Issued at 4:19 PM CST, Saturday, February 12th, 2011
Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
A warm front has been moving east out of Western Minnesota Today. Freezing line (32 degrees) as of late Afternoon extended from Baudette to McGregor to Moose Lake to Grantsburg and Eau Claire. Widespread 30s and 40s occurred Today in the Dakotas and Western-Southern Minnesota while in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin temperatures were in the 20s Today. Some snow showers and flurries have been falling at times Today across our local area, but accumulations have been light and generally under an inch. Skies Today were partly sunny to mostly cloudy with winds out of the south or southeast under 20 mph.
Today's Upper Level Analysis:
Northwest 500mb flow continued Today with a 130 knot upper level jet pushing southeast out of Central Manitoba Province per RUC model analysis. A tight thermal gradient has set up Today with 3 PM 850mb temperatures ranging from -26 degrees C in Northeast Ontario Province to around -12 degrees C at Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada to around +4 degrees C at Fargo, North Dakota.
A warm front will continue to push NE and is expected to pass through most of our local area by dawn. Partly to mostly cloudy skies with a threat for patchy light freezing drizzle and flurries will be with us Tonight along with mild temperatures as lows fall or hold in the 20s. Winds Tonight will be out of the south, southeast, or southwest at 10-20 mph.
Sunday and Sunday Night:
Strong low pressure of 983-988mb will pass north-northeast of Minnesota during this period. The greatest chance of snow associated with this storm will occur north of Minnesota, but there could be a few showers of snow or mixed winter precipitation on Sunday mainly north of a line from Bigfork to Tofte. By Sunday Night, a strong disturbance will drop southeast behind the surface low and this feature will bring some snow showers and flurries to most of our area. Accumulations of up to an inch are possible Sunday Night in far Northern Minnesota. A warm airmass will overspread our area on Sunday as 850mb temperatures range from around zero degrees C in Northern Minnesota to +6 degrees C around the Brainerd, Pine City areas. High temperatures should climb into the 30s, with some 40s even possible especially south of Highway 2. Very strong W/NW winds of 45-60 knots at 5000 feet (850mb level) will blast south/east out of the Northern Plains Sunday Afternoon through Sunday Night, and this combined with cold advection moving south into the Upper Midwest behind Sunday's low should result in some rather brisk winds during this period. On Sunday, southwesterly winds will average 10-25 mph, then by Sunday Night winds will switch around to the west or northwest at 15-30 mph with a few higher gusts certainly possible. Low temperatures Sunday Night will be in the teens and 20s. Skies during this period will be partly to mostly cloudy.
Slightly cooler temperatures are in store for Monday but highs should still be right around to slightly above average for mid-February as readings peak in the 20s for most areas. Lows Monday Night will be in the teens and 20s. Warm air moves back in for Tuesday and Wednesday with highs in the 30s and 40s with lows in the 20s in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. There are some differences Today in the forecast models with the track and intensity of the late week storm. EUROPEAN has trended north with it's 12z run Today while the GFS and HPC have the low on a more southerly track. More snow would occur per GFS/HPC models, while the ECM would favor a mix bag of precip, possibly even all rain for some parts of our area. Thursday Night through Friday Evening seems to be when this system would affect our area, but the timing may change a bit in coming days. Note: This late week system shows some similarities to the late December 2010 storm which brought rain to the Twin Ports and Northwest Wisconsin with heavy snow west and north of the Iron Range. After this storm exits, a return to colder temperatures appears likely for next weekend and beyond.
5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior
.Tonight... Partly to mostly cloudy. Patchy fog, flurries, or light freezing drizzle possible. Temperatures holding steady in the 20s. Wind east to southeast around 12 mph, becoming southwest at 10 to 15 mph.
.Sunday... Breezy and mild. Partly sunny. High 37 to 42. Wind southwest at 15 to 20 mph with a few higher gusts possible.
.Sunday Night... Windy. Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Low 20 to 25. Wind west to northwest at 15 to 30 mph with a few higher gusts possible.
.Monday... Partly sunny. High 30 to 35 with temperatures falling to the 20s.
.Monday Night... Partly cloudy. Low 20 to 25.
.Tuesday... Partly cloudy. High 35 to 40.
.Tuesday Night... Partly cloudy. Low 25 to 30.
.Wednesday... Partly cloudy. High 40 to 45.
Normal temperatures for Today:
Sunrise Tomorrow: 7:16 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow: 5:30 PM CST