Thursday, March 3, 2011

3/3/11: Thursday's Weather Report

Issued at 7:41 PM CST, Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

...STORM THREAT FOR THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK...

Meteorological winter (Dec-Feb. 2010-11) snowfall and precipitation totals from select cities in the Upper Midwest.

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
66.7"/4.91"

St. Cloud, MN
47.6"/4.41"

International Falls, MN
46.5"/3.15"

Duluth, MN
39.8"/3.50"

Grand Forks, ND
29.0"/1.61"

Fargo, ND
48.4"/2.73"

Weather Tidbits:
Source:  NWS Chanhassen, Minnesota.

*2nd snowiest winter in the Twin Cities.  66.7" of snow fell during the period from December 1st 2010 thru February 28th, 2011.  The snowiest winter on record occurred in 1966-67 when 71.7" of snow fell.  This was also the 4th wettest meteorological winter on record with 4.91" of precipitation in the Twin Cities.

*4th snowiest and 4th wettest winter on record at St. Cloud, Minnesota.  47.6" of snow with 4.41" of precipitation fell from December-February in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Weather History:

On this date last year, the high temperature was 42 degrees at Duluth, Minnesota.
On this date in 2000, a record high temperature of 55 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Temperatures warmed up considerably Today, but with the warmer temperatures came extensive cloudiness along with areas of flurries, light snow, fog, and light freezing drizzle.  Most of the area only picked up a few tenths of an inch of new snow Today with a few locales picking up an inch or so.  Highs Today were in the 20s to around 30 degrees which is still slightly below average for early March.  Winds Today were out of the east or southeast under 15 mph.  Surface map early This Evening featured low pressure of 1014mb centered in Eastern Nebraska with a trough extending northwest through the Eastern Dakotas.  High pressure of 1040mb covered Southern Quebec Province with a 1026mb high centered in Western Saskatchewan Province.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

Westerly 500mb flow covered the Upper Midwest per RUC model analysis with a couple of disurbances tracking east through the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, the strongest disturbance was heading east from South Dakota early This Evening per water vapor satellite imagery.  Seeing quite a large difference in 850mb temperatures This Evening ranging from -10 degrees C at International Falls, Minnesota to +4 degrees C at Sioux Falls, South Dakota to +10 degrees C at Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Tonight:

Mostly cloudy skies will be found in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota with partly to mostly cloudy skies for Northern Minnesota.  Areas of flurries, light freezing drizzle, and fog will persist Tonight mainly in Northwest Wisconsin and from Northeast through Eastern Minnesota.  Lows Tonight will be in the teens to lower 20s, but some areas in Northern Minnesota could drop into the single digits.  Winds will be out of the east or north under 15 mph.

Friday and Friday Night:

Partly to mostly cloudy skies will be found in our area during this period with some light snow or flurries possible on Friday in Northwest Wisconsin with accumulations under an inch.  Flurries could also occur from time to time over the rest of our area.  Highs Tomorrow will be in the 20s and lower 30s with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits and teens.  Winds will be out of the north under 20 mph.

Extended Forecast:

High pressure will slide east while remaining to our north this weekend through early next week.  A disturbance or two will track east-southeast out of the Northern Plains with some light snow or flurries possible for Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, especially from Sunday into Monday.  High temperatures for Saturday and Sunday will be in the teens and 20s (below average for this time of year) lows Saturday Night and Sunday Night will be in the single digits below to lower teens above zero.

Computer models continue to indicate a possible storm affecting the Upper Midwest for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 8th-9th.  There are some differences on the track, timing, and intensity of this system which is to be expected with a storm that is still 5-6 days down the road.  The trend Today is for the system to move more slowly as it heads out of the Plains so the main impacts for our local area may hold off until Tuesday Night into Wednesday.

Majority of the models continue to show the surface low lifting northeast out of Western Kansas or Western Oklahoma on Tuesday with the low heading toward Eastcentral Wisconsin on Wednesday.  Based on this track, it would appear that almost all of the precipitation would fall as snow for Northern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, but there might be some mixed precipitation south of a Shell Lake to Phillips, Wisconsin line.  The heaviest axis of snow based on the current track would likely setup from Southwest Minnesota into Eastcentral Minnesota through Northern Wisconsin.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Mostly cloudy.  Patchy fog, light freezing drizzle, and flurries.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind east to southeast at 5 to 15 mph becoming north.

.Friday...  Considerable cloudiness.  Flurries possible at times.  High 25 to 30.  Wind north at 5 to 15 mph.

.Friday Night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.  Wind north at 5 to 15 mph.

.Saturday...  Partly sunny.  High 20 to 25.

.Saturday Night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low zero to 5 above.

.Sunday...  Partly sunny.  High 20 to 25.

.Sunday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 10 to 15.

.Monday...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  High 22 to 27.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  30
Low:  12

Sunrise Tomorrow:  6:43 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow:   5:58 PM CST

Tim