Monday, April 23, 2018

10-15 degrees cooler Tuesday compared to Monday's warmth, but still near average temps for late April (50s) Keeping an eye on early next week for our 1st potential T-Storm outbreak for our area

/Issued 6:25 PM CDT, Monday, April 23, 2018/



Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from April 23, 2018 -- Two well defined upper lows spinning away today, one covering the southeast U.S. toward the Ohio Valley, the other over the northern Rockies.



•High temperature of 68 degrees at the Duluth Airport today, April 23, 2018 -- Warmest day since October 20, 2017 when the high was 75 degrees.

•2 days so far this month with a high temperature of 60 degrees or warmer at Duluth, Minnesota -- The average number of days in April with a high of 60 degrees or warmer is 6.

Weather Synopsis

Instant spring! We suffered through several weeks of never ending cold along with periods of snowfall from mid March through about mid April, but all of a sudden the weather pattern has shifted to a milder one, this isn't too surprising though, as the atmosphere tries to balance out, so cold to start, and now a milder temperature pattern for our area.  Believe it or not even with the recent warm up, this month is still record coldest April at Duluth, Minnesota (Through the 22nd) with an average temperature of 28.3 degrees -- I don't think will maintain the record coldest spot, however, as we would have to maintain an average monthly temperature colder than 28.7 degrees through the 30th, I don't see that happening.

Cold front will pass through the Northland tonight with some clouds but probably no rain, lows will be in the 30s and 40s.

Cooler temperatures are on the way for Tuesday with highs ranging from the mid 40s to mid 50s with the coolest temps in extreme northern Minnesota.  Can't rule out a few passing showers mainly through early afternoon, thereafter we should see skies clear out from NW-SE.  Southwest winds this evening ahead of the approaching cold front will turn N-NW after the cold front passes.

Wednesday looks like a pleasant spring day around here with highs mainly in the 50s to lower 60s with winds turning back to the southwest out ahead of another cold frontal passage which should happen on Thursday.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 37 to 42.  Wind southwest at 10 to 15 mph becoming north.

.Tuesday...  Cooler.  Considerable cloudiness during the morning, a few light rain showers possible.  Decreasing cloudiness during the afternoon.  High 52 to 57.  Wind north to northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Wednesday...  Mostly sunny.  High 55 to 60.  Wind southwest at 10 to 15 mph.

Average Temperatures for Tuesday

High:  54
Low:   34

Sunrise Tuesday:  6:05 AM CDT
Sunset Tuesday:   8:09 PM CDT


Sunday, April 22, 2018

50s and 60s today (Cooler by the lake) Red Flag Warning thru 7 PM this evening for parts of northern Minnesota. 60s, southwest wind for Monday; Cooler Tuesday

/Issued 10:31 AM CDT, Sunday, April 22, 2018/



Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch is in effect through this evening for parts of northern Minnesota.



Temperature departure map for the week of April 15, 2018 -- Another week that had below average temps across all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.  We did see a nice warm up later in the week, but high temps were only a few degrees above average, so the week overall was below average, again.


Precipitation departure map for the week of April 15, 2018.  Below average precip in parts of northern Minnesota with near/above average precipitation in northwest Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota and near Lake Superior (Majority of this precip fell last Sunday, since then it's been dry)

Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota

April 15-21, 2018

High Temperatures/Departure from Average

*=Record Cold High temperature for the date

4/15:  *26 F/-23 degrees below average
4/16:  32 F/-18 degrees below average
4/17:  42 F/-8 degrees below average
4/18:  40 F/-11 degrees below average
4/19:  54 F/+3 degrees above average
4/20:  56 F/+4 degrees above average
4/21:  57 F/+5 degrees above average

Low Temperatures/Departure from Average

4/15:  21 F/-9 degrees below average
4/16:  21 F/-9 degrees below average
4/17:  21 F/-10 degrees below average
4/18:  26 F/-5 degrees below average
4/19:  20 F/-12 degrees below average
4/20:  32 F/Average
4/21:  28 F/-4 degrees below average

