Saturday, March 5, 2011

3/5/11: Saturday's Weather Report

Issued at 3:53 PM CST, Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Weather Headlines:

*Minor snow event Sunday, possibly lingering into Monday for some areas
*North Shore of Lake Superior might get some heavier snowfall totals Sunday-Monday
*Southward shift with the midweek storm continues Today

Weather History:

On this date last year, the high temperature was 44 degrees at Duluth, Minnesota.
On this date in 2003, a record low temperature of -18 degrees occurred at Duluth, Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

Mostly cloudy skies were found in Northern Minnesota Today with more sunshine the farther south and east you went.  Lake effect clouds along with a few snow showers/flurries did develop earlier in the day along the South Shore of Lake Superior, but accumulations were on the light side.  Below normal high temperatures continued Today with readings generally in the upper teens to middle 20s with winds near Lake Superior out of the east under 15 mph with north or northwest winds farther inland under 15 mph.  Surface map late This Afternoon featured a ridge of high pressure averaging 1036mb covering most of Central and Western Canada with high pressure of 1032mb centered in Eastern South Dakota.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

West-northwest 500mb flow was in place over the Upper Midwest Today per RUC model analysis.  An upper level trough was pushing east through the Great Lakes Today with an upper level jet >120 knots extending from Central Illinois to Eastern Ontario Province per RUC model analysis.  Abundant gulf moisture streaming NE out of the Southern U.S. is leading to plenty of rain from the Deep South to portions of the Northeast U.S. Today with severe weather including at least 4 tornadoes Today in Louisiana with reports of at least 1 death and 15 injuries per Storm Prediction Center.


High pressure will be centered to our north with the high in South Dakota heading east.  Partly-mostly cloudy skies will be found in our area Tonight with the potential for a few lake effect flurries or snow showers near Lake Superior, any snow accumulation would be under an inch.  Lows Tonight will be in the single digits below to lower teens above zero with winds becoming east under 15 mph.

Sunday and Sunday Night:

High pressure will remain to our north while a trough moves east out of the Dakotas and into our area.  Moisture will be limited with this disturbance with PWS generally under 1/4", but there will be some decent lift (although not lasting more then a few hours) associated with the trough.  Light snow should develop Sunday Morning from International Falls to Brainerd and off to the west, with snow spreading east Sunday Afternoon, it should reach the Arrowhead, Twin Ports, and I35 corridor after 1PM Sunday.  Snow will then reach Northwestern Wisconsin Sunday Evening.  The snow should decrease to flurries from west to east by late Sunday Night/early Monday Morning.  Snowfall accumulations of 1-2" are expected for our local area, but higher amounts of 3" to perhaps 4" cannot be ruled out, especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior where some lake enhanced snow should occur with 850mb temps around -13 degrees C along with an easterly wind, the last few runs per NAM are cranking out 6-12" of snow between Sunday-Monday from Silver Bay to Grand Marais, but these projected totals seem a tad bit high.  Highs Tomorrow will be mainly in the 20s with lows Tomorrow Night in the single digits and teens.  East winds on Sunday will shift to the north or east Sunday Night.  Wind speeds during this period will range from 10-20 mph.

Extended Forecast:

Flurries or snow showers could linger across our area for Monday and Tuesday as a trough/cold front remain over the Upper Midwest with high pressure to our north.  A strong area of low pressure is then forecast to track into the Southern Plains on Tuesday before lifting northeast on Wednesday.  Majority of the computer models have the low moving from Northern Oklahoma to Southeastern Lake Michigan, then to Northern Lake Huron...On this track, the heaviest snowfall would be well to our south/southeast, but some light snow or flurries are possible in Northwest Wisconsin and Eastcentral Minnesota thanks to a trough which looks to extend northwest of the low center.  The EURO (12z run) and DGEX (06z run) models have the low on a more northerly track from Southcentral Iowa through Eastern Wisconsin.  On this track the heavier band of snow would set-up from Southern-Eastern Minnesota into Northcentral Wisconsin with some light snow occurring as far north as the Iron Range. 

Note:  This storm is still out over the Pacific Ocean and will not move onshore until Monday so adjustments to the storm track may occur once the system moves closer to shore and the computer models sample it a little better.

High temperatures for Monday and Tuesday will be in the 20s to around 30 degrees with lows Monday Night and Tuesday Night generally in the teens, but some single digits are possible in Northern Minnesota.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Mostly clear with some increase in clouds Overnight.  Low zero to 5 above.  Wind east around 12 mph.

.Sunday...  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow developing during the Afternoon.  High 20 to 25.  Wind east to southeast at 10 to 15 mph.

.Sunday Night...  Light snow mainly during the Evening.  Flurries possible Overnight.  Total snowfall accumulation of 1-2" possible.  Mostly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.  Wind east at 5 to 15 mph becoming north.

.Monday...  Partly sunny.  Flurries possible.  High 22 to 27.

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

.Tuesday...  Partly sunny.  High 25 to 30.

.Tuesday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Flurries possible.  Low 15 to 20.

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

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  30
Low:  12

Sunrise Tomorrow:  6:39 AM CST
Sunset Tomorrow:   6:01 PM CST