Thursday, December 31, 2009

12/31/09: Thursday's Weather Report

Issued at 4:52 PM CST, Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Weather History:

On this date last year the low temperature at the Duluth Airport was -16 degrees.

Headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, MN.

...Lake effect snow update...

Gile WI (Iron County) 7.0" of snow since This Morning.

*Lake Effect Snow Warning* continues until 6 AM CST Saturday for Ashland and Iron Counties in Northwest Wisconsin. Some cities included in the warning are: Ashland WI...Odanah WI...Marengo WI...Mellen WI...Hurley WI...Upson WI...Gile WI...Iron Belt WI...And Montreal WI...

Persistent north to northwest wind blowing across Lake Superior combined with arctic air moving south out of Central Canada will continue to produce heavy lake effect snow showers in the warning area through at least Saturday Morning. Hourly snowfall rates of 1-2" are possible at times through Saturday Morning with snowfall totals of 12-24" with locally higher amounts possible from Tonight through early Saturday. The heaviest snow is expected to fall across Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin, near the towns of Hurley...Montreal...Gile...And Upson.

A check of the Iron Belt webcam late This Afternoon shows that snow was falling at a good clip with large fluffy snowflakes visible on the webcam and rather low visibility.

Travel along Highway 2...13...and 77 in the warning area will be very difficult due to the falling snow. Visibilities could drop to less than one quarter mile at times through Saturday Morning. Roads will be snow covered and slippery. Use extreme caution if you will be doing any traveling along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin. Make sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Note: The Counties of Bayfield and Douglas in Northwest Wisconsin could also see periods of lake effect snow showers at times especially from Friday into Sunday, several inches of snow could accumulate...Especially near the towns of Brule...Port Wing...Bayfield...Washburn...Iron River...And Moquah... A lake snow advisory and or lake snow warning may be needed for parts of Bayfield and Douglas County at some point over the next few days.

...Updated January 2010 outlook, issued by the Climate Prediction Center on December 31st, 2009...

For Duluth:

Equal Chances for Above Normal, Below Normal, or Normal Temperatures.

33% chance for Below Normal Precipitation.

Weather Headlines:

-Bitter cold arctic air arrives by Friday and may linger through next week.

-Very heavy lake effect snow event underway along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)

Arctic high pressure of 1038 mb was centered in Southeast Alberta Province Canada late This Afternoon. Shots of cold advection have been pushing south/east through the Upper Midwest Today with 850 mb temperatures around Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin ranging from -17 to -19 degrees C as of 4 PM while an area of -20 to -28 degree C H85 temps were lurking across parts of the Northern Plains into Southwestern Canada. High temperatures Today were in the single digits and teens across our area with late day wind chills generally ranging from 5 above to around 10 below zero.

Today's Upper Level Analysis

W/NW 500 mb flow was in place across the Upper Midwest Today per RUC model analysis with an area of 120 knot upper level winds centered over the Northern Rockies and Southwest Canada. A cold upper level trough was digging south out of Central Canada This Afternoon per water vapor satellite imagery with an area of -38 to -40 degree C H5 temperatures noted across Central Canada late Today near this 500 mb trough.

(Tonight through Friday Night)

Arctic air (coldest of the season so far) will continue to plunge south/southeast into the Upper Midwest during this period with high pressure to our west/northwest with a surface trough developing across the Northern Great Lakes. Low temperatures Tonight will be in the single digits below to above zero with some teens below mainly in Western areas. Highs Friday will range from around 10 below to 10 above with lows Friday Night dropping into the teens, 20s, and 30s below zero across all of our area with the traditional cold spots having the best shot at dropping lower than 25 below! North or northwest winds will prevail during this period generally under 20 mph. Wind chills at times will range from 5 below to 25 below Tonight and most of Friday and will range from 25 below to around 50 below zero by Friday Night. Wind chill headlines may be needed for parts of our area, especially for Friday Night.

Expect clear-partly cloudy skies across our area during this period with the possibility for some snow flurries Tonight and Friday.

(Extended Forecast)

The main weather story for the Upper Midwest during the extended period will be the persistent cold air which will be in place this weekend through all of next week as a stubborn north or northwest flow continues across the Upper Midwest.

The coldest weather is expected to occur this weekend with another very cold shot of air possible sometime the middle or end of next week. The latest forecast models Today bring down a 1055 mb arctic high out of Saskatchewan Province later next week which could lead to an even colder airmass across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest during that time compared to what will see through this weekend.

This type of weather pattern is a dry one for our local area with just the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin continuing to see bouts of locally heavy lake effect snow showers at times right into next week.

It's possible for several feet of snow to have accumulated by this time next week across parts of Ashland and especially Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight... Partly cloudy. Flurries possible late. Low 1 below to 6 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph. Wind chills of 15 below to 25 below.

.New Years Day... Partly cloudy. Flurries possible early. High zero to 5 above. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Wind chills approaching 20 below.

.Friday Night... Bitterly cold. Mostly clear. Low 18 below to 23 below. Wind northwest at 5 to 15 mph. Dangerous wind chills approaching 35 below to 40 below.

.Saturday... Very cold. Partly sunny. High zero to 5 below.

.Saturday Night... Partly cloudy. Bitterly cold. Low 15 below to 20 below.

.Sunday... Partly cloudy. High 2 to 7.

.Sunday Night... Partly cloudy. Low 7 below to 12 below.

.Monday... Partly cloudy. High 5 to 10.

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 18 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 0 degrees

Tim

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12/30/09: Wednesday's Weather Report

Issued at 8:36 PM CST, Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Weather History:

On this date in 1996... 10.3" of snow fell at Duluth, Minnesota.

Weather headlines:

-Big lake effect snow event develops Thursday and persists into early next week for the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin

-Arctic air sets up across the Upper Midwest by Friday and persists thru early next week

-Wind chill headlines may be needed at times across parts of our area beginning Thursday Night

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)

A cold front combined with an upper level disturbance tracking through the Upper Midwest caused some light snow and flurries across portions of Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Snow accumulations Today were generally 1" or less. Highs Today were in the teens to lower 20s with 850 mb temperatures as of 8 PM ranging from -10 to -17 degrees C from northwest to southeast across our local area. Winds Today were out of the south, west, or northwest under 20 mph. Surface map early This Evening featured low pressure of 1006 mb centered in Central Ontario Province with a cold front attached to the low extending southwest through Central Wisconsin. High pressure of 1024 mb was centered in Southern Alberta Province.

(This Evening's Upper Level Analysis)

Westerly 500 mb flow was in place across the Upper Midwest This Evening per RUC model analysis. Water vapor satellite imagery shows two upper level disturbances. One was lifting east/northeast out of Missouri while another one was heading east across Northwest Minnesota/Southwest Ontario Province. An area of 60 meter 12 hour 500 mb height falls covered most of the Upper Midwest and Central/Northern Great Lakes This Evening in association with the weak disturbances overhead.

...An extended period of lake effect snow expected along the South Shore of Lake Superior...

*LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNING*

Valid 4 PM CST Thursday until 6 AM CST Saturday for Ashland and Iron Counties in Northwest Wisconsin. This includes the cities of Ashland WI...Marengo WI...High Bridge WI...Mellen WI...Hurley WI...Upson WI...And Montreal WI... Arctic high pressure to our northwest and low pressure off to our east will cause north winds and arctic air air to cross the relatively milder waters of Lake Superior, this will lead to the development of locally heavy lake effect snow showers in the affected areas from Thursday Afternoon through at least early Saturday. Snowfall rates of 1-2" an hour are possible at times with snowfall accumulations of 1-2 feet expected in most of the warning area between late Thursday and early Saturday.

Travel along Highway 13...77...and 2 in Northwest Wisconsin will become very difficult if not impossible at times due to the snow. Use extreme caution and make sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you will be doing any traveling in the warning area.

(Tonight through Thursday Night)

Low pressure will be centered to our east while arctic high pressure strengthens to our northwest. A surface trough will develop to our north Tonight and will drift south into our area Tomorrow and Tomorrow Night. Partly-mostly cloudy skies will cover our area during this period with a few flurries possible from time to time. Lows Tonight will be in the single digits and teens but some locales could drop into the zero to 5 below range, mainly in Western areas. Highs Tomorrow will be in the single digits and teens with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits below to above zero with some minus teens possible in Western areas. Winds during this period will be out of the north or west around 20 mph or less. Wind chills will drop into the 10 below to around 25 below zero range across portions of our area, especially by Tomorrow Night.

(Extended Forecast)

Weather pattern will change little through early next week. Strong arctic high pressure will be draped over the Upper Midwest into Central Canada while low pressure shifts west/northwest through New England toward Eastern Canada from this weekend into early next week. An amplified N/NW 500 mb flow will be in place across our area from Friday into early next week and this will result in arctic air taking up residence across the Upper Midwest.

High temperatures Friday and Saturday will be in the 10 below to 10 above range with lows Friday Night and Saturday Night in the single digits, teens, and 20s below with some 30s below possible in the traditional cold spots.

The overall weather pattern is a dry one for most of our area through early next week with just an occasional flurry from time to time.

There has been some hints over the last few days of milder Pacific air developing across the Northern Rockies and spilling east into the Upper Midwest toward the middle part of January while the bitter cold arctic air reforms across Alaska and Northwestern Canada. Whether this happens or not remains to be seen since this would be out in the 2 week time frame and models tend to flip flop from one day to the next with weather patterns after 4 or 5 days. It's also going to be interesting to see if the current snow pack, which consists of about 60% of the U.S. having at least 1" of snow on the ground would play any role in preventing any big temperature rises as we head through January.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight... Variable cloudiness with flurries possible at times. Low 3 to 8. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

.New Years Eve... Partly sunny. Flurries possible. High 8 to 13. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

.Thursday Night... Variable cloudiness. Low 2 below to 7 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph. Wind chills approaching 25 below.

.New Years Day... Partly cloudy. High zero to 5 above.