Note:  Average temperature for the week of April 15, 2018:  34.0 degrees (-6.9 degrees below average)  Source:

Total Precipitation:  0.64 inches
Average:  0.59"
Departure:  +0.05 inches above average

State Average for Minnesota for the week of April 15, 2018

Temperature:  31.4 degrees
Departure:  -14.0 degrees below aveage

Precipitation:  0.74 inches
Departure:  +0.15 inches above aveage

...5th latest first 50 degree temperature on record at Duluth, Minnesota (Dating back to 1875)

Note:  The first 50 degree temperature this year occurred on April 19, 2 months later than in 2017 when the first 50 occurred on February 17!  The average date for first 50 degree temperature at Duluth, Minnesota is March 18.

Top 5 latest dates for first 50 degree temperature at Duluth, Minnesota

1:  May 1, 1917
2:  April 23, 1904
3:  April 22, 1975
4:  April 21, 1983
5:  April 19, 2018

•Next up, first 60 degree temperature -- The average date for first 60 is April 8; Last year the first 60 came right on schedule on April 8.  I think will hit 60 in Duluth for the first time on Monday, April 23, but it could even happen today, April 22, regardless it'll be about 2 weeks later than average.

•Seasonal snowfall total at Duluth, Minnesota for 2017-2018 is at 91.7 inches -- This is the most snow since 2013-2014 when 131.0 inches of snow fell.

April 2018 Snowiest April in history at the following locations in Minnesota

Tracy:  37.0 inches
Canby:  36.9 inches
Bricelyn:  33.3 inches
Montevideo:  33.0 inches
Lakefield:  32.1 inches
Dawson:  32.0 inches
Winnebago:  31.5 inches
Milan:  29.7 inches
Marshall:  27.0 inches
Minneapolis/St. Paul:  26.1 inches

Weather Synopsis

Our stretch of wonderful spring weather will continue through Monday.  More sunshine today with highs across the Northland in the 50s and 60s but a lake breeze will keep things cooler closer to Lake Superior (highs upper 30s to upper 40s) 

A cold front will approach the area from the west on Monday but will stay ahead of this front through the day which will keep us in the mild air along with breezy southwest winds, highs on Monday will be in the 60s, with the warmest locations reaching the mid to even upper 60s!  Note:  Probably will be another elevated fire weather risk day in parts of the Northland on Monday, and fire weather watches/warnings may be needed.

Not much precipitation is expected as the cold front moves through Monday night, but a few rain showers are possible Tuesday behind the front, but again not expecting a lot of rain the way it looks now.  Highs on Tuesday are forecast to be in the 40s and 50s.

Near to below average temperatures are expected from Wednesday through Friday, with another cold frontal passage occurring sometime Wednesday night or Thursday.  A few rain showers or maybe even a few snow showers will be possible later this week, mainly in the Thursday-Friday time frame, with any snow showers confined to the Thursday night-Friday time frame.  No significant amounts of rain or snow are expected, however, for later this week.

Average Temperatures for April 22 at Duluth, Minnesota

High:  53
Low:   33

Sunrise Monday:  6:07 AM CDT
Sunset Monday:   8:08 PM CDT


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Finally warming up around here with near to above average temps through Monday (Highs 50s to lower 60s) Dry through Sunday

/Issued 4:53 PM CDT, Wednesday, April 18, 2018/



Winter Storm Warning (Pink) and Winter Weather Advisory (Purple) remain in effect tonight south of the Northland.


Today's snow event has stayed well to the south of the Northland which is good news for us, but bad news for people who live farther south where several inches of snow has fallen today, unless of course you like snow in mid April, then today's snow has been a good thing!


Warmer in northwest Minnesota compared to southern Minnesota today.


Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop from Wednesday, April 18, 2018 -- Quite an intense storm but a small one impacting portions of the upper Midwest and southern Great Lakes today.


