Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2/16/11: Wednesday's Weather Report

Issued at 4:45 PM CST, Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

...INCREDIBLE WARMTH ACROSS THE REGION TODAY...

*Record Event*

Record high temperature set at Duluth, Minnesota.  The high temperature Today was 52 degrees which broke the previous record of 48 degrees set in 1981.  The 52 degree high for Today was 27 degrees above the normal high temperature of 25 degrees.

Record high temperature tied at International Falls, Minnesota.  The high temperature Today was 48 degrees which tied the record for the date which was last set in 1981.

Weather Tidbits:

*Today marks the 4th day in a row with a maximum temperature of at least 32 degrees at Duluth, Minnesota.

*First 50 degree high temperature of 2011 occurred Today at Duluth, Minnesota.  Last time the mercury hit 50 degrees was November 11th, 2010 (51 degrees)

*All time snowiest winter season at the following locations:  Source:  Wunder Blog/WeatherUnderground

Youngstown, Ohio:  92.4"/previous record was 85.3" in 1950-1951
Glasgow, Montana:  80.7"/previous record was 70.7" in 2003-2004
Tulsa, Oklahoma:  26.6"/previous record was 25.4" in 1923-1924

Weather Headlines:

*Unusually warm temperatures to continue thru Thursday
*Strong winds ahead for late Thursday/Friday
*Colder, but more seasonal temperatures starting on Friday
*Stormy pattern sets up next week, but will it effect the Upper Midwest?

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

The combination of sunshine and southerly winds resulted in another day of very warm temperatures throughout the region.  Highs Today were in the 40s and 50s, but Hibbing, Ely, and Orr, Minnesota managed to climb into the lower 60s This Afternoon! Other 60+ degree high temperatures occurred Today at Ironwood, Marquette, and Houghton, Michigan! Highs Today were about 10 degrees warmer than expected mainly because of the abundant sunshine.  Winds Today were out of the south, southeast, or southwest at 10-20 mph.  Surface map as of 4 PM featured low pressure of 994mb across the Central-Northern Rockies.  A cold front extended from Central Ontario Province to Northwest Minnesota to Central North Dakota.  Arctic air was in place This Afternoon behind this boundary with highs in the single digits in portions of Alberta and Saskatchewan Province.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

Southwest 500mb flow was in place across the Rockies and Plains as a deep upper level low and potent upper level trough dive south/east through the Pacific Northwest...This storm is bringing an isolated risk for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes Today to portions of Oregon and California.  A strengthening baroclinic zone was developing Today with late Afternoon 850mb temperatures of -2 to -16 degrees C across Canada to +8 degrees C at Duluth, Minnesota to +20 degrees C at Garden City, Kansas per RUC model analysis.  Note:  High temperatures made it to the 80 degrees Today as far north as Southwestern Kansas.

Tonight:

A cold front will turn stationary in Northern Minnesota with another night of very mild temperatures in place near and south of this boundary.  Lows Tonight will be in the 30s with a few locales dropping to the 20s.  Note:  Forecasted temperatures Tonight will be 20 to 30 degrees above the average low for this time of year.  Partly-mostly cloudy skies will be found in our area Tonight with areas of fog possible along with some patchy light drizzle or light freezing drizzle.  South or southeasterly winds are expected Tonight under 20 mph.

Thursday and Thursday Night:

Strong low pressure of 986-989mb will head northeast through the Northern Plains on Thursday before moving into Western Ontario Province Thursday Night.  One last day of unseasonably mild temperatures are in store on Thursday with highs in the 30s and 40s, but a few 50s are not out of the question.  Mostly cloudy skies are expected during this period with areas of fog and drizzle on Thursday.  By Thursday Night, expect areas of light drizzle, light freezing drizzle, snow showers/flurries which will transition to flurries/snow showers late Thursday Night as colder air moves in behind the Ontario low.  Winds out of the south on Thursday will shift to the west and northwest Thursday Night.  Wind speeds will increase to 10-25 mph on Thursday, picking up further Thursday Night to between 15-35 mph as strong cold advection pours into the area.

Extended Forecast:

Strong northwest winds of 15-35 mphwill continue on Friday with highs only in the teens and 20s across Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Deep low pressure of around 982mb will head northeast through Ontario Province on Friday with plenty of wind and cold air dropping south into the Upper Midwest behind this storm.  Some flurries or snow showers are also possible on Friday, but only a dusting of accumulation is expected with perhaps an inch in far Northern Minnesota.  Dry weather is expected Friday Night with lows generally in the single digits.  Could be a few snow showers or flurries at times this weekend as a few disturbances lift E/NE across the Plains.  Highs on Saturday will be in the teens and 20s with lows Saturday Night in the single digits. 

Southwest 500mb flow is expected to continue next week with an upper level trough in place over the Western U.S. There are two systems that will eject out of this upper trough, but the trend with Today's models is for the first system to take the southerly route for early next week...The second one may track farther west/north, and it's that one that could eventually lead to some snow or mixed precip across our local area sometime the middle/end of next week.  Computer models have a good handle on the upcoming pattern, but they are having trouble resolving the tracks of the storms/disturbances that lift out of the Western U.S.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Unseasonably mild.  Partly cloudy.  Areas of fog possible.  Low 30 to 35.  Wind south to southeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Thursday...  Mild.  Considerable clouds.  Areas of fog or drizzle possible.  High 40 to 45.  Wind south to southeast at 10 to 20 mph becoming southwest.

.Thursday Night...  Becoming windy.  Mostly cloudy.  Patchy drizzle early with patchy freezing drizzle, snow showers, and snow flurries developing late.  Low 25 to 30.  Wind becoming west to northwest at 15 to 30 mph.

.Friday...  Windy.  Considerable cloudiness.  Flurries or snow showers possible.  High 30 to 35 with temperatures falling to the 20s.  Northwest wind could occasionally gust to 30 mph.

.Friday Night...  Partly cloudy.  Low 3 to 8.

.Saturday...  Partly sunny.  High 20 to 25.

.Saturday Night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.

.Sunday...  Partly sunny.  High 22 to 27.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow:

High:  25
Low:    6

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:10 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow:   5:36 PM CST

Tim