds will be on the increase through the day, so it’s unlikely will see the amount of sunshine that we saw today.
  • Generally, overcast skies are then expected from Friday through at least Sunday.
  • Scattered rain showers are possible from late Thursday afternoon through the day Friday, and some of these rain showers could mix with snow or sleet across northern Minnesota Thursday night.
  • Occasional rain is likely this weekend especially from Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
  • Strong northeast winds near Lake Superior through Sunday. Wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph this evening, Thursday and Friday, with even stronger wind gusts expected Saturday and Sunday (30-45 mph).

Forecast rainfall totals this weekend.

Far northern Minnesota (Borderland and Arrowhead) 0.10-0.25″.

Iron Range 0.25-0.50″.

Parts of the North Shore, Twin Ports and north-central Minnesota 0.50-0.75″.

Southern parts of the Northland including the Brainerd Lakes, Hinckley and all of northwest Wisconsin 0.50-1″.

Thursday morning and early afternoon looks mostly dry in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but after that we could see some scattered showers move through parts of the area later Thursday afternoon through Friday.

The main system arrives on Saturday with rain spreading from south to north across the Northland during the day, with some rain continuing through Sunday evening before ending late Sunday night/Monday morning the way it looks now.

Not expecting any thunderstorms in our area with this system this weekend, mostly just a light to possibly moderate rainfall. No frozen precipitation either as there isn’t enough cold air from the surface to aloft to support snow or ice.

Simulated radar forecast valid 1 PM Thursday through 7 AM Monday.

Wind gust forecast through 7 PM Sunday.

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Temperatures are running about 10 to 15 degrees warmer in most of the Northland this afternoon compared to the last few afternoons, but these temperatures today are still below normal by a good 10 degrees for late April.

The exception to this is near Lake Superior with temperatures in the 30s this afternoon and expect similar temperatures to continue near Lake Superior through Sunday with daytime highs generally in the mid 30s to around 40, but farther away from Lake Superior will see high temperatures in the mid 40s to low 50s through Sunday with a few locations possibly climbing into the mid 50s Friday and Saturday.

Low Temperature Reports from Tuesday morning, April 27, 2022

25 E Ely, MN: 6 F
Crane Lake, MN: 9 F
2 S Brimson, MN: 10 F
Embarrass, MN: 10 F
Grand Marais Airport: 10 F
Ely, MN: 10 F
Orr, MN: 10 F
Seagull Lake, MN: 10 F
Cook, MN: 12 F
Cotton, MN: 14 F
Isabella, MN: 14 F
Barnes, WI: 15 F
Clam Lake, WI: 15 F
Chisholm-Hibbing Airport: 15 F
3 SW Butternut, WI: 16 F
Glidden, WI: 16 F
Aitkin, MN: 16 F
Solon Springs, WI: 16 F
Minong, WI: 16 F
Grand Rapids, MN: 17 F
Siren, WI: 17 F
Ashland, WI: 18 F
Eveleth-Virginia, MN: 18 F
Longville, MN: 18 F
Walker, MN: 18 F
Cass Lake, MN: 19 F
Brainerd, MN: 19 F
Bigfork, MN: 19 F
Hayward, WI: 19 F
International Falls, MN: 19 F
Pine River, MN: 19 F
Two Harbors, MN: 19 F
Moose Lake, MN: 19 F
Washburn, WI: 19 F
Duluth Airport: 23 F

Note: Record cold in the Northland this morning, Tuesday, April 27, 2022.

Hibbing: New record low temperature set for April 27 with a low of 15 degrees. The previous record low for April 27 was 18 degrees set in 2004.

Brainerd: Record low temperature for April 27 tied this morning with a low of 19 degrees. This record was set in 1934 and tied in 2008.

Last week was a cold one across the region with over 300 daily low minimum and low maximum temperature records broken or tied.

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After this weekend’s system the next opportunity for getting some precipitation in the Northland will be toward the middle of next week (~May 4-6), but there is a lot of uncertainty in forecast guidance regarding the storm track for next week, but if this system tracks far enough to the north, then we could get some more rain and possibly even some snow in parts of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin next week. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Tim