12z GEFS model from 4.18.2018 -- Temperature Anomaly Forecast valid through May 4, 2018.  Note:  The blue colors being replaced by orange and red colors -- In other words, colder than average temperatures that have been in place for several weeks now will be replaced by near to above average temperatures at least for the rest of this month.  Note:  Not real sure yet how early May will be around here with conflicting signals per long range models with the Euro Ensemble showing below average temps returning around here for the first few days of May.

Weather Synopsis

Low pressure was over eastern Illinois this afternoon with an upper level low slightly W/NW of the surface low.  This system brought significant amounts of snow to parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin today while farther north in our area it was mainly dry under partly to mostly cloudy skies.  Highs ranged from the mid to upper 30s near Lake Superior to the 40s over the remainder of the Northland, but a few locations were within a degree or two of 50 at 4 PM today.

High pressure will be in control of our weather right through the weekend.  Should have quite a bit of sun Thursday through Sunday but there will also be some clouds passing by at times.  No precipitation expected through Sunday.

Lows tonight will be in the 20s with single digits and teens possible in the traditional cold spots.  Highs Thursday will be in the 40s and 50s, warming to the 50s for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Some locations in our area could even climb into the lower 60s over the weekend! 

Note:  Will these milder temperatures even occur by Lake Superior this weekend?  It will depend on wind direction (typical for this time of year) Offshore wind will result in the highs in the 50s to around 60 degrees, but an onshore wind (East) would lead to daytime highs staying in the 30s to around 40 degrees by Lake Superior.  It's difficult to get more than one or two days in a row without an east wind near Lake Superior in late April.

Link to Road Conditons

Minnesota -

Wisconsin -

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight...  Partly cloudy.  Breezy this evening.  Low 24 to 29.  Wind east to northeast at 10 to 20 mph decreasing to 5 to 15 mph and becoming north late.

.Thursday...  Milder!  Partly cloudy.  High 48 to 53.  Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.  Note:  The Duluth Airport could record their first 50 degree temperature this year.

.Friday...  Partly to mostly sunny.  High 51 to 56.  Wind southwest at 10 to 15 mph.

Average temperatures for Thursday

High:  51
Low:   32

Sunrise Thursday:  6:14 AM CDT
Sunset Thursday:   8:03 PM CDT


Monday, April 16, 2018

April 2018 thru the 16th ranks as 8th snowiest April on record at Duluth, MN. Mid 30s-Low 40s Tue PM (Still below average) Flurries/Snow showers possible Wed; Warming up by the weekend!

/Issued 5:41 PM CDT, Monday, April 16, 2018/


Snowfall total map for the April 14-16 winter storm


Unbelievable how much snow has fallen the past 3 days, and the extent of the heavy snowfall of over 6 inches is impressive for mid April!


Radar loop from Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15, 2018


Incredibly cold April so over much of the U.S. with the greatest departures from average covering the northern Rockies, northern Plains and upper Midwest.  Warmer than average spots, southwest U.S. and central/southern Florida.


Powerful storm is still spinning away as it slowly pulls away from the Great Lakes, it'll take another 12 hours or so before it finally moves away from the Great Lakes.


It's been an active last few days not only in the snow department, but also with severe weather.  The map below shows all the severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings that were issued by the National Weather Service over the past few days.  Even had the first severe thunderstorms this spring in parts of southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin and southeast South Dakota this past Friday.


Winter Storm Watch for late Tuesday night through Wednesday night for far southern Minnesota, northern Iowa (Blue area on map)

