Great Lakes Ice Coverage Update; Snowfall and Temperature stats for January 2023

5:58 PM Friday, January 20, 2023

The lack of any sustained cold air masses is having a major impact on ice development on the Great Lakes so far this winter, with only 3.2% ice coverage on the Great Lakes as of January 19, 2023.

Looking closer at Lake Superior — Less than 5% ice covered as of January 19, 2023.

Average ice coverage by this time of year on Lake Superior is nearing 20%.

Updated snowfall stats for Duluth, Minnesota

Seasonal Snowfall for 2022-2023 (thru Jan. 20)

Total to Date: 75.2″
Normal to Date: 46.8″
Departure: +28.4″ above normal
Percent of Normal Snowfall to Date: 161% of normal

Winter Snowfall Stats for 2022-2023 (Dec. 1 – Jan. 20)

Total to Date: 57.2″
Normal to Date: 29.4″
Departure: +27.8″ above normal
Percent of Normal Snowfall to Date: 195% of normal


Snowfall Analysis from the January 18-19 Winter Storm.

Snowfall Totals from the January 18-19 Winter Storm
Source: National Weather Service Duluth, MN

2 N Moquah, WI: 11.0″
2 WSW Washburn, WI: 11.0″
3 WNW Clam Lake, WI: 7.5″
4 NNW New Post, WI: 7.5″
5 S Herbster, WI: 7.0″
3 W Bayfield, WI: 7.0″
Mellen, WI: 6.5″
2 WNW Stone Lake, WI: 6.1″
1 SW Hayward, WI: 6.1″
Hurley, WI: 6.0″
2 WNW Seeley, WI: 5.6″
Iron River, WI: 5.3″
3 ENE Holyoke, MN: 4.5″
2 NNE Duluth, MN: 4.0″
Brule, WI: 4.0″
1 W Solon Springs, WI: 3.9″
1 WSW Maple, WI: 3.7″
6 SW Webb Lake, WI: 3.6″
2 ESE Duluth, MN: 3.5″
1 SSE Cornucopia, WI: 3.4″
3 NNW Mahtowa, MN: 3.4″
Duluth, MN: 3.1″ (Official snowfall total at the NWS)
1 ENE Superior, WI: 3.0″
1 SSE Hawthorne, WI: 2.8″
3 ENE Wright, MN: 1.8″
1 E Taft, MN: 1.8″
1 SSE Two Harbors, MN: 1.8″
1 NE Sturgeon Lake, MN: 1.7″
2 WNW Garrison, MN: 1.7″

My Snowfall Forecast for the January 18-19 Winter Storm

Snowfall Trends

No strong signals showing up in model guidance for any major snow events affecting the Northland for the rest of this month, but a few minor snow events appear likely for next week.

Here’s the GEFS model snowfall forecast (10:1 ratio) thru January 31, 2023.

Blue colors on the images represent snow totals of 2″+.

Purple colors on the images represent snow totals of 6″+.


January 2023 Average Temperature Ranks by Climate District.

Look how widespread the warmth has been this month.

Dark red areas indicate either a warmest January on record or a top 5 warmest January on record out of 131 years.

All of Wisconsin, Upper and Lower Michigan and Indiana are either having their warmest January on record, or a top 5 warmest January on record.

No subzero temperatures so far this month in Duluth, but that may be changing next weekend (after January 27) as there continues to be a chance for some arctic air to finally affect the Northland with a potential for subzero temperatures.

January 2006 holds the record for fewest subzero nights in Duluth at 1 subzero night.

Average number of subzero nights in January at Duluth is 14.

The average monthly temperature at Duluth for January 2023 (thru the 19th)
22.6 degrees which is +11.2 degrees warmer than average.

Note — Warmest January on record at Duluth occurred in 2006 with an average temperature of 23.7 degrees. The only thing standing in our way of breaking this record would be for that shot of arctic air which may hit us the last few days of this month.

Thanks for reading!


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