Friday, November 19, 2010

11/19/10: Friday's Weather Report

Issued at 3:49 PM CST, Friday, November 19th, 2010

Local storm report from Friday, November 19th, 2010.  Source:  NWS Duluth, MN.

*8:30 AM CST 11/19/10:  Freezing rain.  20 miles north of Tofte, MN (Cook county)  Thin coating of ice on top of about 0.8" of snow.
*8:36 AM CST 11/19/10:  Freezing rain.  Emily, MN (Crow Wing county)  Freezing drizzle resulting in glare ice including on county road 1 near Emily.
*8:22 AM CST 11/19/10:  2.0" snow.  Grand Portage, MN (Cook County)
*8:05 AM CST 11/19/10:  2.5" snow.  11 miles northeast of Grand Marais, MN (Cook county)
*6:43 AM CST 11/19/10:  1.0" snow.  Kabetogama, MN (St. Louis county)
*6:00 AM CST 11/19/10:  1.0" snow.  Cook, MN (St. Louis county)
*5:51 AM CST 11/19/10:  1.4" snow.  International Falls, MN (Koochiching county)
*5:44 AM CST 11/19/10:  Freezing rain.  0.10" ice accumulation.  25 miles northwest of Duluth, MN at Lake Nichols (St. Louis county)
*4:06 AM CST 11/19/10:  Freezing rain.  2 miles north of Virginia, MN (St. Louis county)  Freezing rain reported by the state highway patrol north of Virginia, south of Angora, along Highway 53.
*4:09 AM CST 11/19/10:  Freezing rain.  2 miles south of Grand Rapids, MN (Itasca county)  Roads coated with ice.  Reported by MNDOT officials south of Grand Rapids on US Highway 169.
*2:42 AM CST 11/19/10:  2.0" snow.  Grand Marais, MN (Cook county)
*2:42 AM CST 11/19/10:  1.5" snow.  6 miles northwest of Grand Marais, MN (Cook county)

Weather tidbits:

*Today's high temperature climbed above freezing at Duluth, Minnesota.  This ended our streak of 5 straight days with a maximum temperature of 32 degrees or lower (11/14-11/18).  The last time we put together 5 consecutive freezing or sub-freezing high temperature days was on February 12th-16th, 2010.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Rapid changes took place Today as low pressure of 1000 mb passes east through Southern Ontario Province.  Warm air surged northeast out ahead of this low This Morning and resulted in some snow and freezing drizzle which affected the North half of Minnesota into the Northeast part of the state.  A cold front attached to the low pushed east through our area Today and was followed by falling temperatures.  Highs Today were generally in the 30s with a few locales close to 40 degrees in Northwest Wisconsin back through Superior and Downtown Duluth.  Temperatures This Afternoon have dropped into the upper teens and 20s in Northern/Eastern Minnesota.  Winds shifted from the southwest to northwest Today at 10-20 mph with higher gusts.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

Zonal flow aloft was in place over the Upper Midwest per water vapor satellite imagery/RUC model analysis.  A powerful mid/upper level jet covered areas from the Pacific Northwest/Northern Rockies, east through the Upper Midwest and Northeast U.S.  Note:  Winds at 18,000 feet were sitting at 90 knots late Today at Duluth, Minnesota with winds at 30,000 feet of 120 knots per RUC model analysis.  Also of interest is the deep upper level trough which was digging south through the Eastern Pacific Ocean, this will lead to some snow in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon this weekend and early next week.


Arctic air will continue to dump into our local area between a low to our northeast and high pressure to our northwest.  850 mb temperatures of -8/-16 degrees C will result in low temperatures dropping to the single digits and teens with some of the typical cold spots possibly dropping a few degrees below zero!  Winds Tonight will be out of the northwest at 10-20 mph with higher gusts This Evening.  Wind chills from mid Evening through the Overnight hours will range from around 10 above to 10 below zero.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be found in our area Tonight with some snow showers or flurries possible along the South Shore of Lake Superior in Northwest Wisconsin and also on the larger inland lakes in Minnesota...Including Lake Winnie, Lake Mille Lacs, and perhaps even Island Lake.  Snow accumulations Tonight should remain under an inch.

Saturday and Saturday Night:

Arctic high pressure will slide off to our north/east during this period with the 500 mb flow becoming west/southwest.  Warm advection will begin especially by Saturday Night and this process should aid in the development of some overrunning light snow by late Saturday Afternoon into Saturday Night for parts of Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Temperatures Tomorrow and Tomorrow Night will be in the teens and 20s with winds out of the north or northwest Saturday Morning, becoming east at 10-20 mph Tomorrow Afternoon and Tomorrow Night.  With the surface winds going to the east and with cold air in place, some lake effect snow showers could develop Tomorrow Afternoon and Night near Lake Superior, including the Twin Ports.  Any lake snow that does develop should be on the light side.

Extended Forecast:

Southwest flow aloft is forecast to stick around into the middle of next week while arctic air builds to our west/northwest with ridging and plenty of warmth well to our southeast.  Strong winds aloft and plenty of jet energy will also be traversing the US from Sunday through Wednesday.  This type of pattern often leads to the development of a strong storm system, and the models over the past few days have shown some hints of this, but with that said there remains plenty of model uncertainty after Monday, so nothing is certain at this time, but there is some potential for a storm system to wrap up in the Plains and head toward the Great Lakes during the Wednesday-Thursday time period.

Before then there will be two low pressure waves that will track out of the Plains and toward the Upper Great Lakes.  The first wave will move through on Sunday bringing with it snow in Northern Minnesota and a mixture of precipitation in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota.  The second system is due next Monday with snow being the main precipitation type since the air should be cold enough by then to support an all snow event.

Snow accumulations from Saturday Night into Sunday Afternoon will range from around an inch from Backus and the Brainerd lakes area, east through Aitkin, Duluth and the Interstate 35 corridor.  Snow totals of 2-4" are possible from Hibbing and Bigfork, north through International Falls to the Arrowhead.

Early indications for Monday's snow event is for similar totals to Sunday, although the main corridor of snow may set up a bit more to the south compared to Sunday's system.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Breezy especially This Evening.  Cold.  Partly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10, a little warmer near Lake Superior.  Wind northwest at 15 to 25 mph, decreasing to 10 to 20 mph.  Lowest wind chills from zero to 10 below.

.Saturday...  Partly sunny.  Scattered lake effect snow showers or flurries possible during the Afternoon.  Little if any accumulation expected.  High 20 to 25.  Wind north at 10 to 15 mph becoming east during the Afternoon.

.Saturday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Occasional light snow or flurries.  Accumulations of 1" or less.  Temperatures nearly steady from 20 to 25.  Wind east at 10 to 20 mph.

.Sunday...  Mostly cloudy.  Occasional light snow which will mix with or change to light freezing rain at times.  Snow accumulations around 1" or less.  High 30 to 35.

.Sunday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 20 to 25.

.Monday...  Mostly cloudy.  Snow possible.  High 25 to 30.

.Monday Night...  Flurries possible.  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.

.Tuesday...  Partly sunny.  High 20 to 25.

Normal temperatures for Today:

High:  33 degrees
Low:  19 degrees