.Friday Night... Partly cloudy. Low 12 below to 17 below.

.Saturday... Partly sunny. High zero to 5 below.

.Saturday Night... Partly cloudy. Low 11 below to 16 below.

.Sunday... Partly to mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 2 to 7.

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 18 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 0 degrees

Tim

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

12/29/09: Tuesday's Weather Report

Issued at 8:28 PM CST, Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Weather History:

On this date in 1999... A record high temperature of 46 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.

Here are some low temperatures from Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin from earlier Today, Tuesday, December 29th, 2009. Source: NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

International Falls MN: -22 degrees

Brainerd MN: -13 degrees

Hibbing MN: -13 degrees

Ely MN: -17 degrees

Orr MN: -18 degrees

Crane Lake MN: -20 degrees

Cook MN: -18 degrees

Bigfork MN: -18 degrees

Longville MN: -15 degrees

Pine River MN: -15 degrees

Moose Lake MN: -13 degrees

Hayward WI: -15 degrees

Bruno MN: -14 degrees

Embarrass MN: -22 degrees

3 miles East of Orr MN: -22 degrees

Littlefork MN: -18 degrees

Northome MN: -19 degrees

4 miles West of Clam Lake WI: -15 degrees

Upson WI: -11 degrees

Note: The official low at the Duluth Airport This Morning was -8 degrees. Superior Wisconsin had a low temperature of -2 degrees.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)

High pressure of 1032 mb has moved into Central Ohio This Evening with a southerly flow of warm advection well underway across the Upper Midwest This Evening. High temperatures across our area were mainly in the teens Today with 850 mb temperatures as of 8 PM ranging from -3 to -7 degrees C. Partly to mostly sunny skies covered our area Today with winds turning into the south under 20 mph.

(This Evening's Upper Level Analysis)

A fairly vigorous shortwave trough associated with 90-120 meter 12 hour 500 mb height falls was heading E/NE through the Plains This Evening. Upper level flow has become less amplified Today with a W/SW 500 mb flow in place in the Upper Midwest This Evening.

(Tonight)

Warm advection and an increasing low level jet to around 40 knots from the SW will keep low temperatures from falling much at all across our local area Tonight. Low pressure of 1012 mb currently in Central Manitoba Province with a cold front extending southwest of this low will keep southerly winds going across our area through the night as low temperatures hold steady in the single digits and teens, in fact a few locales in Western areas may see a slight rise in temperatures toward 20 degrees by dawn. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast Tonight with the possibility for a few lake effect flurries in the Arrowhead of Minnesota. Winds Tonight will be from the south under 20 mph.

(Wednesday and Wednesday Night)

The upper level disturbance in the Plains This Evening will continue on it's north/east track during this period while an area of low pressure passes by to our north. A cold front attached to that low will be passing through our local area during this period. Mostly cloudy skies are forecast Tomorrow and Tomorrow Night with snow showers and flurries at times. Best chance for up to 1" or so of accumulation will be found along and south-east of a line from around Aitkin and Duluth and across all of Northwest Wisconsin. The best chance for seeing a little steadier snow would be during the Afternoon/early Evening hours on Wednesday the way it looks now. Highs Tomorrow will be in the teens and 20s with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits and teens. South or west winds will become more northwesterly under 20 mph.

(Extended Forecast)

Arctic air will move back into the Upper Midwest later this week and through most of the weekend with the coldest period expected to occur from Friday into Saturday. The South Shore of Lake Superior may have to deal with some bouts of lake effect snow showers from Friday through Sunday with favorable N/NW winds and bitter cold temperatures in place, otherwise the remainder of our area will be fairly dry, although a few flurries can't be ruled out at times especially on Thursday and perhaps later this weekend.

High temperatures on Thursday will be in the single digits, teens, to around 20 degrees with lows Thursday Night in the single digits below to above zero with a few locations possibly going down toward 10 below zero especially around International Falls and in far Western parts of our area. Highs on Friday will range from around 10 below to 10 above zero across our area with lows Friday Night in the single digits, teens, and 20s below with some of the traditional cold spots likely dropping into the minus 30s!

Right now it does not appear that winds will be very strong during the Friday/Saturday time period, but with temperatures well below zero it won't take much of a wind to create dangerous wind chills around our area.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight... Mostly clear with increasing cloudiness Overnight. Low 5 to 10. Wind south at 5 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday... Mostly cloudy. Snow showers or flurries developing during the Afternoon. High 18 to 23. Wind southwest at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 50%.

.Wednesday Night... Mostly cloudy. Snow showers or flurries possible mainly early. Snow accumulations under 1". Low 5 to 10. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 40%.

.New Years Eve... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 10 to 15.

.Thursday Night... Variable cloudiness. Flurries possible. Low zero to 5 below.

.New Years Day... Partly cloudy. High zero to 5 above.

.Friday Night... Partly cloudy. Low 12 below to 17 below.

.Saturday... Partly sunny. High 1 below to 6 below.

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 18 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 0 degrees

Tim

Monday, December 28, 2009

12/28/09: Monday's Weather Report

Issued at 3:46 PM CST, Monday, December 28th, 2009

-December 2009 Weather stats for Duluth, Minnesota. (Airport location)

Thru the 27th: Average monthly temperature 13.1 degrees
Departure: -1.5 degrees

Snowfall total thru the 27th: 32.5"
Departure: 19.7" above normal

Precipitation total thru the 27th: 2.87"
Departure: 2.05" above normal

Weather headlines:

...Big story this week will be the two arctic air surges. One overhead Tonight, a bigger one due later this week...

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)

An arctic front moved out of our area early This Morning, gusty winds and falling temperatures occurred as this boundary moved through. High temperatures Today occurred just after Midnight last night when teens and 20s were common, then during the day Today temperatures dropped into the single digits and teens for most areas. 850 mb temperatures as of 3 PM ranged from -13 to -17 degrees C across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. There's been some lake effect snow showers that have affected portions of the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin Today, but snowfall totals have generally been on the light side, and as a result the Lake Effect Snow Advisory has been cancelled for Iron County. Winds Today were out of the north or west at 10-25 mph with some higher gusts especially This Morning. Late Afternoon wind chills were mainly in the 10 above to 10 below range across our local area. Surface map as of 3 PM featured arctic high pressure of 1032 mb centered in far Southeast Saskatchewan Province.

(Today's Upper Level Analysis)

Northwest 500 mb flow was in place across the Upper Midwest Today with an upper level trough in place from Central Canada south to the Northern Great Lakes. 500 mb temps underneath this trough ranged from -32 to -38 degrees C. Upper level winds have strengthened to 120 knots Today across the Upper Midwest per RUC model and this core of stronger winds aloft is helping to drive colder air south into our area.

(Tonight)

Arctic high pressure will drop southeast through the Northern Plains Tonight with cold advection continuing most of the night to the east of this high. Clear-partly cloudy skies will cover our local area Tonight with low temperatures dropping into the single digits below to above zero with some teens to around 20 degree below zero readings expected for some locations. Winds Tonight will be out of the north or west under 20 mph. Wind chills Tonight will range from 10 below to around 25 below zero.

(Tuesday and Tuesday Night)

High pressure will shift to the south/east of our area during this period. Some warm advection will gradually move into the Upper Midwest as this high moves away. Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies can be expected on Tuesday with partly to mostly cloudy skies for Tuesday Night. Highs Tomorrow will be in the single digits and teens with lows Tomorrow Night holding fairly steady from the daytime highs. Winds during this period will be out of the south or west under 20 mph.

Note: There could be some lake effect snow showers that develop by Tuesday Night along the North Shore of Lake Superior, mainly from Tofte northeast through Grand Marais and Grand Portage as southerly winds combined with 850 mb temps around -10 degrees C could help in generating some lake snow Tomorrow Night, this shouldn't be a very big deal though as warm advection will be underway by Tomorrow Night which should keep any lake effect snow fairly light.

(Extended Forecast)

Low pressure and a cold front will be passing east through our area on Wednesday. This system could bring some flurries or a few snow showers to our area, but nothing significant is expected at this time. Warmest day of the week should occur on Wednesday when high temps will be in the teens and 20s. Lows Wednesday Night will be in the single digits to low teens.

A secondary cold front will drop south across the Upper Midwest on Thursday with arctic air blasting into our area behind this boundary as an upper level jet over the Northern Rockies builds to 130 knots helping to drive an even colder airmass south into our area later this week. The coldest period looks to be from Thursday Night into Saturday... High temperatures on Thursday will be in the single digits and teens with lows Thursday Night in the single digits and teens below zero for most areas.

High temps for Friday will struggle to get much above zero which will set the stage for a bitterly cold Friday Night as low temps will likely drop into the teens, 20s, and even some 30s below zero across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.

Right now it doesn't appear will have much wind around later this week, but it will not take much of a wind to get wind chills down into advisory, possibly even warning criteria later this week given how low the temperatures will be by Friday Night.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight... Mostly clear. Cold. Low 6 below to 11 below. Wind northwest at 5 to 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Wind chills approaching 25 below.

.Tuesday... Mostly sunny. High 12 to 17. Wind southwest at 10 to 15 mph.

.Tuesday Night... Becoming mostly cloudy. Low 5 to 10.

.Wednesday... Flurries possible. Considerable cloudiness. High 17 to 22.

.Wednesday Night... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 5 to 10.

.New Years Eve... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 10 to 15.

.Thursday Night... Variable cloudiness. Flurries possible. Low 3 below to 8 below.

.New Years Day... Partly cloudy. High zero to 5 above.

Normal High Temperature Today 19 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Today 1 degree

Tim

Sunday, December 27, 2009

12/27/09: Sunday's Weather Report

Issued at 5:04 PM CST, Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Weather History:

On this date in 2003... A record high temperature of 40 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.

