Monday, February 14, 2011

2/14/11: Monday's Weather Report

Issued at 3:42 PM CST, Monday, February 14th, 2011

Weather History:

On this date last year, 2.2" of snow fell at Duluth, Minnesota.  February 14th, 2010 would mark our last 1" or greater snowfall until May 7th, 2010 when 4.4" of snow fell.

Weather Tidbits:

*Record high temperature on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 at International Falls, Minnesota.  High temperature was 46 degrees which broke the previous record of 44 degrees set in 1983.

*40 degree temperatures in February are somewhat uncommon in the Twin Ports.  Dating back to 2006, only two Februaries have had high temperatures in the 40s.  February 21st, 2007:  41 degrees.  February 10th, 2009:  40 degrees.

*High temperature of 45 degrees at Duluth, Minnesota on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 was the first 40 degree or warmer high temperature since November 12th, 2010 when the high temperature was also 45 degrees.

*2010 was the wettest year on record in Minnesota per Mark Seeley and the DNR State Climatology Office.  Statewide average precipitation total during 2010 was 34.10" which broke the previous wettest year of 33.74" which was set in 1977.  Note:  Records date back to 1891.   At least three dozen communities in Minnesota had at least 40" of precipitation during 2010 with September being the wettest month of the year with an average statewide precipitation total of nearly 6.50".

Here are some snowfall totals that have fallen so far this winter and how they compare to average:  Source:  NWS Duluth, MN.

Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

Since December 1st:  37.1"/-3.0"
Seasonal total (thru February 13th)  72.7"/+15.7"

International Falls, Minnesota:

Since December 1st:  44.2"/+13.6"
Seasonal total (thru February 13th):  73.4"/+27.1"

Twin Cities,  Minnesota:

Since December 1st:  51.3"/+23.9"
Seasonal total (thru February 13th):  61.1"/+23.1"

Grand Forks, North Dakota:

Since December 1st:  30.1"/+7.6"
Seasonal total (thru February 13th)  42.1"/+7.7"

High temperature report for Sunday, February 13th, 2011.  Source:  NWS Duluth, Minnesota

International Falls, MN:  46 degrees
Brainerd, MN:  49 degrees
Hibbing, MN:  49 degrees
Ashland, WI:  46 degrees
Hayward, WI:  47 degrees
Orr, MN:  46 degrees
Bigfork, MN:  50 degrees
Grand Rapids, MN:  48 degrees
Aitkin, MN:  50 degrees
Phillips, WI:  46 degrees
Cass Lake, MN:  50 degrees
Littlefork, MN:  45 degrees
Northome, MN:  48 degrees
Cook, MN:  44 degrees
Embarrass, MN:  40 degrees
Gurney, WI:  47 degrees
Saxon, WI:  49 degrees
Danbury, WI:  50 degrees

Duluth, MN:  45 degrees  Note:  Just two degrees shy of Sunday's record high temperature.
Sky Harbor, MN:  46 degrees
Superior, WI:  46 degrees

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Deep low pressure which brought the very warm temperatures and gusty winds (40 mph in the Twin Ports) to our area on Sunday moved rapidly to the east and as of 3 PM this low was getting ready to move into New England.  A quick shot of "cooler air" dropped south into Northern Minnesota/Northwest Wisconsin Today behind this low, but temperatures This Afternoon are still running above average for mid-February, but are about 10 to nearly 20 degrees cooler from Sunday.  Highs Today were in the 30s with a quickly changing wind direction from north/northwest earlier in the day to the south This Afternoon.  Wind speeds Today were under 15 mph.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

500mb troughs covered Eastern Canada and the Northeast U.S. and also over the Pacific Northwest...In between the troughs was an upper level ridge which covered the Plains.  850mb temperatures took a tumble across our local area Today and ranged from -4 to -8 degrees C This Afternoon per RUC model analysis, but a large area of +4 to +12 degree C 850mb temps covered the Northern Plains and Northern Rockies, some of that will spread east into the Upper Midwest in coming days.

Tonight:

Partly to mostly cloudy skies will continue with lows generally in the 20s.  South or southeast winds under 20 mph are expected Tonight.  High pressure extending from north of Lake Superior to Eastern Nebraska late Today will settle south/east through the night.

Tuesday and Tuesday Night:

Southerly flow will kick in during this period with mild temperatures continuing.  Highs Tomorrow will be in the 30s and lower 40s with lows Tomorrow Night in the 20s and lower 30s.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast with the possibility for some patchy fog or light freezing drizzle early Tuesday Morning, and again late Tuesday Night.

Extended Forecast:

Warm temperatures will continue Wednesday and Thursday before colder air moves in.  High temperatures will be in the 30s and 40s Wednesday and Thursday with lows in the 20s and 30s.  A cold front will be centered to our northwest/north at mid-week, this boundary will settle south and could move into Northern Minnesota on Thursday.  Low pressure is expected to move into the Northcentral Rockies/Western High Plains on Thursday, the forecast models have this low moving rapidly toward the northeast Thursday Night before exiting to the east on Friday.  The bulk of the precipitation associated with this storm is expected to be on the cold side of the system (west-northwest of the low pressure track) as a result it doesn't look like will see much precipitation in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin late this week based on latest model projections.  Anything that does fall Thursday and Thursday Night will be in the form of drizzle or freezing drizzle before cold air spreads in causing any light precipitation to change over to snow late Thursday Night or Friday.  Early indications point toward a 1-2" snowfall late Thursday Night/Friday, along and north/northwest of a line from Bigfork to Grand Marais.  Note:  Nothing is set in stone just yet regarding this late week system, and the models could flucuate a bit in coming days, so things might change just a bit.

The overall 500mb pattern consisting of a Western U.S. trough is forecast to continue through the rest of February, this could signal the beginnings of a more active weather pattern for the Upper Midwest, but the exact track of lows/disturbances that lift out of this trough will determine whether or not we see any precipitation around our area.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Considerable cloudiness.  Low 22 to 27.  Wind south at 5 to 15 mph.

.Tuesday...  Partly sunny.  High 35 to 40.  Wind south at 10 to 20 mph.

.Tuesday Night...  Patchy fog possible.  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 25 to 30.  Wind south to southwest at 10 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday...  Patchy fog possible early.  Partly sunny.  High 40 to 45.

.Wednesday Night...  Partly cloudy.  Low 28 to 33.

.Thursday...  Mostly cloudy.  Fog and drizzle possible.  High 40 to 45.

.Thursday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Areas of fog and drizzle which could mix or change to light snow and flurries Overnight.  Low 25 to 30.

.Friday...  Mostly cloudy.  Breezy.  Snow showers or flurries possible.  Colder.  High 30 to 35 with temperatures falling through the 20s.  Northwest wind could occasionally gust to 30 mph.

Normal temperatures for Today:

High:  24
Low:    5

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:13 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow:   5:33 PM CST

Tim