Storm Snowfall Totals from past 48 hours

1 WSW Maple, WI:  21.9 inches
3 N Butternut, WI:  18.0 inches
1 WSW Saxon, WI:  16.0 inches
Lake Nebagamon, WI:  16.0 inches
Ashland, WI:  15.7 inches
Gile, Wisconsin:  14.8 inches
2 NW Washburn, WI:  14.0 inches
McKinley, MN:  14.0 inches
4 N Floodwood, MN:  14.0 inches
Duluth Airport:  13.4 inches
1 SW Bayfield, WI:  13.0 inches
3 E Wright, MN:  12.3 inches
3 W Clam Lake, WI:  12.0 inches
4 S Earl, WI:  12.0 inches
2 NW Gary New Duluth, MN:  12.0 inches
14 W Isabella, MN:  11.0 inches
Island Lake, MN:  10.8 inches
2 W Hayward, WI:  10.5 inches
Sarona, WI:  10.3 inches
Hurley, WI:  10.0 inches
Wrenshall, MN:  10.0 inches
Chisholm, MN:  9.7 inches
Hovland, MN:  9.0 inches
2 S Siren, WI:  8.8 inches
5 NE Arnold, MN:  8.3 inches
Gordon, WI:  8.3 inches
Embarrass, MN:  8.0 inches
Ely, MN:  8.0 inches
7 N McGregor, MN:  6.7 inches
1 NW Two Harbors, MN:  6.5 inches
Wolf Ridge, MN:  6.2 inches
Orr, MN:  6.0 inches
Silver Bay, MN:  5.8 inches
Brainerd, MN:  5.5 inches
8 S Bigfork, MN:  5.4 inches
6 SSW Grand Rapids, MN:  5.1 inches
Kelly Lake, MN:  4.1 inches
International Falls, MN:  1.9 inches

*Historic Snowstorm shatters records at Duluth, Minnesota on Sunday, April 15, 2018*

Record maximum single day snowfall set for the month of April

New Record:  12.7 inches set on April 15, 2018
Old Record:  12.1 inches set on April 3, 2007

Record daily maximum snowfall total set for April 15

New Record:  12.7 inches set on April 15, 2018
Old Record:  9.7 inches set on April 15, 1961.

Record cold high temperature set for April 15

New Record:  26 degrees set on April 15, 2018
Old Record:  28 degrees on April 15, 1951

Top 3 greatest 1-day snowfall totals at Duluth, MN for the 2017-2018 snow season

April 15:  12.7 inches
October 27:  10.6 inches
February 24:  6.2 inches

Interesting that our biggest snowfall events came in late October and mid April during the 2017-2018 snow season.

Weather Tidbits for Duluth, Minnesota

•April 2018 continues to be the coldest April on record with an average temperature through the 15th of 24.2 degrees (-11.9 degrees below average)

•Annual snowfall total for 2017-2018:  91.7 inches (Average is 86.1 inches)  If we don't get anymore snow the rest of this season, will still finish above average for 2017-2018.

•April 2018 currently ranks as 8th snowiest April on record with 18.3 inches of snow.  The snowiest April on record occurred just a few years ago in 2013 with 50.8 inches of snow.

Note:  Historic April 13-15, 2018, Blizzard Storm Summaries from various National Weather Service Offices

Sioux Falls, South Dakota --

La Crosse, Wisconsin --

Green Bay, Wisconsin --

Marquette, Michigan --

Weather Synopsis

Northwest flow aloft covered the upper Midwest today behind this past weekend's powerful winter storm.  Mostly cloudy skies over most of the area today but there has been some partial clearing during the afternoon which allowed for some peeks of sun.  Highs today still no-where close to where they should be for mid April with highs in the upper 20s to middle 30s (Should be around 50 degrees on April 16)

Partly to mostly cloudy skies for tonight with some snow showers and flurries in extreme northeast Minnesota and over in Iron County in northwest Wisconsin where some lake effect snow will persist tonight.  Lows will be in the teens and 20s but a few spots could dip into the single digits if skies clear enough.

Should have more sun for Tuesday compared to what we saw on Monday.  Highs in the mid 30s to low 40s.

Our next system to keep an eye on looks like it will stay far enough south to bring any significant amount of snow to northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin but there could be some flurries or snow showers impacting parts of the area on Wednesday but little or no accumulation is expected the way it looks now.  Easterly wind returns for Wednesday but shouldn't be nearly as strong as it was this past weekend.

