Thursday, March 17, 2011

3/17/11: Thursday's Weather Report

Issued at 8:04 PM CDT, Thursday, March 17th, 2011

*30 day outlook for April 2011 issued by the Climate Prediction Center:

For Duluth, Minnesota:

33% chance for Below Normal Temperatures
40% chance for Above Normal Precipitation

*90 day outlook for April-June, 2011 issued by the Climate Prediction Center:

For Duluth, Minnesota:

40% chance for Below Normal Temperatures
Equal chances for Above Normal, Below Normal, or Normal Precipitation

High temperature report for Wednesday, March 16th, 2011.  Source:  NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

Brainerd, MN:  50 degrees
Hibbing, MN:  46 degrees
Ashland, WI:  53 degrees
Hayward, WI:  50 degrees
Longville, MN:  50 degrees
Hinckley, MN:  50 degrees
Superior, WI:  48 degrees
Phillips, WI:  52 degrees
Cook, MN:  46 degrees
2 miles south of Tower, MN:  47 degrees
Butternut, WI:  50 degrees
Upson, WI:  52 degrees
Danbury, WI:  51 degrees

Weather Tidbits:

*Record warmth Today at St. Louis, Missouri:  83 degrees.  And at Lubbock, Texas:  90 degrees.
*70+ degree temperatures as far north as Southern Lower Michigan Today.
*A round of thunderstorms hit parts of Northern-Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan This Afternoon.  Storms were moving E-NE at 60 mph!

Weather Headlines:

-Above Average Flood Risk this spring for most of the Northland per NOAA's updated outlook.
-Quite a strong cold front moving into Minnesota This Evening.
-A few Northern Minnesota locales could wake up to a light dusting of snow Tomorrow Morning.
-Saturday looks to be the nicer day of the weekend.
-Still lots of question marks for next week.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

A band of rain with amounts ranging from 0.10"-0.20" affected portions of Northeast Minnesota Today with lighter amounts <0.05" from the Brainerd Lakes to Twin Ports vicinity.  Note:  0.03" was the official rain total at the NWS Duluth Today.  Mostly cloudy skies covered the area through midday, then skies became mostly sunny late This Afternoon in Eastern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  High temperatures Today were on the mild side with 40s and 50s.  Winds were out of the west or southwest at 10-20 mph.  Surface map early This Evening features low pressure of 1002mb along the Ontario-Quebec Province line with a cold front attached to that low extending from Eastern Upper Michigan to Southern Wisconsin.  A secondary cold front was in Northwest Minnesota with quite a drop off in temperatures noted behind this boundary.  It was 19 degrees at Hallock and 21 at Roseau and 25 at Thief River Falls at 7 PM while it was still 45 at Ely and 43 at Duluth. 

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

A powerful jet stream >130 knots covered areas from the Central Rockies to the Upper Midwest per RUC model analysis.  Note:  Winds at 30,000 feet were blowing at 140 knots at Duluth, Minnesota (7pm)  A rather potent upper level low was passing by to our north This Evening with a west-southwest 500mb flow occurring in the Upper Midwest to the south of this system.


Cold front will continue to push south/east through our area with low temperatures in the teens and 20s.  Scattered flurries and snow showers will develop late Tonight in Northern Minnesota with a dusting to 1" of accumulation possible by dawn, especially in far Northern Minnesota into the Arrowhead.  Winds Tonight will shift to the west or northwest at 10-20 mph with a few higher gusts possible as a shot of cold air advection shifts south/east into our area during the night, 850mb temperatures will fall to between -2 and -6 degrees C late in the night.

Friday and Friday Night:

A cooler airmass, but still around average for this time of year will be found across our area during this period.  Partly to mostly sunny skies can be expected for Friday with high temperatures running about 10-20 degrees colder than Today which will result in highs generally in the 30s on Friday.  Lows Friday Night will be in the 20s.  Flurries or a few snow showers could linger into Friday Morning in Northern Minnesota, otherwise this period is shaping up to be a dry one.

Extended Forecast:

Southerly wind will kick in this weekend as high pressure slides off to our east while low pressure approaches from the Western High Plains.  Saturday looks nice at this point with high temperatures in the 40s for many areas, lows Saturday Night will be in the 20s and 30s.  Dry weather should continue Saturday and Saturday Night the way it looks now.  Chances for precipitation will increase Sunday into early Monday as that Western High Plains low heads this way.  Most of the precip should fall as rain, but sleet or wet snow could mix in especially near the Ontario border and also in the Arrowhead of Minnesota.  Precipitation amounts look fairly light at this time with totals in the 0.10-0.25" from Sunday into Monday Morning.  Highs on Sunday will be in the 30s and 40s with lows Sunday Night in the 30s.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22nd-23rd is a period to keep an eye on as there is still a potential for a significant snowfall for portions of the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  The trend with the models Today is for a farther south track to the low (something that has happen over and over again this winter) and that combined with a strong area of high pressure averaging 1035mb setting up shop in Ontario Province may result in little if any precipitation for our local area for Tuesday and Wednesday.  There is still plenty of time to monitor this potential storm, and the models will likely fluctuate on the track and intensity of this system in coming days.

Note:  Tuesday and Wednesday (March 22nd-23rd) look quite windy near Lake Superior due to the pressure difference between the high off to our north and low to our south, could have 30 plus mph E-NE winds in the Twin Ports during that time period.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Breezy.  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 23 to 28.  Wind west at 10 to 20 mph with a few higher gusts.

.Friday...  Partly cloudy.  High 32 to 37.  Wind northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Friday Night...  Partly cloudy.  Low 20 to 25.  Wind variable under 12 mph.

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

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

.Sunday...  Mostly cloudy.  Showers possible.  High 37 to 40.

.Sunday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Showers possible.  Low 33 to 35.

.Monday...  Mostly cloudy.  High 40 to 45.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  35
Low:  17

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:16 AM CDT
Sunset Tomorrow:   7:18 PM CDT