Friday, March 18, 2011

3/18/11: Friday's Weather Report

Issued at 8:00 PM CDT, Friday, March 18th, 2011

High temperature report for Thursday, March 17th, 2011.  Source:  NWS Duluth, Minnesota.

International Falls, MN:  50 degrees
Brainerd, MN:  51 degrees
Ashland, WI:  55 degrees
Hayward, WI:  55 degrees
Silver Bay, MN:  50 degrees
Orr, MN:  52 degrees
Bigfork, MN:  52 degrees
Grand Rapids, MN:  52 degrees
Aitkin, MN:  52 degrees
Hinckley, MN:  52 degrees
Phillips, WI:  57 degrees
Cass Lake, MN:  50 degrees
Kabetogama, MN:  51 degrees
Butternut, WI:  53 degrees
Gurney, WI:  54 degrees
Upson, WI:  54 degrees
Danbury, WI:  53 degrees
Solon Springs, WI:  52 degrees
Winter, WI:  54 degrees

Duluth, MN:  46 degrees
Sky Harbor, MN:  50 degrees
Superior, WI:  52 degrees

Weather Headlines:

-Three storms to keep an eye on thru next weekend.
-First system to arrive Saturday Night and will linger through early Monday.
-Strong E/NE winds becoming more likely for the Twin Ports around the middle of next week.
-Winter storm potential next Tuesday/Wednesday?

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

A cooler day compared to Thursday, but temperatures Today were still around to a few degrees above average for mid-March.  Highs were generally in the 30s, but a few lower 40s were found in Northwest Wisconsin while some Northern Minnesota cities stayed in the upper 20s.  Winds Today were out of the north or west under 20 mph.  Skies across our area started out rather cloudy, but skies turned partly to mostly sunny during the Afternoon hours.  Surface map early This Evening featured a stationary front extending from far Northern North Dakota through far Northern Minnesota with a cold front extending from Northeast Minnesota to Northern Lower Michigan.  High pressure of 1032mb was centered in Northern Ontario Province with a 1029mb high centered in Western Minnesota.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

500mb flow has amplified just a bit compared to 24 hours ago with a northwest upper level flow in place over the Upper Midwest along with a brief cool air intrusion as seen by the 850mb temperatures which ranged from -8 degrees C at Duluth, Minnesota to -14 degrees C across parts of Central Ontario Province, warmer air was lurking to our west-southwest with 850mb temperatures of +4 at Bismarck, North Dakota to +10 degrees C at Scottsbluff, Nebraska per RUC model analysis.  The big attention grabber was the large storm system currently affecting the far Western U.S.  A large upper level trough was in place over this area and across the Northeast Pacific late Today with a potent upper level low digging slowly south-east offshore from Washington and Oregon.  Note:  This storm system produced one tornado Today (EF1 rating) at Santa Rosa, California per SPC storm report page.

Tonight:

Clear-partly cloudy skies will occur as high pressure heads through Minnesota.  Lows Tonight will be in the teens and 20s, but a few locations could get into the single digits, especially in Northern Minnesota.  Winds Tonight will be variable under 12 mph.

Saturday:

Partly to mostly cloudy skies can be expected with high temperatures in the 30s and 40s.  High pressure moving off to our east will cause winds to shift to the south-east at 10-20 mph.

Saturday Night:

The threat for rain showers will increase as a 30-50 knot southerly 850mb jet develops which will result in increasing amounts of moisture for the Upper Midwest as low pressure moves into the Western High Plains region.  Lows will mainly be in the 30s, but some 20s are possible in Northern Minnesota...This could result in some sleet or snow mixing in with the rain, although no accumulations of snow or ice are expected at this time.  Winds Tomorrow Night will be out of the south or east at 10-20 mph.

Extended Forecast:

Low pressure will move into the Upper Midwest on Sunday before deepening a bit as it heads off to our east Sunday Night/Monday Morning.  Occasional rain will be found in Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin for Sunday and Sunday Night with totals generally one quarter inch or less.  850mb temperatures clinging close to the zero degree C mark in Northeastern Minnesota could lead to some wet snow or sleet mixing in with the rain Sunday and Sunday Night in far Northeast Minnesota, and there is a possibility for a 1-2" snowfall by Monday Morning, especially in the Arrowhead of Minnesota...Away from Lake Superior.  Highs on Sunday will be in the 30s and 40s with lows Sunday Night in the 30s, but a few 20s are possible in Northern Minnesota.  A risk for Morning rain or snow showers on Monday will be replaced with dry conditions Monday Afternoon/Night as the first system departs the area.  Highs on Monday will be in the 30s and 40s with lows Monday Night mainly in the 20s.

The second storm to keep an eye on is during the Tuesday-Wednesday, March 22nd-23rd time period.  The set-up will include a massive area of high pressure >1040mb centered to our north while low pressure over the Western High Plains moves off to the east, passing south of Minnesota.  Arctic air and dry air will push south off that high, while moisture heads north from the Plains.  The overall pattern looks quite similar to the winter storm from February 20th-21st with a very sharp cut-off on who gets snow/rain and who gets nothing at all. 

The models are and will continue to struggle with how far north the precipitation will get in coming days.  Right now, the GFS is the farthest north and really cranks out the snowfall for the Twin Ports and surrounding areas...Today's 12z and 18z model runs has 6-12+" of snow accumulating in the aforementioned areas for next Tuesday and Wednesday.  The 12z GEM-GLOBAL run shifted things south compared to it's 00z run and actually keeps most of our area dry with the majority of precipitation falling west-south of our local area.  Nothing is certain as of yet, and probably won't be until early next week.

There is a third storm in the pipeline for next weekend March 26th-28th.  Present indications would indicate a snow event for our area, but this storm is a long ways down the road and many changes will likely take place during the next several days.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Clear to partly cloudy.  Low 17 to 22.  Wind variable under 12 mph.

.Saturday...  Partly to mostly sunny.  High 40 to 45.  Wind becoming east to southeast at 10 to 15 mph.

.Saturday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Occasional rain showers developing, especially late.  Low 30 to 35.  Wind east to southeast at 10 to 20 mph.

.Sunday...  Occasional light rain.  Mostly cloudy.  High 37 to 40.

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

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

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

.Tuesday...  Becoming mostly cloudy and turning windy.  High 30 to 35.  East to northeast winds could occasionally gust over 30 mph.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  35
Low:  18

Sunrise Tomorrow:  7:14 AM CDT
Sunset Tomorrow:   7:20 PM CDT

Tim