Note:  The good news is that it finally looks like will have an extended period with at least average temperatures starting late this week which should carry over into next week per long range model trends.  Daytime highs near 50 or into the 50s are expected over most of the Northland, could even climb into the 60s, which if that happens would actually be above average for a change!

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Breezy.  Low 19 to 24.  Wind north to northwest at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph.

.Tuesday...  Partly cloudy.  High 37 to 42.  Wind north at 10 to 20 mph becoming east.

.Wednesday...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  High 30 to 35.  Wind east to northeast at 10 to 20 mph.

Average temperatures for Tuesday

High:  50
Low:   31

Sunrise Tuesday:  6:17 AM CDT
Sunset Tuesday:   8:00 PM CDT


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Major winter storm continues tonight -- Blizzard conditions along the South Shore of Lake Superior. Travel not advised in parts of the Northland

/Issued 5:03 PM CDT, Sunday, April 15, 2018/



Goes-16 visible satellite loop from April 15, 2018 -- Historic April blizzard continues to impact the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes today.  Incredible storm! One for the ages!


Snow continues to fall in all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late this Sunday afternoon.


20z HRRR model run -- Simulated Radar Forecast through 9 AM Monday.

Snow shows up as blue colors on this map.  As you can see the snow should begin to diminish by later tonight/Monday morning.

Here's my snowfall storm totals map -- This includes what has already fallen.

Winter weather headlines remain in effect through early Monday morning


Temperature departure map for the week of April 8, 2018:  No surprise here, another week featuring well below average temperatures across the Northland.


Precipitation Departure map for the week of April 8, 2018:  Below average precipitation in all of the Northland.

Temperature and Precipitation report for Duluth, Minnesota

April 8-14, 2018

High Temperatures/Departure from Average

4/8:  33 F/-12 degrees below average
4/9:  38 F/-8 degrees below average
4/10:  34 F/-12 degrees below average
4/11:  47 F/Average
4/12:  40 F/-7 degrees below average
4/13:  38 F/-10 degrees below average
4/14:  29 F/-20 degrees below average

Low Temperatures/Departure from Average

*=Record Low for the date

4/8:  *2 F/-25 degrees below average
4/9:  15 F/-12 degrees below average
4/10:  17 F/-11 degrees below average
4/11:  25 F/-3 degrees below average
4/12:  32 F/+3 degrees above average
4/13:  27 F/-2 degrees below average
4/14:  22 F/-7 degrees below average

Note:  Average temperature for the week of April 8, 2018:  28.5 degrees (-9.0 degrees below average)  Source:

Total Precipitation:  0.25 inches
Average:  0.54 inches
Departure:  -0.29 inches below average

State Average for Minnesota for the week of April 8, 2018

Temperature:  29.7 degrees
Departure:  -11.9 degrees below average

Precipitation:  0.77 inches
Departure:  +0.20 inches above average

Note:  As of 4 PM Sunday -- This is the 2nd snowiest April 15 on record at Duluth, Minnesota with 7.5 inches of snow.  The record snowfall for April 15 occurred in 1961 with 9.7 inches of snow. Should make a good run at this record!

Link to Road Conditions



...Late Sunday afternoon Storm Update...

•Lakeshore Flood Warning continues until 7 PM this evening for parts of the North Shore and South Shore of Lake Superior with northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph which will continue to create large and dangerous waves with potential for additional flooding and damage along the shores of Lake Superior from near Two Harbors to Duluth and east along the South Shore to Saxon Harbor.

•Snow will continue tonight in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with bands of heavier snowfall possible especially before midnight -- The snow will begin to gradually diminish early Monday morning but expect areas of light snow to linger in some parts of the area through Monday morning before completely coming to an end Monday afternoon.

•Blizzard conditions will continue tonight/Monday morning along the South Shore of Lake Superior in northwest Wisconsin where snow combined with 25 to 40 mph wind gusts will continue to produce extremely poor visibilities and significant amounts of blowing and drifting snow.  Expect near impossible travel conditions most of the night. 