Here are a few snowfall reports from around Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin from last night and Today. Source: NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

5 miles North of Pillager MN (Cass County) 3.0"

Odanah WI (Ashland County) 8.0"

Mellen WI (Ashland County) 8.0"

Gile WI (Iron County) 1.3"

Hayward WI (Sawyer County) 1.5"

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)

Strong low pressure which was over Western Iowa on Friday, weakened and moved toward Southeast Iowa on Saturday, and now Today this low has weakened further and had moved well off to our east, however, this storm system was so wrapped up and had lots of energy to work with that it has formed weak frontal boundaries which have been passing through our local area since Saturday. Convergence near those boundaries have led to the development of some snow across parts of our area. Last night one of these snow bands formed over parts of Northwest Wisconsin and led to several inches of accumulation...Mainly over Ashland County. Today, another area of snow mixed with freezing drizzle passed south/east across Northern and Northeast Minnesota with generally light amounts of snow reported. High temperatures Today ended up warmer than expected as one last shot of warm advection was advecting south/east out of Central Canada. High temperatures Today were in the 20s and 30s across our area with 850 mb temperatures as of 4 PM ranging from -1 to -7 degrees C with the mildest air continuing in Northern areas of Minnesota. Very odd indeed. Winds Today were out of the west or northwest at 10 to around 25 mph.

(Today's Upper Level Analysis)

500 mb low (528 meters) continued to shift into the Eastern Great Lakes Today while an upper level trough was in place from Central Canada through the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest per RUC model analysis and water vapor satellite imagery.

(Tonight)

A cold front will be dropping south out of Central Canada and will pass through most of our area by dawn. Partly-mostly cloudy skies are expected across our area Tonight with the possibility for some snow showers or flurries at times along with some patchy light freezing drizzle, especially This Evening. Lows Tonight will gradually settle into the single digits and teens with winds out of the north or west at 10-25 mph, but we could see a few gusts up near 30 mph late Tonight as strong cold advection sinks south out of Central Canada while a low level jet increases to 30-45 knots late Tonight.

(Monday and Monday Night)

High pressure currently over Western Canada will head southeast through the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest during this period. Colder temperatures are expected across our area Tomorrow and Tomorrow Night with northwest or north winds in place ahead of this high. Partly-mostly sunny skies are forecast on Monday with clear to partly cloudy skies for Monday Night. Highs Tomorrow will be in the teens and 20s which will occur after Midnight Tonight, then temps on Monday will be slowly falling. Lows Tomorrow Night will be in the single digits below to above zero with some minus teens also possible. Winds Tomorrow and Tomorrow Night will be out of the north or west at 10-25 mph, the stronger winds will occur on Monday.

Note: *Lake Snow Advisory* is in effect for Iron County in Northwest Wisconsin from 9 PM CST Tonight until 6 PM CST Monday. 4-6" of snow could accumulate in that area, this would include the cities of...Hurley WI...Montreal WI...And Upson WI...

(Extended Forecast)

Moderating temperatures will return to our area for Tuesday and Wednesday as high pressure exits to our south/east while a weak area of low pressure approaches from the west. A cold front attached to that low will be passing through the Upper Midwest sometime Wednesday or Thursday. A more significant shot of arctic air looks like it could set-up around our area later this week or next weekend behind this cold frontal passage, this will be something to monitor in coming days.

Note: GFS model for the second day in a row continues to bring some bitter cold air south into our area late this week or next weekend with Overnight lows dropping into the teens, 20s, and maybe even some 30s below zero for parts of our area.

No big snow systems are expected through next weekend the way it looks now, but some periodic bouts of heavier lake effect snow could affect parts of the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin early this week and perhaps sometime later in the week.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight... Partly to mostly cloudy. Flurries possible at times through the night with patchy light freezing drizzle possible early. Low 10 to 15. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Monday... Partly sunny. High 17 to 22 with slowly falling temperatures. Wind northwest at 15 to 25 mph.

.Monday Night... Mostly clear. Low 2 below to 7 below. Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Wind chills from 15 below to 25 below.

.Tuesday... Partly cloudy. High 15 to 20.

.Tuesday Night... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 5 to 10.

.Wednesday... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 17 to 22.

.Wednesday Night... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 5 to 10.

.Thursday... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 10 to 15.

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 19 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 1 degree

Tim

Saturday, December 26, 2009

12/26/09: Saturday's Weather Report

Issued at 7:50 PM CST, Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Record Events: Source: NWS Duluth, MN.

Record daily snowfall at Duluth Minnesota on Friday, December 25th, 2009: Snowfall total was 10.0" which broke the old record of 6.9" set in 1982.

Record daily snowfall at Duluth on Thursday, December 24th, 2009: Snowfall total was 7.9" which broke the old record of 2.9" set in 1987.

Record daily precipitation total at Duluth on Thursday, December 24th, 2009: Precipitation total was 0.48" which broke the old record of 0.43" set in 1875.

Two day snowfall total at the Duluth Airport: 23.4" between the 24th and 25th.

Two day precipitation total at the Duluth Airport: 2.42" between the 24th and 25th.

December 24th-25th, 2009 Winter Storm Recap:

A massive winter storm slammed much of the Northern Plains...Central Plains...And Upper Midwest during the Christmas Holiday. This storm produced intense wind and snow with blizzard conditions across the Dakotas...Nebraska...Kansas...as well as over parts of Iowa and Minnesota. Heavy snow also fell as far south as Oklahoma and across parts of Texas and Wisconsin. Some of the greatest snowfall totals occurred in the Dakotas with amounts nearing 50" reported around the Black Hills of Western South Dakota while snow totals greater than 20" fell across portions of Minnesota.

The track of this storm was highly unusual as it developed over Eastern Texas and moved into Arkansas on Thursday then to Central Missouri and to the Western Iowa/Eastern Nebraska border area by Friday. The low was forced on a N/NW track due to a blocking pattern in place across Northeast Canada. This storm was also a slow mover and had copious amounts of moisture to work with. At one point during this storm, the low level jet increased to 50-85 knots which pumped deep moisture and strong warm advection W/NW of the low pressure center. Enough warming took place late Thursday Night through Friday Night to turn the wet snow over to rain and sleet over parts of Northwest Wisconsin back to Duluth and south to Pine County Minnesota. Some mixed precipitation also developed Friday and early Today along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northeast Minnesota.

Here are the final snow reports from Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin from this Christmas Holiday winter storm.

3 miles East of Orr MN (St. Louis County) 10.7"

5 miles North of Pillager MN (Cass County) 16.0"

International Falls MN (Koochiching County) 14.0"

Sarona WI (Washburn County) 10.8"

Grand Rapids MN (Itasca County) 9.3"

Kabetogama MN (St. Louis County) 12.4"

Northome MN (Koochiching County) 9.0"

Grand Portage MN (Cook County) 9.0"

Ashland WI (Ashland County) 14.5"

Hayward WI (Sawyer County) 10.3"

4 miles South of Bruno MN (Pine County) 14.5"


Brainerd MN (Crow Wing County) 10.5"


Maple WI (Douglas County) 12.3"


Silver Bay MN (Lake County) 14.0"


5 miles Northwest of Two Harbors MN (Lake County) 24.0"


14 miles West of Isabella MN (Lake County) 9.0"


Gile WI (Iron County) 7.0"


25 miles North-Northeast of Duluth MN (St. Louis County) 26.0" at Pequaywan Lake


Cloquet MN (Carlton County) 19.5"


Duluth MN NWS (St. Louis County) 24.4"


5 miles Northwest of Grand Marais MN (Cook County) 12.0"


Note: Peak wind gust at the Duluth Airport during this storm was 53 mph which occurred on the 25th. A peak wind gust of 55 mph was reported in Downtown Duluth on the 25th.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)


Low pressure of 1008 mb has moved into Southern Wisconsin early This Evening with high pressure of 1032 mb centered in far Southwest Saskatchewan. Mostly cloudy skies were found across our local area Today with bands of snow and snow flurries continuing to push west and southwest Today, but the snow has been decreasing in coverage during the Afternoon hours. What was once a massive winter storm continued to weaken Today as the system occludes and wraps cold air all around it's center. High temperatures Today were in the 20s and 30s with 850 mb temperatures as of 6 PM ranging from -5 to -13 degrees C in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin with the mildest temps North areas and coldest south-southeast areas. Winds Today were much calmer compared to Friday with south, north, or east winds generally under 20 mph across our area Today.


(This Evening's Upper Level Analysis)


500 mb low (522 meters) was nearly stationary across Central Wisconsin per water vapor satellite imagery. 60-90 meter 12 hour 500 mb height falls associated with this H5 low had spread north/west into the Upper Great Lakes region This Evening.


(Tonight)


Surface and upper level area of low pressure will remain to our southeast Tonight. Partly to mostly cloudy skies with some flurries or areas of snow showers will continue at times with any additional snow accumulations under 2", perhaps a little more near Lake Superior in Ashland/Iron Counties in Wisconsin where some lake effect snow could develop Overnight. Lows Tonight will be tricky and will be dependant on the amount of cloud-cover. Most areas will have low temps in the teens Tonight but locations that clear out for a long enough period of time will drop into the single digits below to above zero. Winds Tonight will be out of the north or west under 20 mph.

(Sunday and Sunday Night)


Low pressure will be pulling into the Eastern Great Lakes region while a cold front heads south from Northern Canada. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be found across our area during this period with some flurries possible at times. Highs on Sunday will be in the teens and 20s with lows Sunday Night mainly in the single digits and teens. Winds during this period will be out of the north or west under 20 mph.

(Extended Forecast)


Cold front will dissipate as it exits south/southeast of our local area on Monday. High pressure will build into the Upper Midwest behind this front which will result in northerly winds and a threat for some lake effect snow showers along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin. Bayfield...Ashland...And Iron Counties in Wisconsin could see a couple inches of snow on Monday. High pressure will shift off to our south and east for Tuesday and Wednesday as low pressure, almost a clipper like system approaches the Upper Midwest from Southwest Canada and the Northern Rockies. May see some flurries or snow showers develop across parts of our area around mid-week as this weak low pressure system moves through. High temperatures Monday and Tuesday will be in the teens and 20s with lows Monday Night and Tuesday Night in the single digits below to above zero.


