Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3/16/11: Wednesday's Weather Report

Issued at 8:24 PM CDT, Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

March 1st-15th, 2011 climate summary for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

Average monthly temperature:  20.8 degrees
Departure from average:  -1.3 degrees

Precipitation total:  0.33"
Departure from average:  -0.40"

Snowfall total:  4.0"
Departure from average:  -2.9"

9 days with at least a trace of precipitation
8 days with at least a trace of snow

6 days with a high temperature of at least 32 degrees
1 day with a high temperature of at least 40 degrees

March 1st-15th, 2011 climate summary for International Falls, Minnesota.

Average monthly temperature:  18.3 degrees
Departure from average:  -1.6 degrees

Precipitation total:  0.12"
Departure from average:  -0.31"

Snowfall total:  2.5"
Departure from average:  -2.0"

High temperature report for Tuesday, March 15th, 2011.  Source:  NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

International Falls, MN:  51 degrees
Hibbing, MN:  46 degrees
Ashland, WI:  49 degrees
Orr, MN:  50 degrees
Longville, MN:  50 degrees
Pine River, MN:  48 degrees
Superior, WI:  45 degrees
Phillips, WI:  48 degrees
Cass Lake, MN:  53 degrees
Littlefork, MN:  51 degrees
Kabetogama, MN:  51 degrees
9 miles north of Bayfield, WI:  47 degrees

Weather History:

*On this date in 2003:  A record high temperature of 60 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.
*One year ago on yesterday's date (3/15) the high temperature was 60 degrees at Duluth, Minnesota which was the new record high temperature for the 15th of March.

Note:  One year ago Today the high temperature was 54 degrees and the low temperature was a balmy 40 degrees at Duluth, Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Our area sits between a cold front to our north and a warm front in Southwest Minnesota while a cold front pushes east through the Northern Plains.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies covered our area Today with above normal temperatures thanks to southerly winds.  Highs Today were in the 40s and lower 50s, but an onshore wind developed during the Afternoon which resulted in temperatures falling to the 30s from Superior and Downtown Duluth and along the North Shore.  There's been plenty of radar echoes passing through Northern Minnesota Today, but with temperature/dewpoint spreads between 10-20 degrees, little if any precipitation has been reaching the ground. 

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

Westerly 500mb flow was in place across the Upper Midwest per water vapor satellite imagery, meanwhile a strong upper level jet >120 knots stretched from Central California to Eastern Montana which was out ahead of an upper level trough which covered the Pacific Northwest/Western Canada/and the Northeast Pacific.  Note:  Very warm temperatures were found across the Plains Today with 60+ degree temperatures as far north as Des Moines, Iowa and Scottsbluff, Nebraska at 8 PM CDT.  Temperatures at 4 PM CDT Today ranged from 72 at Yankton, South Dakota.  73 at Chamberlain, South Dakota.  71 at Mitchell, South Dakota and 64 at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Tonight:

Cold front to our north will settle south, reaching the borderland area by dawn while the cold front currently in the Central Dakotas heads east through the night.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be found in our area Tonight with the possibility for a few light rain showers or sprinkles mainly in Northern Minnesota.  Lows will mainly be in the 30s with south, west, or east winds under 20 mph.

Thursday and Thursday Night:

Some light rain or showers are possible in parts of our area on Thursday, but rainfall totals are forecast to remain light~generally in the trace to couple hundreths of an inch range.  This precipitation would form due to a cold front which will be moving through the Upper Midwest, by Thursday Night enough cold air may be present for a few flurries across Northern Minnesota.  Highs Tomorrow will be in the 30s and 40s, but a few locales in Northwest Wisconsin could get close to 50.  Lows Tomorrow Night will be in the 20s to around 30 degrees.  Winds will be out of the west or north under 20 mph during this period.

Extended Forecast:

Mainly dry conditions are expected for Friday and Saturday (March 18th-19th) High temperatures will be in the 30s to around 40 degrees for Friday and 30s and 40s for Saturday.  Low temperatures Friday Night will be in the teens and 20s with mainly 20s for Saturday Night.  Computer models are showing less and less agreement after Saturday, and this persists through the middle of next week.  Upper level trough will be in place across the Western U.S. with a southwest flow over the Plains, but the eventual track of individual storm systems embedded within the H5 trough are handled differently by the models Today.  The trend during the past 24 hours is for colder air to seep south from Central Canada after next Monday, so this raises the prospects for snow or ice if a storm system can track far enough north into the cold air. 

The GFS and EURO models over the last day or so have been hinting at a winter storm for portions of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest sometime between Tuesday-Wednesday, March 22nd-23rd.  There could also be a system for Sunday-Monday, March 20th-21st but that one is looking less and less threatening with each new model run.  Note:  It's quite possible that everything sets up farther south with virtually no impact on Northern Minnesota or Northwest Wisconsin's weather for next week, this would occur if the flow in Canada amplifies enough from the N/NW which would shove the storm track further south.  This has been the case more times than not since December for our local area, and one of the reasons why we haven't been affected by a Rockies or Central Plains storm in quite some time.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 30 to 35.  Wind southeast at 5 to 15 mph becoming south to southwest Overnight.

.Thursday...  Showers possible at times, otherwise considerable cloudiness.  High 40 to 45.  Wind west at 10 to 15 mph.

.Thursday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Low 23 to 28.  Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Friday...  Partly sunny.  High 32 to 37.

.Friday Night...  Partly cloudy.  Low 20 to 25.

.Saturday...  Partly cloudy.  High 40 to 45.

.Saturday Night...  Becoming mostly cloudy.  Low 27 to 32.

.Sunday...  Mostly cloudy.  High 35 to 40.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  34
Low:  17

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:18 AM CDT
Sunset Tomorrow:   7:17 PM CDT

Tim