***Travel is not advised across parts of the Northland including much of US-2 in northwest Wisconsin***

•Lake enhanced snow will likely continue tonight favoring the South Shore of Lake Superior into eastern portions of Carlton County in Minnesota with winds out of the north/northeast most of the night.  Lake enhanced snow is also possible especially during the evening around the Duluth area and up the North Shore.

•Road conditions won't improve at all until Monday afternoon.  If you plan to travel you will encounter snow covered and slippery roads.  Delay travel if at all possible.

•Snowfall storm totals by Monday morning should range from 8 to 12 inches from Duluth south and along the North Shore of Lake Superior and over much of northwest Wisconsin.  Snow totals from 12 to 20 inches for the South Shore of Lake Superior -- Tapering to 2 to 4 inches around the Bigfork area to around 1 to 2 inches for International Falls.

Snowfall Reports through Sunday afternoon, April 15, 2018

2 ENE Holyoke, MN:  8.4 inches
2 W Duluth, MN:  8.0 inches
Duluth Airport:  7.5 inches
Gile, WI:  7.3 inches
2 SE Saginaw, MN:  7.0 inches
3 SSW Wentworth, WI:  7.0 inches
4 S Ashland, WI:  7.0 inches
3 NE Twig, MN:  6.8 inches
1 N Fort Riply, MN:  6.6. inches
Culver, MN:  6.0 inches
6 S Fredenberg, MN:  6.0 inches
5 SSE Libby, MN:  4.5 inches
4 SSE Webster, WI:  4.4 inches
3 SSW Bruno, MN:  3.3 inches
1 NW Two Harbors, MN:  3.0 inches


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Powerful Winter Storm through Sunday night - Blizzard Warning for parts of the South Shore, Winter Storm Warning/Advisory elsewhere. Lakeshore flooding continues through Sunday AM near Lake Superior

/Issued 7:02 PM CDT, Saturday, April 14, 2018

Here's my updated snowfall accumulation map valid through Monday morning.  I have increased snow totals for the Twin Ports, North Shore and actually for all of the Northland.  I still have low to medium level confidence with my snowfall forecast the farther west you go, I may have totals a little too high even here in Duluth.

Snow is falling early this evening in eastern Minnesota and southern portions of northwest Wisconsin, this area of snow is moving toward the west-northwest, and should eventually reach the Twin Ports later this evening.

Winter Weather Headlines Map for the Northland

Zoomed out view of the current winter weather headlines that are in effect

Mesoscale Discussion is out for potential for heavy snowfall rates through late this evening, this includes southern portions of the Northland -- More info at this link

18z NAM-Nest Simulated Radar Forecast from 9 PM this evening to 1 PM Monday.

Snow in blue colors on map

Goes-16 water vapor satellite loop of this historic winter storm that continues to hammer the upper Midwest today, Saturday, April 14, 2018.

*Local Storm Reports for April 14, 2018*

•7:38 AM CDT:  NON-THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE.  Washburn, WI (Bayfield County)  Multiple trees down/damaged in Washburn.  15 inch plus diameter pine tree snapped 4-5 feet above the ground.

•7:45 AM CDT:  NON-THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE.  4 SSE Grand View, WI (Bayfield County)  Trees blocking CTH D about 4 miles south of US 63.

•7:00 AM CDT:  Lakeshore Flood.  1 E Duluth, MN (St. Louis County)  Lake Walk, Parking lot next to Lift Bridge, and parts of Canal Park Drive are under water.

•1:25 PM CDT:  NON-THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE.  Hayward, WI (Sawyer County)  Numerous 3" diameter tree branches down in Hayward.

•2:15 PM CDT:  NON-THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE.  1 ENE Superior, WI (Douglas County)  Large pine tree snapped near the base.

Link to Power Outage Maps

Links to Road Conditions


Note:  Lakeshore Flood Warning remains in effect for parts of the North Shore of Lake Superior in northeast Minnesota and for all of the South Shore of Lake Superior in northwest Wisconsin -- This warning goes until 10 AM CDT Sunday.  Flooding and damage is ongoing in Duluth's Canal Park late this afternoon, and additional lakeshore flooding and damage is possible through Sunday morning from near Two Harbors to Duluth to Ashland.  Northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph will continue to produce large and dangerous waves through Sunday morning.

