A few showers Tuesday afternoon/night otherwise mainly dry through Memorial Day; 80s Tuesday; Wind chills upper 20s/low 30s near Lake Superior Wednesday; Frost potential early Thursday morning; Highs in the 80s early next week with a few 90s even possible

6:15 PM Monday, May 22, 2023

It’s been a month full of crazy temperature swings in Duluth and this will continue this week all thanks to Lake Superior and the wind direction.

A stronger southwest wind develops Tuesday which will push the cool lake air back out over Lake Superior which will lead to highs in the low 80s in Duluth on Tuesday, but this won’t last long as a very strong lake breeze front pushes southwest down Lake Superior late Tuesday afternoon moving through Duluth sometime between 5 PM-8 PM Tuesday, once this front passes winds will shift out of the northeast with wind gusts of 35 to 50 mph from late Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday. Temperatures will also drop into the upper 30s and 40s Tuesday night with very little recovery expected during the day Wednesday. The cold temperatures combined with the strong winds will cause wind chill temperatures to fall into the upper 20s to lower 30s in the Twin Ports Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Patchy frost is possible in much of the Northland late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, but following this will be an extended period of warm temperatures which could include several days with highs near 80 or into the 80s this weekend into at least the middle part of week with even a shot at 90 degree temperatures next week.


Winds will start out pretty calm over Lake Superior Tuesday afternoon, but this will change in a big way by late Tuesday afternoon as a lake breeze front becomes better organized over Lake Superior, and once this front gets rolling there’s nothing in the way to stop it. This front blows through Duluth late Tuesday afternoon/early evening with wind gusts to 50 mph out of the northeast along with falling temperatures.

NAM 3km model wind gust forecast valid 1 PM Tuesday to 7 PM Wednesday.

A cold front dropping south out of Ontario on Tuesday will likely produce some scattered showers in the Northland Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. An isolated thunderstorm can’t be ruled out either as will be able to build up some weak CAPE (instability) during the day Tuesday, but widespread thunderstorm activity is not expected.

Duluth area — Looks dry during the day Tuesday. Scattered showers are possible Tuesday night with rain chances increasing after 5 PM Tuesday.

NAM 3km model radar forecast valid 7 AM Tuesday to 7 AM Wednesday.

Rainfall forecast through 7 AM Wednesday.


*5 days so far this month with a high temperature of at least 70 degrees in Duluth. Average number of days with a high of at least 70 in May is 8 days.

*1 day so far this month with a high temperature of at least 80 degrees in Duluth. Average number of days with a high of at least 80 in May is 2 days.

Here’s a look at how many days have been below average (blue) or above average (red) in Duluth so far this month.

A look at the average temperatures and departure from normal in the Northland for May 2023 (thru the 21st)

Brainerd, MN: 56.7, +3.3 degrees above average
International Falls, MN: 54.4, +5.5 degrees above average
Duluth, MN: 51.5, +1.1 degrees above average
Hibbing, MN: 51.4, +3.6 degrees above average
Ashland, WI: 48.9, -0.9 degrees below average

Departure from normal temperature for May 2023 (thru the 21st)

Lower 48 temperature anomaly for May 2023 (thru the 21st)

Orange, red and white: Warmer than average
Blues: Colder than average


Looking ahead to the Memorial Day holiday weekend and through the first couple days of June shows what may be a very warm pattern for the upper Midwest including for us in the Northland as an upper-level ridge develops while possibly intensifying as well.

At the very least we’re looking at highs around 80 or into the 80s in much of the Northland this weekend through at least the middle of next week, and there’s even a chance that temperatures may end up even warmer early next week.

Warmer compared to average to the north, cooler compared to average to the south next week.


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