Looks like most of next week will be free of any major or widespread snow systems across the Upper Midwest, but we may have to deal with a blast of arctic air sometime late next week or next weekend. The GFS model shows some bitter cold air building south into parts of the Upper Midwest during that aforementioned time period. Overnight lows by next Friday and Saturday being forecasted by the GFS model Today drop into the 20s and even 30s below zero in parts of our area.


5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior


.Tonight... Variable cloudiness. Flurries possible. Colder compared to previous nights. Low 5 to 10, a little warmer in Downtown Duluth. Wind north at 5 to 15 mph.


.Sunday... Partly sunny. High 17 to 22. Wind northwest at 10 to 15 mph.


.Sunday Night... Flurries possible. Variable cloudiness. Low 5 to 10. Wind west at 5 to 15 mph.


.Monday... Partly cloudy. High 13 to 18.


.Monday Night... Mostly clear. Low zero to 5 below.


.Tuesday... Partly sunny. High 15 to 20.


.Tuesday Night... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 5 to 10.


.Wednesday... Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. High 17 to 22.


Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 19 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 1 degree

Tim

12/26/09: Saturday Morning Winter Storm Update

Issued at 6:53 AM CST, Saturday, December 26th, 2009

-Snowfall report will be issued later Today, I will get back into my normal forecasting mode after a few days of covering this amazing December storm.

Note: Occluded front is currently lifting northwest through Duluth/Superior at 7 AM, an abrupt wind shift from the east to the south has taken place and temperatures are dropping.

This will be the final update on this winter storm.

...All headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*

A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect until 4 PM CST Today for parts of Northcentral...Northeast...And Eastcentral Minnesota. The winter storm warning which was in effect has expired.

Counties included the advisory are:

Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Aitkin MN...Carlton MN...St. Louis MN...Lake MN...And Cook MN.

Some cities included in the advisory are:

International Falls MN...Grand Rapids MN...Walker MN...Brainerd MN...Aitkin MN...Moose Lake MN...Duluth MN...Hibbing MN...Crane Lake MN...Ely MN...Two Harbors MN...Silver Bay MN...Grand Marais MN...And Grand Portage MN...

Update as of 6 AM CST:

Low pressure of 1001 mb was centered in Southern Iowa. The low has weakened considerably compared to 24 hours ago. An occluded front continued to surge north/west through Central Wisconsin/Eastern Minnesota early This Morning with much colder temperatures (teens/20s) advecting into Northeast Minnesota from Central Wisconsin. Yes cold air is moving in from the southeast, just another sign of how intense and wound up this storm system became.

Upper level analysis per RUC model as of 6 AM indicates a strong 500 mb low (522 meters) centered in Southern Wisconsin and lifting slowly toward the west/north. Intense 120-150 meter 12 hour 500 mb height falls were centered over the Central Great Lakes early Today. 850 mb temperatures have dropped to -6 to -12 degrees C from Eastern Minnesota through most of Northwest Wisconsin to around -3 degrees C in Northern Minnesota.

Colder temperatures will be the bigger story across our local area Today as the cold air pushes northwest through most of our area. Expect some additional snow to fall as well Today with additional accumulations of a dusting to 2" possible.

Roads were either snow covered and slippery or wet and or slush covered across our area This Morning with plenty of standing water continuing on area streets especially below the hill in Duluth This Morning, some of this water may begin to re-freeze Today as temperatures start to drop.

Use caution if you will be traveling across Northern Minnesota or Northwest Wisconsin Today, slow down, and make sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Tim

Friday, December 25, 2009

12/25/09: Friday Evening Winter Storm Update

Issued at 8:02 PM CST, Friday, December 25th, 2009

Note: Snowfall total at the NWS Duluth, MN: 22.9" through 6 PM.

...All headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*WINTER STORM WARNING*

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 6 AM CST Saturday for all of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. This includes the following Counties: Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Carlton MN...Central and St. Louis MN...Lake MN...Cook MN...Douglas WI...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Iron WI...Burnett WI...Washburn WI...Sawyer WI...And Price WI...

Some cities included in the warning are: International Falls MN...Grand Rapids MN...Walker MN...Brainerd MN...Aitkin MN...Pine City MN...Hinckley MN...Moose Lake MN...Cloquet MN...Duluth MN...Hibbing MN...Two Harbors MN...Silver Bay MN...Grand Marais MN...Grand Portage MN...Superior WI...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Hurley WI...Grantsburg WI...Spooner WI...Hayward WI...And Park Falls WI...

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Northern St. Louis County in Northeast Minnesota until 6 AM CST Saturday. Some cities included in the advisory are: Crane Lake MN...Ely MN...And Orr MN...

Update as of 7 PM CST:

Low pressure of 992 mb was centered in Western Iowa with an occluded front lifting north out of Southern Minnesota. Low pressure has weakened 5 mb since Noon Today.

Upper level low (522 meters) was centered in Northcentral Missouri early This Evening and was lifting N/NE. Greatest 12 hour 500 mb height falls of 90-120 meters were located across the Central-Southern Great Lakes early This Evening.

850 mb temperatures as of 7 PM were sitting in the -2 to -3 degree C across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin with a stronger push of cold air advection advancing north/northwest out of Southern Minnesota and the Southern half of Wisconsin.

Additional areas of snow will persist through the night across our local area with some of the heavier snowfall affecting portions of the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northeast Minnesota due to favorable E/NE winds in place. A stubborn layer of warm air near the surface continued to produce a mix bag of sleet, rain, and wet snow close to Lake Superior into parts of Northwest Wisconsin early This Evening, it does appear that tempeatures will cool enough to cause lingering precipitation to fall as snow during the Overnight hours even close to Lake Superior.

Additional snow accumulations Tonight will range from 1-2" across our area with locally higher amounts from 2-5" expected, mainly along the Higher Terrain near Lake Superior.

East to northeast winds which gusted to 40-50 plus mph near Lake Superior Today will decrease to 15-30 mph during the night while winds away from Lake Superior remain out of the east/northeast at 10-25 mph.

The gusty winds will continue to produce areas of blowing and drifting snow through the night along with reduced visibility when combined with the falling snow.

Travel will continue to be very difficult the rest of Tonight with snow covered, slushy, and ice covered roads. If you must travel use extreme caution, slow down, and be sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Tim
Here are a few photos from my location in West Duluth, Minnesota as of about Noon Today. We've had about a foot of wet concrete type snow so far, but we've been going back and fourth between wet snow, sleet, and rain since about 3 AM Today. East winds are gusting over 40 mph!









12/25/09: Friday Afternoon Winter Storm Update

Issued at 12:17 PM CST, Friday, December 25th, 2009

12 PM Observation:

Tempeature was 33 degrees at the Duluth Airport and 36 degrees at the Duluth Harbor. East winds were sustained at 31 to 39 mph with gusts to 47-49 mph. Pressure ranged from 29.52"-29.54" and falling.

Local storm reports in Duluth, MN:

NWS Duluth MN snowfall total through 6 AM Today: 21.0"

Duluth MN (St. Louis County) 0.10" Ice Accumulation. East winds gusting over 50 mph. Power outages reported around the city.

Duluth MN North Lakewood Township (St. Louis County) 22.0"

Proctor MN (St. Louis County) 20.0"

...All headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*BLIZZARD WARNING*

A Blizzard Warning remains in effect for Southern Lake MN...Southern St. Louis MN...Carlton MN...And Douglas WI until 6 AM CST Saturday. Some cities included in the blizzard warning are: Silver Bay MN...Two Harbors MN...French River MN...Arnold MN...Culver MN...Brookston MN...Duluth MN...Floodwood MN...Cloquet MN...Wrenshall MN...Cromwell MN...Moose Lake MN...Superior WI...Poplar WI...Chaffey WI...Solon Springs WI...And Gordon WI...

*WINTER STORM WARNING*

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Central and Northern St. Louis MN...Northern Lake MN...Cook MN...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Iron WI...Burnett WI...Washburn WI...Sawyer WI...And Price WI until 6 AM CST Saturday. Some cities included in the winter storm warning are: International Falls MN...Grand Rapids MN...Cass Lake MN...Walker MN...Brainerd MN...Hill City MN...Aitkin MN...McGrath MN...Pine City MN...Hinckley MN...Hibbing MN...Ely MN...Crane Lake MN...Grand Marais MN...Grand Portage MN...Port Wing WI...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Hurley WI...Grantsburg WI...Spooner WI...Hayward WI...Park Falls WI...And Phillips WI...

Here are some updated snowfall totals around Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Source: NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

Cloquet MN (Carlton County) 17.5"

1 mile Southwest of Hinckley MN (Pine County) 9.0"

Brainerd MN (Crow Wing County) 8.5"

Hayward WI (Sawyer County) 8.5"

Grand Marais MN (Cook County) 6.0"

7 miles Southeast of Superior WI (Douglas County) 8.0"

Phillips WI (Price County) 5.0"

6 miles West-Southwest of Two Harbors MN (Lake County) 17.0"

Longville MN (Cass County) 6.0"

Gurney WI (Iron County) 6.0"

Grand Portage MN (Cook County) 5.0"

Finland MN (Lake County) 9.5"

Danbury WI (Burnett County) 10.5"

4 miles West of Washburn WI (Bayfield County) 13.6"

International Falls MN (Koochiching County) 6.1"

3 miles North-Northeast of Pine City MN (Pine County) 8.0"

Wrenshall MN (Carlton County) 16.0"

Silver Bay MN (Lake County) 9.5"

Ashland WI (Ashland County) 9.0"

Maple WI (Douglas County) 10.0"

Sarona WI (Washburn County) 9.7"

Moose Lake MN (Carlton County) 11.0"

2 miles East of Wales MN (Lake County) 10.0"

Oulu WI (Bayfield County) 12.5"

Grand Rapids MN (Itasca County) 7.2"

Hill City MN (Aitkin County) 9.2"

Update as of 12 PM CST:

Low pressure of 987 mb was centered over Westcentral Iowa. Greatest 2 mb/2 hour pressure falls were found over Eastern Nebraska early This Afternoon, as a result we could see the low drift a little more toward the west during the Afternoon hours.