Weather Synopsis for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

Strong area of low pressure was over southeast Iowa-northeast Missouri at 6 PM this evening with a mid/upper level low slightly west of the surface low.  This storm will continue to lift slowly east/northeast and will reach the eastern Great Lakes by Monday morning.

Snow, heavy at times tonight and Sunday in northwest Wisconsin with blizzard conditions developing along the South Shore of Lake Superior affecting Bayfield and Ashland County -- Travel is strongly discouraged once this storm begins later tonight as winds of 25 to 50 mph combines with falling snow to produce whiteout/blizzard conditions along the South Shore, but also farther inland across northwest Wisconsin where snow is already developing as it moves up from the south early this evening.

Snow will also occur tonight and Sunday in east central Minnesota, while snow eventually develops in northeast Minnesota including in Duluth and along the North Shore.  

The highest snowfall amounts will likely be along the South Shore of Lake Superior thanks to some lake enhanced snow with the cold airmass in place along with favorable N-NE winds over Lake Superior which should continue through Sunday night.

Significant amounts of snow are expected in east central Minnesota, inland locations in northwest Wisconsin, and also along the North Shore of Lake Superior with 8"+ totals possible south of Duluth and possibly along portions of the North Shore of Lake Superior.

The least amount of snow from this storm will likely be across northern Minnesota where little if any snow is expected.

For Duluth and Superior

-Snow will gradually develop tonight, timing of when the snow will begin is always tricky with these types of setups, but most model guidance shows snow reaching the Twin Ports between 9 PM-1 AM with snow flurries continuing before then.

-Snow is expected to continue for Sunday and Sunday night with breaks in snowfall intensity at times.

-By late Sunday night I'm thinking will have a range from 4 to 8 inches of snow in the Twin Ports, but I would tend to lead toward the lower end of that range with the setup that's in place.

-There is a chance for some lake enhanced snowfall in some parts of Duluth and or in Superior with northeast winds turning more out of the north-northeast on Sunday.

-Gusty winds will continue through Sunday evening, strongest winds likely tonight through Sunday morning.  Gusts 20-50 mph, again strongest through Sunday morning.  Areas of blowing and drifting snow will develop by Sunday.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Strong NE winds through Sunday with large/dangerous waves and possible lakeshore flooding near Lake Superior. Snow Saturday night-Sunday night (Heavy Snow possible)

/Issued 5:32 PM CDT, Friday, April 13, 2018/

Here's my snowfall potential map -- Majority of this snow occurs Saturday night through Sunday night.


Prolonged period of strong northeast winds will cause large waves to develop over Lake Superior through the weekend.  Winds of 30 to 50 mph can be expected with the strongest winds occurring Saturday and Saturday night.  There is potential for lakeshore flooding to develop Saturday into Sunday morning along portions of the North Shore of Lake Superior in northeast Minnesota, and for all of the South Shore of Lake Superior in northwest Wisconsin, or from near Two Harbors to Duluth to Ashland.

Potential impacts from Lakeshore flooding

•Beaches and shoreline areas which are oriented northwest to southeast are at greatest risk for infrastructure damage and beach erosion.

•Breaking waves will create hazardous conditions on breakwaters, jetties, and piers.

•The large and dangerous waves can deposit riprap and large chunks of ice on beaches and roads which are near the shore.

•Shoreline flooding and damage to structures such as parking lots, walkways, and roads, especially along northwest to southeast oriented shores.

•Venturing out onto breakwalls could put you at risk of being swept into the lake.

•Residents on or near the shore in the warned area should be alert for rising water, and take appropriate action to protect life and property.


RTMA model temperature analysis from Friday afternoon, April 13, 2018.

