Sunday, February 20, 2011

2/20/11: Sunday's Weather Report

Issued at 5:51 PM CST, Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Low pressure of 998mb was centered in Southwestern Iowa as of 5 PM with a ridge of arctic high pressure of 1032mb centered to our northwest-north.  The pressure difference between the high to our north and low to our south has resulted in strong east-northeast winds in our area Today, wind speeds of 10-25 mph have been common, but much stronger winds are occurring near Lake Superior with wind gusts anywhere from 35 to 55 mph This Afternoon.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies covered locations from the Iron Range on north while overcast skies were found elsewhere.  Heavy snow associated with the Plains low has remained south of our local area Today due to the dry air feeding south from the arctic high to our north.  Snow has gradually made it's way into Southern parts of our area This Afternoon, generally south of a line from Hinckley to Hayward to Park Falls.  Note:  Snowfall accumulations so far Today in Southern Minnesota...8.0" at New Ulm.  7.0" in North Mankato.  6.0" at Ellendale.  And 3.0" at the Minneapolis International Airport.  High temperatures Today were in the teens and 20s.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

A powerful upper level jet >130 knots was clearly visibile on water vapor satellite imagery early This Afternoon.  The upper jet extended from the Southwest U.S. northeast through the Central Plains to the Southern Great Lakes.  An upper level low/500mb trough was churning slowly toward the east through the Northern Plains.

Tonight:

Low pressure will move slowly through Iowa and into Northcentral Illinois by dawn with an upper level low inching slowly east from the Northern Plains.  Light to moderate snow will occur Tonight generally along and south of a line from Leader to Hinckley to Hayward to Park Falls.  Light snow and flurries will occur for locations along and south of the Highway 2 corridor, or to the north of the previously mentioned locations.  There will also be a risk for lake effect snow showers along the South Shore of Lake Superior back through the Twin Ports, northeast to Two Harbors and Silver Bay Tonight, but dry air feeding south from the Ontario high should keep most of the lake effect snow on the light side.  Lows Tonight will be in the single digits to around 10 below zero in far Northern Minnesota with single digits and teens in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota.  Winds Tonight will be out of the north or east at 10-20 mph, but gusts from 30-55 mph will continue near Lake Superior.  Wind chill values late Tonight will fall to 20 to 30 below zero in far Northern Minnesota.  The gusty winds will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow Tonight in Southern parts of our local area.

Monday and Monday Night:

Surface and upper level low will continue to push slowly toward the E-SE with high pressure remaining to our north/west.  Light snow and flurries will linger on Monday in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota with dry conditions elsewhere.  All of our area should be dry Monday Night.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected this period with highs Tomorrow in the teens and 20s with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits and teens.  Winds will be out of the northeast or east at 10-20 mph with higher gusts near Lake Superior through Monday Afternoon.

Total snowfall accumulations for Tonight and Monday:

Northwest Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota can expect 1-3" of snow, but there will be heavier totals of 4-8" for southern portions of Pine, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, and Price counties.  Localized higher amounts of up to 4" are also possible along the South Shore of Lake Superior and Twin Ports areas due to lake effect snow.

Extended Forecast:

Tuesday through next weekend looks generally dry for our area with colder temperatures returning by the end of the week.  Might see some flurries or snow showers at times from mid to late week, but no big storms and no big accumulations are expected at this time.  Highs for Tuesday and Wednesday will be in the 20s and 30s with lows mainly in the teens.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY*
Timing:  Until 12 PM CST Monday.

.Tonight...  Very windy.  East to northeast wind at 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 55 mph.  Light snow with a few heavier snow showers possible.  Areas of blowing and drifting snow.  Low 10 to 15.

.Monday...  Windy.  Light snow and flurries.  Total snowfall accumulations of 1-3".  High 20 to 25.  Wind east to northeast at 15 to 30 mph with higher gusts during the Morning.

.Monday Night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.  Wind east to southeast at 10 to 15 mph.

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

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

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

.Wednesday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 12 to 17.

.Thursday...  Partly sunny.  High 20 to 25.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  26
Low:    7

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:03 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow:   5:42 PM CST

Tim