500 mb analysis as of 12 PM CST reveals that the seperate upper level lows over the past few days have phased together over the Central Plains with a (522 meter) H5 low located over the Eastern half of Kansas. Greatest 12 hour 500 mb height falls of 120-180 meters were found south-southeast of our local area early This Afternoon.

A major winter storm continued to affect the Northland early This Afternoon with bands of snow, heavy at times continuing to shift west-northwest through Northern, Northeast, and Eastern Minnesota. Areas of snow were also affecting parts of Northwest Wisconsin as of 12 PM. Warm air wrapping around the deep low to our south-southwest continued to produce a mixture of snow, sleet, and some rain across sections of Northwest Wisconsin...west through Duluth/Superior and south through Pine County Minnesota early This Afternoon.

H85 temperatures as of Noon Today ranged from +1 degree C across the Arrowhead of Minnesota to zero to -3 degrees C across the rest of our area.

East to northeast winds ranged from 10-25 mph across our area early This Afternoon. but 30-55 mph winds have been occurring closer to Lake Superior.

Winds have been especially strong in the Duluth area Today with sustained winds of 30-45 mph along with frequent higher gusts. The heavy wet snow that fell Overnight turned over to sleet and rain below the hill in Duluth/Superior early This Morning with a messy mix of precip continuing as of Noon Today. Meanwhile, over the hill in Duluth precipitation has remained in the form of snow and or sleet This Morning. There have been numerous reports of power outages around the Twin Ports area Today due to the intense winds along with the heavy wet snow that is putting extra weight on the trees and power lines.

Expect snow, heavy at times to persist across Northern...Northeast...and Eastcentral Minnesota through the rest of Today with near whiteout conditions at times as strong winds and falling snow produce areas of blowing and some drifting snow. Parts of Northwest Wisconsin back through the Twin Ports and south to Pine County Minnesota will continue to see a mix bag of snow, sleet, and some rain This Afternoon.

Hourly snowfall rates in the more intense snow bands will range from 1-2" through the Afternoon hours.

Snowfall accumulations by Tonight should range from 6-12" across almost all of our area, with an axis of 14-24" of snow near Lake Superior in Northeast Minnesota down through the Twin Ports...South through parts of Carlton County Minnesota and east to Douglas County Wisconsin.

Travel will continue to be extremely difficult if not impossible across our area through This Evening.

MNDOT advises no travel across Minnesota due to this major winter storm Today.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Tim

Thursday, December 24, 2009

12/25/09: Early Friday Morning Winter Storm Update

Issued at 12:38 AM CST, Friday, December 25th, 2009

12 AM Weather Observation:

Temperature was 30 degrees at the Duluth Airport and 32 degrees at the Duluth Harbor with east winds from 20-22 mph with gusts to 29 mph. Pressure ranged from 29.79"-29.81" and falling.

***Updated snowfall totals across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin through 11 PM CST This Evening. Source: NWS Duluth, MN.

NWS Duluth MN (St. Louis County) 11.0"

3 miles West of Duluth MN (St. Louis County) 10.0" with a trace of Ice accumulation reported 2 blocks from Lake Superior.

3 miles Southwest of Hinckley MN (Pine County: 4.2"

6 miles North of Pillager MN (Cass County) 6.0"

4 miles Southeast of Park Falls WI (Price County) 5.5" with .20" of Ice accumulation.

5 miles Northwest of Two Harbors MN (Lake County) 7.5"

Esko MN (Carlton County) 9.5"

4 miles North of Grantsburg WI (Burnett County) 5.5"

Update as of 12 AM CST:

Low pressure has deepened to 988 mb with the center of the low over Northcentral Missouri. Strong 3 mb/2 hour pressure falls were found across most of Iowa early This Morning. Low pressure is forecast to lift N/NW into Southern Iowa through This Morning.

This system continues to deepen at the moment with phasing of the two upper lows still occurring.

Widespread snow will linger across the Northland through the rest of Tonight as a powerful SE 850 mb jet of 40-65 knots continues to advect warm/moist advection northwest into our area. Enough warm air in place close to Lake Superior and over parts of Northwest Wisconsin will continue to produce snow and a mixture of snow...sleet...and freezing rain through the Overnight hours.

1-2" per hour snowfall rates can be expected in the heavier snow bands as they shift northwest across parts of our area Overnight.

The falling snow combined with east winds from 15-25 mph with gusts of 30-50 mph near Lake Superior will cause blowing and drifting snow and periods of whiteout conditions for the rest of Tonight.

Travel will remain extremely difficult if not impossible over parts of our area Tonight.

If you must travel be sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Tim

12/24/09: Thursday Evening Winter Storm Update

Issued at 9:34 PM CST, Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Note: NWS Duluth snowfall total through 8 PM Tonight: 8.5"

...All headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*BLIZZARD WARNING* remains in effect until 6 AM CST Saturday for Duluth/Superior...Also including Southern Lake County MN...Southern St. Louis MN...Carlton MN...And Douglas WI...

*WINTER STORM WARNING* remains in effect until 6 AM CST Saturday for the following Counties within the Duluth area. Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Central and Northern St. Louis MN...Northern Lake MN...Cook MN...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Iron WI...Burnett WI...Washburn WI...Sawyer WI...And Price WI...

Update as of 9 PM CST:

Low pressure of 990 mb was centered in Southern Missouri. Expect low pressure to lift north-northwest during the Overnight hours with the low reaching Southern parts of Iowa by Friday Morning. The low will deepen a bit more through Friday Morning with pressures dropping to around 987 mb by that time.

500 mb analysis as of mid-Evening continues to show two strong upper level lows. The first upper level low (534 meters) continued to dig south/southeast through Western South Dakota-Eastern Wyoming and was associated with -34 degree C H5 temperatures and 60 meter 12 hour 500 mb height falls. The second upper level low (540 meters) continued to lift northeast across Central Arkansas early This Evening, but will soon take a left turn and start heading north. 12 hour 500 mb height falls of 120-210 meters were occurring over parts of the Arklatex region This Evening associated with that Southern Plains upper low.

This storm system is absolutely amazing when one looks at the water vapor satellite imagery and the phasing/deepening that continues to occur Tonight. This storm is so large that it basically covers areas from the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest through the Central Plains and Southern Plains and east through the Great Lakes region.

Even more amazing is the low level jet of 60-85 knots which was found on the northeast-east side of the surface low This Evening from Illinois down into Kentucky. I don't ever remember seeing such a powerful low level jet during the Winter months. This low level jet would be more common during the Spring months, not in December.

What this low level jet is doing is advecting warm/moist air northwest into the Northland. PWS have climbed to .50"-.80" as of mid-Evening across our local area, this amount of moisture for December is almost unheard of for the Upper Midwest for this time of year.

The problem with such a wrapped up Southern Plains storm that is lifting north and the incredible low level jet to our southeast is the fact that enough warm air is wrapping west-northwest through Northern Wisconsin back toward Duluth/Superior which has caused the snow to mix with and change to sleet and freezing rain at times This Evening.

850 mb temperatures as of 9 PM ranged from zero to -5 degrees C across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin while arctic air associated with -16 to -22 degree C H85 temps were found across the Western Dakotas and Northern Rockies.

Surface temperatures as of mid-Evening ranged from the teens in Southwestern Minnesota to the low 30s around Duluth and in Northwest Wisconsin. This is just another sign of how wrapped up and negatively tilted this storm is becoming Tonight.

The worst part of this storm is now here and it will likely persist through Friday. Snow will be widespread with heavy snow bands pushing west-northwest through our area through Friday. Hourly snowfall rates of 1-2" are possible in the most intense snow bands.

Locations across Northwest Wisconsin will remain warm enough to cause snow to mix with and change to sleet, freezing rain, or even rain at times the rest of Tonight into Friday with some mixed precipitation also occurring at times through Duluth and south to Pine County.

This forecast is especially tricky for locations closer to Lake Superior through Friday. 850 mb temps support a mix bag of precip, and with E/NE winds coming off 35 degree water temps over Lake Superior, this may prevent snow from being the predominant precipitation type into Friday... However, strong enough lifting may occur to cause just enough cooling to cause mainly snow.

Widespread snow totals of 8-14" will occur by Saturday Morning across all of our area with totals of 14-20" expected along the Higher Terrain near Lake Superior and possibly down into the Twin Ports area.

East to northeast winds will continue to increase the rest of Tonight through Friday, expect sustained winds of 15-25 mph across our area with gusts from 30-50 mph developing closer to Lake Superior.

The combination of falling snow and strong winds will lead to blowing and drifting snow and periods of whiteout conditions through Friday.

If you must travel be sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Stay tuned for further updates regarding this dangerous winter storm.

Tim

12/24/09: Thursday Afternoon Winter Storm Update

Issued at 3:47 PM CST, Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Official NWS Duluth snowfall total ending at Noon Today: 7.5"

Duluth MN (Canal Park) 9.0"

Duluth MN (Northeast Lakewood Township) 7.0"

*BLIZZARD WARNING* continues through 6 AM CST Saturday for Duluth/Superior.