What a storm!  Typical for spring, but always fascinating when it happens.  Potential for severe weather and strong tornadoes south/east of the surface low while a major blizzard occurs to the west/northwest of the surface low.


Severe weather reports map from Friday morning, April 13, 2018.

Quite a few reports of severe hail ranging from quarter sized (1.00") to as large as Golf Ball sized (1.75") with the storms this morning in southern Wisconsin.  Meanwhile in far southwestern Minnesota, severe storms produced winds of 75 to nearly 80 mph this morning!


Goes-16 one-minute visible satellite imagery from Friday, April 13, 2018 -- Explosion of severe thunderstorms near and east of the dryline across the central/southern Plains this afternoon.


Goes-16 water vapor satellite image from Friday, April 13, 2018 -- Powerful spring storm covering a large area from the northern Plains and upper Midwest to the central and southern Plains.

This was the radar image out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota earlier this afternoon.  The yellow boxes on the map were severe thunderstorm warnings inside of a blizzard warning (red area)  This plus the fact that surface temps were hovering around the freezing mark or a little above with a few severe thunderstorms occurring in that environment is quite amazing!


U.S. radar loop ending at 5:15 PM CDT, Friday, April 13, 2018


Forecast Discussion for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin


Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy skies.  Gusty northeast winds, strongest near Lake Superior.  Some snow and rain changing over to snow, chances for precipitation are greatest across southern portions of the Northland near and south of a line from Brainerd to Hurley -- Precipitation could diminish during the night as northeast winds advect drier air into the Northland, pushing the precipitation shield further south.  Not expecting much snow accumulation tonight for southern areas, maybe an inch or two at most.


Gusty northeast winds continue, strongest near Lake Superior.  Should be dry most of the day, but snow is forecast to move into east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening -- This area of snow could shift farther north into the Twin Ports and North Shore areas late Saturday night, but confidence on that happening remains low.  Northern Minnesota including the Iron Range and Borderland areas should stay dry Saturday and Saturday night.


Snow is expected to continue across northwest Wisconsin into east central Minnesota.  Snow is also possible for the Twin Ports and North Shore, but again confidence on that occurring is on the low side.

Strong high pressure to our north will linger through the weekend while strong low pressure heads slowly E/NE out of the central Plains --  The high to our north will continue to feed dry air south into the Northland while the low over the Plains tries to pull moisture north and up into our area.  We've seen this setup quite a few times over the last month or so, and with each setup the high pressure/dry air have won out which kept the snow from the reaching Twin Ports. 

Note:  I'm staying conservative with my snowfall totals for this event for the Twin Ports and North Shore, well my confidence is somewhat higher that significant amounts of snow will eventually occur in northwest Wisconsin with the greatest amounts along the South Shore where lake enhanced snow will likely occur on Sunday.  It's possible that I will have to increase snow totals for Duluth and the North Shore, and it could be by quite a bit, I just don't feel confident enough (yet) to do that given what has happened with similar setups we've seen during the last couple of weeks where the dry air wins out keeping the snow farther south from where models show it.

Lake Effect/Enhanced Snow Potential

Temperatures are forecast to become cold enough for some lake effect snow this weekend.  Model forecasts show 850mb temps dropping to between -8 and -14C with lake water temps ~33F.  A long fetch NE flow will be in place over Lake Superior through Sunday.  Limiting factor right now is the amount of dry air in place, but if the snow from the storm is able to move this far north, then lake enhanced snow could develop along the North Shore and South Shore of Lake Superior on Sunday thanks to the increasingly colder temperatures and favorable wind direction this weekend.

It will be a cold weekend with well below average temperatures across the Northland.  Lows tonight will be in the teens and 20s with single digits in extreme northern Minnesota.  Highs Saturday and Sunday in the 20s and 30s.  Note:  Record or near record cold high temps are possible Saturday and Sunday for some locations in the Northland.

Link to Road Conditions



Average temperatures for Saturday for Duluth

High:  49
Low:   29

Sunrise Saturday:  6:23 AM CDT
Sunset Saturday:   7:56 PM CDT