Saturday, February 19, 2011

2/19/11: Saturday's Weather Report

Issued at 4:35 PM CST, Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Low temperature report for Saturday, February 19th, 2011.  Source:  NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

International Falls, MN:  -19 degrees
Cass Lake, MN:  -15 degrees
Littlefork, MN:  -12 degrees
Babbitt, MN:  -13 degrees
Embarrass, MN:  -15 degrees
Kabetogama, MN:  -14 degrees
3 miles east of Orr, MN:  -13 degrees

Weather Headlines:

*MAJOR WINTER STORM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY MORNING FOR PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND UPPER MIDWEST

*Blizzard or near blizzard conditions are possible for some areas Sunday and Sunday Night

*Snow totals could exceed 1' for some parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Clouds increased and there's been some light snow and flurries at times in Northern Minnesota with dry conditions elsewhere.  Highs Today were in the teens with milder 20s and even a few 30 degree temperatures This Afternoon from Siren to Hayward to Park Falls, Wisconsin.  Winds Today were out of the north or east under 15 mph.  Surface map as of 4 PM featured a couple areas of low pressure averaging 1000mb over the Central Rockies with an arctic ridge of high pressure averaging 1036mb centered in Western and Central Canada.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

Deep upper level trough which was over our area on Friday has moved into Eastern Canada and the Northeast U.S. Today per water vapor satellite imagery with a westerly 500mb flow in it's wake over the Upper Midwest.  The next potent 500mb trough was pushing east through the Western U.S. Today with plenty of lightning strikes showing up over the Four Corners region This Afternoon.  A tremendous baroclinic zone was in place Today with temperatures ranging from the 80s and 90s in Mexico and Southern Texas to the single digits from the Northern Rockies through North Dakota to far Northwestern Minnesota.  Looking closer at the Plains and Upper Midwest, late Afternoon temperatures ranged from 5 at Hallock, Minnesota to 34 at Fairmont, Minnesota to 52 at Omaha, Nebraska to 70 at Garden City, Kansas.

Tonight:

Areas of light snow and flurries will continue in parts of Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, could see up to an inch of snow Tonight, mainly north of a line from Grand Rapids to Silver Bay.  Mostly cloudy skies with lows in the single digits and teens can be expected Tonight with winds out of the east or northeast at 5-15 mph. 

Sunday and Sunday Night:

Low pressure will deepen as it heads out of the Central Rockies, the low by Sunday Morning should be heading through Southern Nebraska or Northern Kansas with pressures of around 997mb, the low is then forecast to move into Southern Iowa Sunday Evening with pressures of around 992mb.  The pressure difference between this low and a ridge of arctic high pressure >1034mb to our north will cause an increase in northeasterly winds throughout our area.  Wind speeds of 10-20 mph will develop, but gusts of 20-35 mph will develop, especially near Lake Superior.

Snow associated with the Plains low will spread into Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin Sunday Morning with snow continuning in these areas through Sunday Night.  Some of the snow could become heavy at times Sunday Afternoon into Sunday Evening, especially south of a Brainerd to Willow River to Park Falls line.  Some snow will also occur farther north, including the South Shore, Twin Ports, Grand Rapids, and Walker/Cass Lake areas.  Flurries or light snow are possible from the Iron Range, north to the Ontario Border and to the Arrowhead of Minnesota Sunday and Sunday Evening.

Travel conditions will worsen on Sunday and will be quite difficult Sunday Night across Northwestern Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota due to falling snow and blowing/drifting snow.

High temperatures Tomorrow will range from the single digits and teens in Northern Minnesota to the 20s in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota.  Lows Tomorrow Night will range from the single digits below zero in Northern Minnesota to the teens in Northwest Wisconsin.

Extended Forecast:

Low pressure will exit to our south/east on Monday with arctic high pressure building into the Upper Midwest from Monday through Tuesday.  Some additional snow will likely fall on Monday in Eastcentral Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, but snow should taper off from northwest to southeast by the Afternoon hours.  Partly-mostly cloudy skies are forecast Monday through Tuesday with highs in the teens and 20s on Monday and mainly 20s for Tuesday.  Lows will be in the single digits below to around 10 above zero Monday Night with single digits and teens on tap for Tuesday Night.

Forecasted snowfall totals from Sunday through Monday Morning:

*6-10" for Pine county Minnesota and for Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, and Price counties Wisconsin.

*3-6" for Southern Cass, Crow Wing, Southern Aitkin, Carlton, Southern St. Louis counties Minnesota and for Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, and Iron counties Wisconsin.

Note:  There continues to be some waffling with the models in regards to how far north the surface low will track which will influence where the heavier snow sets up.  The 00z and 12z GEM-GLOBAL model from last night and Today, and 12z UK model from Today are farthest north with the track of the low and this is important because it would bring at least some system snow north to the Twin Ports, that combined with favorable E/NE winds coming off Lake Superior from Sunday through Monday Morning combined with cooling temperatures aloft would increase the risk for heavier lake enhanced/lake effect snow for the South Shore and Twin Ports areas.  This combined with wind gusts possibly exceeding 30 mph would result in some tracherous travel conditions for the Southwestern/Southern Shores of Lake Superior.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*
Timing:  6 AM CST Sunday until 6 AM CST Monday.

.Tonight...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 10 to 15.  Wind east at 10 to 15 mph.

.Sunday...  Becoming windy.  Snow developing during the Morning with snow in the Afternoon.  High 20 to 25.  Wind east to northeast at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph during the Afternoon.

.Sunday Night...  Windy with snow along with areas of blowing and drifting snow.  Low 7 to 12.  Wind east to northeast at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph.

.Monday...  Occasional snow showers and flurries.  Total snowfall accumulations from Sunday through Monday of 2-4" with locally higher amounts possible.  Mostly cloudy.  High 15 to 20.

.Monday Night...  Partly cloudy.  Low zero to 5 above.

.Tuesday...  Partly cloudy.  High 20 to 25.

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

.Wednesday...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  High 25 to 30.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow:

High:  26
Low:    7

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:05 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow:   5:41 PM CST

Tim