Updated snowfall reports for Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Source: NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

Gile WI (Iron County) 5.5"

4 miles Southwest of Cotton MN (St. Louis County) 3.0"

Saxon WI (Iron County) 5.0"

Danbury WI (Burnett County) 6.0"

Leader MN (Cass County) 5.0"

Maple WI (Douglas County) 7.0"

Beaver Bay MN (Lake County) 2.0"

1 mile Southwest of Hinckley MN (Pine County) 3.5"

Sarona WI (Washburn County) 5.7"

Butternut WI (Ashland County) 8.0"

3 miles Northeast of Nisswa MN (Crow Wing County) 4.5"

Hayward WI (Sawyer County) 4.5"

South Range WI (Douglas County) 5.0"

Pine City MN (Pine County) 3.5"

Cloquet MN (Carlton County) 7.5"

Bayfield WI (Bayfield County) 6.8"

5 miles Southwest of Phillips WI (Price County) 4.4"

Poplar MN (Cass County) 6.5"

International Falls MN (Koochiching County) 4.2"

Update as of 3 PM CST:

Low pressure of 992 mb was centered in far Western Arkansas. Greatest 2 hour pressure falls were found in Central Missouri This Afternoon and as a result we should see the low lift N/NE into Central Missouri Tonight.

Note: The surface low has deepened 5 mb in the last 9 hours.

500 mb analysis as of 3 PM shows two H5 lows. One was found over the Western Dakotas/Northeast Wyoming/Southeast Montana area (534 meters) with the other H5 low centered in Northeast Texas (540 meters) Strongest 12 hour 500 mb height falls on the order of 180 meters continued to be found near the Southern Plains upper low This Afternoon while a broad area of 60 meter 12 hour H5 height falls were found across the Northern Plains.

The phasing of the two upper lows will continue to occur Tonight with the phasing process complete by Friday.

Expect the surface low to lift north into Central and Northern Missouri Tonight with the low shifting slightly northwest of north on Friday as it pushes across Central and possibly Western Iowa.

The potential for mixed precipitation to shift farther west into our local area is becoming more likely late Tonight and on Friday as a warm layer of air backs into the area from the southeast thanks in part to a powerful SE H85 jet which is expected to increase to 40-65 knots from late Tonight through Friday. The latest RUC model shows that 850 mb temps will climb from -4 degrees C late Today to about zero degrees C in Duluth by late Tonight and this combined with continued warm advection north of the low may result in snow mixing with or turning over to some sleet and or freezing rain in the immediate Duluth/Superior area. Mixed precip in Duluth would be less likely if heavy snow bands become more frequent which would help in mixing down just enough cold air to keep precipitation falling as snow.

It still appears that the greater liklihood for icy precipitation Tonight and Friday will be in Northwest Wisconsin...But, the area from Duluth south to Pine County may also see some mixed precip beginning late Tonight.

Snow will continue to expand across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin Tonight and Friday with snow building to waves of heavy snow which will produce hourly rates of 1-2"!

By Saturday Morning, snowfall totals of 8-14" should be widespread across our local area with heavier amounts of 14-21" expected along the North Shore of Lake Superior south to Duluth.

Winds will also strengthen Tonight and Friday as the low lifts north and moves closer to a strong area of high pressure in Central Canada. Widespread 15-25 mph winds from the east will develop with gusts from 25 to 50 mph developing especially near Lake Superior.

Travel will continue to be very difficult across the Northland through Saturday Morning and could become nearly impossible at times late Tonight and Friday.

The combination of falling snow and increasing winds will lead to periods of whiteout conditions.

Make sure to have a winter storm survival kit in your vehicle if you plan to travel.

Tim

12/24/09: Thursday Morning Winter Storm Update

Issued at 7:05 AM CST, Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Snowfall total at the Duluth NWS: 4.2" thru 6 AM Today.

7 AM Weather Observation:

26 degrees at the Duluth Airport and 30 degrees at the Duluth Harbor. East winds ranged from 23 to 26 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Pressure ranged from 30.06"-30.10" and was holding steady.

All headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota.

*BLIZZARD WARNING*

A Blizzard Warning remains in effect through 6 AM CST Saturday for parts of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin...This includes the Counties of Southern Lake MN...Southern St. Louis MN...Carlton MN...And Douglas WI. Some cities included in the blizzard warning are...Silver Bay MN...Two Harbors MN...Duluth MN...Floodwood MN...Cloquet MN...Moose Lake MN...Superior WI...And Solon Springs WI...

*WINTER STORM WARNING*

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through 6 AM CST Saturday for the following Counties in the Duluth area...Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Northern Lake MN...Cook MN...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Iron WI...Burnett WI...Washburn WI...Sawyer WI...And Price WI... Some cities included in the winter storm warning are: International Falls MN...Grand Rapids MN...Cass Lake MN...Walker MN...Brainerd MN...Aitkin MN...Hill City MN...McGrath MN...Pine City MN...Hinckley MN...Hibbing MN...Ely MN...Crane Lake MN...Grand Marais MN...Grand Portage MN...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Hurley WI...Grantsburg WI...Spooner WI...Hayward WI...And Park Falls WI...

Here are some snowfall reports around our local area from the snow that fell during the Overnight hours...

5 miles South of Herbster WI (Bayfield County) 3.0"

4 miles North of Grantsburg WI (Burnett County) 3.0"

3 miles North of Brainerd MN (Crow Wing County) 2.3"

Butternut WI (Ashland County) 3.5"

Gile WI (Iron County) 2.5"

Discussion:

Low pressure as of 6 AM CST was centered in Northeastern Texas with a pressure of 997 mb. Greatest 2 hour pressure falls were located over Central Arkansas early This Morning and this should result in the surface low lifting into the Central-Northern parts of Arkansas through late This Afternoon.

500 mb analysis as of 6 AM CST per RUC model shows two upper level lows. The first one was centered in Eastern Montana (534 meters) while the second one was centered in Westcentral Texas (546 meters) Greatest 12 hour 500 mb height falls were occurring near the Southern Plains H5 low This Morning with 90-150 meter H5 height falls found across much of Central and Southern Texas. The Northern Rockies H5 low was generating 60 meter 12 hour 500 mb height falls across portions of the Northern Plains.

A southeasterly 850 mb jet up to 40 knots combined with warm and moist advection generated the first round of snow that affected Northwest Wisconsin...Northeast and Eastcentral Minnesota during the Overnight hours. Some of the snow bands have been convective in nature which has resulted in some locations receiving more snow compared to others.

The warm/moist advection along with the strong 40 knot SE H85 jet will be breaking down somewhat across our area through the day and as a result we should see a gradual end to the moderate to heavy snow bursts before Noon Today. However, as the snow intensities wane through the day, the possibility for areas of freezing drizzle will develop across portions of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Additional snowfall totals across our area will range from 1-3" Today with some locally higher amounts possible especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior. By late This Afternoon snowfall amounts from this first round of snow should range from 3-7" across most of our area.

All eyes will then focus on the main event which can be seen clearly on water vapor satellite imagery This Morning as a powerful upper level low continues to dig south/east across Texas. This energy combined with additional energy dropping south/southeast from Montana will help deepen the surface as it tracks into Arkansas Today. It should be noted that there has been a trend toward the east with the surface low before it hooks northwest into Iowa on Friday, a storm track like this is extremely rare.

This storm will have copious amounts of moisture to work with, with unusually high PWS of .50"-.75" streaming northwest into our area through Friday.

Snow is forecast to pick back up in coverage and intensity This Evening and Overnight with snow persisting well into Friday and perhaps lasting right into Saturday. The heaviest snowfall is forecast to occur Tonight and Friday. Movement of the snow should be from south-southeast toward the northwest Tonight and Friday.

The break in the more persistent snowfall Today will likely give MNDOT a chance to plow off all major roadways before the main storm moves in Tonight and Friday. Roads will likely remain snow covered and icy through the day, however, even after the snow rates taper off.

It still appears that a widespread 8-14" snowfall will occur across all of Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin by Saturday with locally higher amounts up to 20" possible especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior down toward Duluth. Greater than 20" of snow could even occur along the North Shore of Lake Superior depending on how much lake enhancement can occur.

The other part of this storm will be the increasing winds out of the east. Wind speeds of 10-25 mph will be common Today with gusts up to 35 mph occurring near Lake Superior. This will continue to produce areas of blowing and drifting snow around the area Today. Stronger east winds of 20-40 mph with gusts as high as 50-55 mph are expected to develop near Lake Superior Tonight and through at least midday Friday as the main low pressure system heads northwest into Iowa and bumps up against a strong 1032-1038 mb high which will be situated well to our north.

Blizzard conditions will become more likely in the Twin Ports area...Northeast to Two Harbors and Silver Bay...South through Cloquet and Moose Lake...And east through Douglas County Wisconsin by late Tonight through Friday. This would include I35 as well as Highway 61 and Highway 51.

Travel will be very difficult Today and This Evening and will become nearly impossible across parts of our area late Tonight through Friday.

This is a very dangerous, complex, and long lasting winter storm that covers a large portion of the Northern Plains...Upper Midwest...Central Plains...And Western Great Lakes region.

If you must travel make sure to have a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Tim

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

12/23/09: WINTER STORM UPDATE

Issued at 7:55 PM CST, Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

*BLIZZARD WARNING* FOR DULUTH/SUPERIOR FROM 6 AM CST THURSDAY UNTIL 6 AM CST SATURDAY...

8 PM Weather Observation:

26 degrees at the Duluth Airport and 30 degrees at the Duluth Harbor. Dewpoints were in the low to mid 20s. East winds were in the 21 to 24 mph range with gusts to 33 mph. Pressure was 30.20" and falling at the Duluth Airport.

At 7 PM CST, low pressure of 999 mb was centered over Central Texas while a 1007 mb low was over Eastern Kansas.

7 PM CST 500 mb analysis per RUC model depicts two upper level lows. The first one (534 meters) was located in Southern Saskatchewan Province while the other one (546 meters) was found in Central New Mexico. 120 knot jet maxes were located on the west-southwest side of both H5 lows This Evening. 12 hour 500 mb height falls of 60-90 meters were found near both of these upper level lows.

Expect the two seperate 500 mb lows to phase across the Central Plains Thursday and Thursday Night as the Northern Rockies low heads south/east while the New Mexico upper level low lifts north.

