/Issued 5:18 PM CST, Friday, February 17, 2017/
An all out blowtorch today!
Monday's weather map. Source: http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov
A few thunderstorms are possible Monday or Monday evening especially in the orange outlined area on the map.
Tonight's low temperature forecast. Source: https://graphical.weather.gov
Saturday's high temperature forecast. Source: https://graphical.weather.gov
Computer models continue to show a winter storm for late next week but storm track differences continue which is typical for a storm that is about a week away. The EURO model is pretty much a direct hit for Duluth with possible blizzard conditions. However, the Euro ensemble and the GEFS models are further south with the storm track which would result in generally light snowfall for Duluth with heavier snow totals staying south of Duluth and Superior.
Minnesota snow depth map as of February 16, 2017. Source: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us
Snow depths from around the Northland
Note: Snow depths as of Friday morning, February 17
Wolfridge, MN (ELC) 25"
Orr, MN 3 E: 18"
Kabetogama, MN: 17"
Ely, MN: 17"
Ely, MN 25 E: 16"
International Falls, MN: 16"
Togo, MN: 15"
Embarrass, MN: 14"
Duluth, MN: 12"
Hurley, WI: 12"
Grand Portage, MN: 11"
Floodwood, MN: 9"
Clam Lake, WI 4 W: 9"
Wright, MN 3 E: 9"
Grand Rapids, MN 12 N: 9"
Winter, WI: 7"
Cotton, MN: 6"
Brainerd, MN 7 NW: 6"
*First 50 degree temperature of the year today (February 17th) at International Falls, Minnesota. This is also the second earliest first 50 degree temperature dating back to 1947. The earliest first 50 degree temperature occurred on February 2nd, 1991. Note: The average date for the first 50 degree temperature is March 18th. Last year, the first 50 occurred on March 6th. Long story short, today's warmth is somewhat unusual.
*Second warmest February temperature on record at International Falls, Minnesota today, February 17th, 2017. High was 57 degrees. The warmest February temperature on record dating back to 1917 is 58 degrees which occurred in 2000.
*Duluth, Minnesota topped out at 52 degrees today, February 17th, 2017. This is the first 50 degree temperature of 2017 and is about a month earlier than the average date of the first 50 degree temperature which is March 18th. By the way, last year the first 50 degree temperature also occurred in February but not until the 27th, so 10 days earlier this year vs. last year.
*Before today there have only been 4 days on record in February since 1873 with a high temperature of at least 60 degrees in Minneapolis. Today made it 5 days as the high temperature climbed to 63 degrees!
*Record Events for February 17th, 2017*
Duluth, Minnesota -- Record high temperature tied. High temperature 52 degrees, ties the previous record from 1981.
International Falls, Minnesota -- Record high temperature of 57 degrees. Old record 52 degrees set in 1907.
Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Record high temperature of 63 degrees. Old record 55 degrees set in 1981.
St. Cloud, Minnesota -- Record high temperature of 59 degrees. Old record 54 degrees set in 1981.
Weather Synopsis for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin
Instant April weather! A massive upper level ridge of high pressure moved through the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes today. Under this ridge, 850mb temperatures climbed to between +12 and +16 degrees C while 925mb temperatures warmed to around +12 C. Incredible stuff for mid February! Highs across the Northland were in the 50s today with another sure sign of spring occurring near Lake Superior where it was cooler by the lake today with highs in the 30s and 40s which is still above average for this time of year.
There is a cold front moving through the area late this afternoon, this front exits to the east this evening with nothing but high pressure then controlling our weather through Sunday. Clear to partly cloudy skies are expected through the weekend with a chance for some patchy fog or low clouds at night/morning due to the melting snow which will add some moisture into the boundary layer.
Lows tonight and Saturday night will be in the 30s but a few locations could drop into the 20s. Highs on Saturday will be in the 40s with a few southern locations making a run at 50 degrees. Highs on Sunday should also be in the 40s and 50s with cooler temperatures around Lake Superior as winds shift to the east.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
.Tonight... Mostly clear. Low 30 to 35. Wind becoming west at 10 to 15 mph.
.Saturday... Breezy. Mostly sunny. High 43 to 48. Wind southwest at 15 to 20 mph. Note: Record high temperature for February 18th is 53 degrees set in 1981.
Normal temperatures for Saturday
Sunrise Saturday: 7:07 AM CST
Sunset Saturday: 5:38 PM CST