The main surface low currently in Central Texas This Evening will lift north-northeast into Arkansas by Thursday Morning. Low pressure will then lift north into Central and Northern Missouri by Thursday Night with low pressure then tracking into Central or possibly Western Iowa during the day Friday into Friday Night. Pressures with the low will drop to between 987-992 mb during the Thursday/Friday time period.

The first batch of snow associated with warm advection and some F-GEN forcing along with a 30-40 knot 850 mb jet continued to lift north through the Southern half of Minnesota and Westcentral Wisconsin This Evening. This will be the first round of snow associated with this complex and long lasting winter storm. Expect snow to overspread most of Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin during the rest of Tonight with the general movement of the snow toward the north-northwest.

Snow should reach Duluth/Superior between 1 AM-3 AM the way it looks now with accumulations around 1-2" possible by 7 AM Thursday.

East to northeast winds of 15-30 mph will continue through the rest of Tonight in Duluth/Superior which will cause some areas of blowing snow toward dawn.

As the main surface low deepens and pulls north into Missouri and Iowa from Thursday into Friday, expect east-northeast winds to really increase around the head of Lake Superior. 20-35 mph wind speeds will be common from early Thursday through Friday Afternoon with higher gusts quite likely thanks in part to a strengthening low level jet of 40-55 knots Thursday Night into at least midday Friday.

Total snowfall accumulations from 8-14" are expected across all of Northern...Northeast...And Eastcentral Minnesota and all of Northwest Wisconsin with localized amounts of 14-21" possible especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior down toward Duluth and west toward Aitkin...And Brainerd.

It still appears that some sleet or freezing rain will occur at times especially from Thursday Afternoon into Friday across Northwest Wisconsin. Some of that mixed precipitation could push west into Duluth and south to Pine County toward late Thursday Night or Friday.

Periods of whiteout conditions will occur across all of our area from late Tonight through late Friday as this powerful winter storm heads north through the Plains.

Travel will become more and more difficult with time, if you must travel make sure you have a winter survial kit in your vehicle.

Stay tuned for additional updates.

Tim

12/23/09: WINTER WEATHER HEADLINE INFORMATION

Issued at 5:34 PM CST, Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

...Following headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*WINTER STORM WARNING*

Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the following counties within the Duluth area...

Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Burnett WI...Wasburn WI...Sawyer WI...Price WI...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Iron WI...Central and Northern St. Louis MN...Northern Lake MN...And Cook MN...

Timing:

The warning starts at Midnight CST Tonight for Southern Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Southern Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Burnett WI...And Washburn WI...

The remainder of the warning begins at 6 AM CST Thursday.

The entire warning area expires at 6 AM CST Saturday.

Some cities included in the warning:

International Falls MN...Grand Rapids MN...Walker MN...Brainerd MN...Aitkin MN...Pine City MN...Hinckley MN...Hibbing MN...Ely MN...Crane Lake MN...Grand Marais MN...Grand Portage MN...Grantsburg WI...Spooner WI...Hayward WI...Park Falls WI...Phillips WI...Ashland WI...Bayfield WI...And Hurley WI...

Discussion:

Total snowfall accumulations in the warning area will range from 10-20" by Saturday with locally higher amounts possible.

Snow will begin This Evening in Southern areas with snow overspreading the entire area from south to north by Thursday. The heaviest snow is forecast to occur during the Thursday Afternoon through Friday time frame and that is when snowfall rates of 1-2" an hour may occur.

The falling snow combined with increasing east to northeast winds of 15-25 mph will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow and whiteout conditions at times.

Freezing rain and sleet will likely occur as well, mainly in Northwest Wisconsin and possibly as far west as the Twin Ports and south through Pine County Minnesota. The threat for freezing rain and sleet will be greatest from Thursday Afternoon into Friday spreading from southeast to northwest.

This is a dangerous and large winter storm. Travel will become extremely difficult across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin by Thursday and will continue to be very difficult through Friday...And possibly into Saturday!

Tim

12/23/09: WINTER WEATHER HEADLINE INFORMATION

Issued at 5:10 PM CST, Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

...Following headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*BLIZZARD WARNING*

Blizzard Warning is now in effect for parts of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin...

Timing:

6 AM CST Thursday until 6 AM CST Saturday.

Counties included in the warning:

Southern St. Louis MN...Southern Lake MN...Carlton MN...And Douglas WI...

Some cities included in the warning:

Duluth MN...Brookston MN...Floodwood MN...French River MN...Two Harbors MN...Silver Bay MN...Little Marais MN...Cromwell MN...Cloquet MN...Mahtowa MN...Moose Lake MN...Superior WI...South Range WI...Poplar WI...Brule WI...Solon Springs WI...Hawthorne WI...Patzau WI...Gordon WI...And Wascott WI...

Discussion:

A dangerous and long lasting winter storm will begin by late Tonight and will last through Saturday. Expect snow or patchy freezing drizzle to spread north into Duluth/Superior between 2 AM and 4 AM Tonight with snow accumulations up to an inch possible by 7 AM Thursday. Snow should persist through Thursday Morning but may decrease for a time before redeveloping once again Thursday Afternoon and Thursday Evening with snow continuing into Friday and at least some lingering light snow through Friday Night into Saturday.

Snowfall rates in the heavier snow bands could reach 1-2" an hour in the Twin Ports. The greatest threat from heavy snow would come Thursday Evening through about midday Friday.

Total snowfall accumulations in the warning area between late Tonight and Saturday are forecast to reach 12" with amounts up to 18" quite possible, locally higher totals could even occur.

Warmer air getting pulled north/west of the low may result in the snow mixing with or turning to sleet or freezing rain at times especially by late Thursday Night or during the day Friday. If precipitation becomes more of a mix, then this would lower the expected snowfall totals.

Low pressure currently over the Southern Plains will lift north into Missouri on Thursday and will continue lifting north and possibly even northwest into Iowa on Friday. The low is forecast to peak in intensity from Thursday into Friday before weakening in terms of pressure as it lifts toward Wisconsin on Saturday.

The pressure difference between a 1038 mb high to our north-northeast and a strengthening low lifting north out of the Southern Plains will result in very strong east to northeast winds around the head of Lake Superior. Wind speeds of 20 to 35 mph will occur from late Tonight through Friday with wind gusts from 35 to possibly as high as 55 mph occurring from Thursday Afternoon through Friday Morning.

The combination of falling snow and increasing winds will result in considerable blowing and drifting snow causing whiteout conditions.

This is a dangerous and large winter storm that will impact most of the Northern Plains...Upper Midwest...Central Plains...And Great Lakes region through Saturday.

Travel will become extremely difficult from Thursday through Saturday in the Twin Ports. If you must travel make sure you have a winter survival kit in your vehicle and let someone know your travel plans and expected arrival time.

A BLIZZARD WARNING means severe and life-threatening winter weather conditions are expected. Any travel is strongly discouraged. If you choose to travel you may be risking your life.

Note: Temperatures in the immediate Duluth/Superior area really will not change much from Tonight through Friday with readings generally in the mid 20s to lower 30s through this time period.

Tim

12/23/09: WINTER WEATHER HEADLINE INFORMATION

Issued at 8:00 AM CST, Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

...Following headlines issued by the National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota...

*WINTER STORM WARNING*

*Winter Storm Warning* in effect for parts of Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.

Timing:

Midnight CST Tonight through 6 AM CST Saturday.

Counties included in the warning:

Southern Cass MN...Crow Wing MN...Southern Aitkin MN...Pine MN...Burnett WI...And Washburn WI...

*Winter Storm Warning* is now in effect from 6 AM CST Thursday until 6 AM CST Saturday for the rest of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.

Counties included in the warning:

Koochiching MN...Itasca MN...Northern Cass MN...Northern Aitkin MN...Carlton MN...St. Louis MN...Lake MN...Cook MN...Douglas WI...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Iron WI...Price WI...And Sawyer WI...

Some cities included in the warning:

International Falls MN...Grand Rapids MN...Cass Lake MN...Walker MN...Brainerd MN...Aitkin MN...Pine City MN...Hinckley MN...Moose Lake MN...Duluth MN...Hibbing MN...Ely MN...Crane Lake MN...Two Harbors MN...Silver Bay MN...Grand Marais MN...Grand Portage MN...Superior WI...Solon Springs WI...Port Wing WI...Bayfield WI...Ashland WI...Hurley WI...Grantsburg WI...Shell Lake WI...Minong WI...Hayward WI...Park Falls WI...And Phillips WI...

Discussion:

A powerful and long lasting winter storm will affect the Northland beginning Tonight and lingering into Saturday. This storm is very complex and could prove to be somewhat more difficult to forecast than other storms we have seen before. The storm track is quite rare and something we don't see very often around here. Low pressure should organize across the Arklatex region (Southern U.S.) from Today through Thursday before the low lifts north and possibly even north-northwest into Northern Missouri and Southern Iowa by Friday Morning. Then, it appears that the low will become nearly stationary across Iowa through the day Friday before it finally pulls northeast toward Northeastern Wisconsin on Saturday.

The low will peak in intensity Thursday and Friday with pressures dropping to between 987-991 mb, then the surface low will weaken in terms of pressure by Saturday.

This particular storm is being forced almost due north because of a strong blocking pattern in place to our east. The overall upper level pattern in place with this storm has some similiarities to the Halloween Mega Storm of 1991 which produced a widespread blizzard across the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains. The storm track with this current system appears that it will be somewhat different, however, with this low taking a more southerly route compared to the Halloween blizzard of 1991 which tracked right through Western Wisconsin toward the Arrowhead of Minnesota.

Look for snow to overspread our local area Tonight and Thursday Morning with snow continuing into Saturday with the heaviest snow expected to occur during the Thursday through Friday time frame the way it looks now.

Widespread snow totals up to 8" are expected across all of our area by Saturday with an area of 10-20" snowfall totals possible mainly in parts of Northcentral...Northeast...And Eastcentral Minnesota.

The snow is expected to mix with some freezing rain or sleet from Thursday Afternoon into Friday...Especially in Northwest Wisconsin and possibly west toward the Twin Ports and south into Pine County.

East winds are also expected to increase across our entire area from Tonight through late Friday. Wind speeds of 15-25 mph will occur with gusts over 30 mph especially near Lake Superior. The combination of falling snow and strong winds could cause whiteout conditions at times.

Travel will become very difficult from south to north across our area from Tonight into Thursday with very difficult travel conditions expected right into Saturday for parts of our area. If you must travel after Today be sure to carry a winter survival kit in your vehicle and be sure to let someone know of your destination and expected arrival time.

This storm is large and will impact much of the Northern Plains...Upper Midwest...Central Plains...And Great Lakes region through Saturday.

Stay tuned for further updates on this major winter storm.

Tim

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12/22/09: WINTER STORM UPDATE NUMBER 3

Issued at 8:39 PM CST, Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

...All headlines remain in effect, refer to previous updates for that information...

00z NAM concerns me somewhat, not so much the track or timing as that remains largely unchanged from previous runs, but the latest NAM surges the 540 thickness contour well west toward Central Minnesota toward late Thursday Night and Friday as the main surface low forms across Arkansas then lifts almost due north, if not a little northwest of north as it reaches Central Iowa by Friday Morning. The low is expected to deepen to around 989-993 mb by Thursday Night/Friday.

The 850 mb temperatures per latest NAM hover around the zero degree C range from Thursday Afternoon through Friday across all of Northwest Wisconsin back through the Twin Ports and south through Pine County, while surface temps get awfully close to that low 30 degree range across Northwest Wisconsin back through Northeast and Eastcentral Minnesota.

Bottom line is that we could end up seeing more ice or sleet to go along with the snow across portions of our area with this storm.

Forcing looks to be quite intense, however, and the strong forcing in place north of the surface low could create enough dynamic cooling to keep precipitation falling as snow.

The 00z NAM from This Evening continues to crank out very heavy QPF across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin...In fact, if precipitation falls mostly as snow here in Duluth/Superior, then we should have no problem reaching 12", probably even more than that by Saturday based on the QPF being generated by the NAM.

Still thinking all of our area will see at least 6" of snow from this storm between Thursday and Saturday, with an increasing potential for sleet and some ice accumulations as well...Especially in Northwestern Wisconsin and possibly into Eastern and Northeast Minnesota.

There will likely be an axis of snow totals which will reach 12-20" somewhere in Northcentral...Eastcentral...Or Northeast Minnesota.

This is a dangerous storm anyway you slice it. Stay tuned for further updates.

Tim

12/22/09: Tuesday's Weather Report

Issued at 4:42 PM CST, Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Weather History:

On this date last year, the Morning low temperature at the Duluth Airport was -17 degrees.

On this date in 1989 and in 1983... A record low temperature of -22 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.

Note: Areas of clearing combined with light winds caused some bitter cold temps across parts of Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin early This Morning even as low clouds persisted in the Twin Ports which kept readings in the teens to low 20s! Here are some low temperatures from earlier Today, Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009. Source: NWS Duluth MN.

Hibbing MN: -1 degree

Silver Bay MN: -6 degrees

Ely MN: -11 degrees

Cook MN: -9 degrees

Aitkin MN: -2 degrees

Hayward WI: -8 degrees

Phillips WI: -8 degrees

Bruno MN: -2 degrees

Embarrass MN: -13 degrees

2 miles South of Tower MN: -10 degrees

Butternut WI: -7 degrees

Storm Update:

A potentially dangerous and long lasting winter storm is set to affect much of the Northern Plains...Upper Midwest...And Central Plains from Wednesday through Saturday.

A storm of this magnitude does not happen very often, and from a model perspective this system looks very impressive. What's equally impressive are the different elements of this storm which are forecast to phase together in the coming days.

Models have remained very consistent on a more westerly and northerly storm track over the past few days, but there's still that outside chance that this system will end up less phased and or track farther south or east than what has been shown in recent days...However, with that said it's becoming more apparant that most of our local area will receive a major winter storm later this week.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

(Today's Weather)

High pressure of 1032 mb was centered across Westcentral Ontario Province This Afternoon while a couple areas of low pressure of 998-1008 mb were centered across the Southwest U.S...Southern Rockies...And Southern Plains. Partly to mostly cloudy skies covered our area Today with a few flurries at times along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Highs Today were in the teens and 20s with 4 PM 850 mb temperatures ranging from -8 to -11 degrees C. Winds Today were out of the east under 20 mph.

(Today's Upper Level Analysis)

An amazing water vapor satellite imagery Today revealing all the key components to this developing storm. The first piece of this storm can be found across Western Arizona...Southeast Nevada...And Southwest Utah while additional energy associated with a jet max of 120 knots dives south-southeast through California early This Evening. The third and final piece of this storm was found way up in Northwestern Canada where additional upper level energy was heading south-east through British Columbia and Western Alberta Province. To our east a blocking pattern was in place and this blocking to our northeast will help force this storm on a more westerly track instead of the system charging off to the east. The greatest 12 hour 500 mb height falls Today of 90-150 meters were found over the Four Corners region south into Northern Mexico.

(Tonight)

Strong high pressure around 1033 mb will remain to our north while low pressure continues to track through the Southern Rockies. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be found across our local area Tonight with some flurries or lake effect snow showers possible at times along the North Shore of Lake Superior, mainly from Silver Bay up through Grand Marais and Grand Portage. The overall lake effect set-up is marginal and as a result snow accumulations should be light and generally under 1". Lows Tonight will be in the single digits and teens but a few spots could drop below zero once again, similar to what happened last night. Winds Tonight will be out of the east under 15 mph.

(Wednesday and Wednesday Night)

High pressure will strengthen to around 1036 mb as it remains well to our north-northeast during this period while low pressure heads east into the Southcentral Plains. Partly to mostly cloudy skies can be expected in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin on Wednesday with mainly overcast conditions for most areas by Wednesday Night. Lake effect flurries or a few snow showers could persist during this period Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior, mainly from Silver Bay through Grand Marais and Grand Portage, snow amounts will remain under 1".

Snow associated with the Southern Plains storm should lift north and begin to overspread Southern parts of our local area by Wednesday Night.

Highs on Wednesday will be in the 20s and 30s with lows Wednesday Night in the teens and 20s. Winds during this period will be out of the east at 10-20 mph.

(Extended Forecast)

Low pressure will continue to organize most likely in Missouri on Thursday while additional energy spreads south-east out of the Northern Rockies later this week which will help in deepening this storm system. Low pressure is forecast to be over Central or Eastern Iowa on Friday and will lift northeast toward Northern-Eastern parts of Wisconsin on Saturday.

A strong low level jet of 30-45 knots will be found on the north/east flank of the surface low from Thursday into Friday which will pump deep moisture north-west into the Upper Midwest. PWS are expected to increase to .50" to as high as .75" across our local area later this week which is very high for December.

Upper level jet is also forecast to strengthen to 70-100 knots right over the Upper Midwest Thursday and Friday which should result in a tremendous amount of lift across our area. In fact there may be enough lift in place combined with mid level lapse rates of 6.0-7.0 c/km to produce some thunder to go along with the heavier bands of snow from Thursday into Friday.

Warmer air wrapping around the surface low (H85 temps from +1 to -2 degrees C) could result in some sleet...freezing rain...or freezing drizzle to go along with the snow especially in Northwest Wisconsin and possibly through the Twin Ports and south through Pine County from Thursday into Friday.

Also, it remains to be seen if any part/s of our area would be affected by the dry slot as this system matures toward Friday.

Should the dry slot move into our area or if we see more of a mix bag of precipitation, then snowfall totals would be somewhat less than what is expected at this time.

Right now it looks like all of our area would see at least 6" of snow between Thursday and Saturday but there will be an area who will get 12" or more of snow. The highest snow totals appear likely in Northeast and Eastcentral Minnesota based on the latest information from the computer models Today.

Easterly winds will increase to 10-25 mph with gusts over 30 mph for Thursday and Friday across our area and this will result in near white-out conditions at times due to the falling snow.

Travel across our local area will become more and more difficult on Thursday with dangerous driving conditions persisting through early Saturday the way it looks now. Avoid travel if at all possible.

High temperatures Thursday and Friday will be in the 20s and 30s across our area with lows Thursday Night and Friday Night in the teens, 20s, to around 30 degrees.

Note: This snowfall later this week will have lots of water to it with snow ratios generally in the 10:1 or even 5:1 range which is very low. The 12z NAM/WRF model run from Today cranked out between 1.21"-1.61" of liquid precip at Duluth with the 12z GFS model from Today cranking out 1.40". These totals are thru late Friday Afternoon. Snow amounts out of these totals using a 10:1 or 5:1 ratio would fall in the 8-16" range.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

*WINTER STORM WATCH* IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT...

.Tonight... Partly to mostly cloudy. Low 12 to 17. Wind east at 5 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday... Partly to mostly cloudy. High 20 to 25. Wind east at 10 to 20 mph.

.Wednesday Night... Breezy. Mostly cloudy with snow developing after 3 AM. Snow accumulations under 1" by dawn. Low 15 to 20. Wind east at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 50%.

.Christmas Eve... Windy with snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow. Snow could be heavy at times. High 24 to 27. Wind east at 15 to 30 mph.

.Thursday Night... Windy with occasional snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow. Snow could be heavy at times. Some freezing drizzle or sleet is also possible. Temperatures holding nearly steady between 24 to 27. Wind east at 15 to 30 mph.

.Christmas Day... Windy with occasional snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow. Some freezing drizzle or sleet is also possible. High 27 to 31. Wind east at 15 to 30 mph.

.Friday Night... Occasional snow. Low 18 to 23. Chance of snow 70%.

.Saturday... Lingering light snow and flurries. Total storm accumulations between Thursday and Saturday up to 12". High 23 to 27. Chance of snow 50%.

Normal High Temperature Tomorrow 20 degrees

Normal Low Temperature Tomorrow 3 degrees

Tim