Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20/11: Wednesday's Weather Report

Issued at 4:30 PM CDT, Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

A significant winter storm hit portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011.  Here are some snowfall totals from various National Weather Service Offices.

Ashwaubenon, WI:  10.1"
Appleton, WI:  9.4"
Bellevue, WI:  9.4"
Menasha, WI:  9.0"
La Crosse, WI:  8.3"
Wautoma, WI:  7.2"
6 miles south of Caledonia, MN:  6.7"
Fond Du Lac, WI;  4.8"
Grand Meadow, MN:  4.2"
Wisconsin Dells:  4.0"
Preston, MN:  3.8"

Here are some local snowfall reports from Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning, April 19th-20th, 2011.  Source:  NWS Duluth, MN.

Trade Lake, WI (Burnett county)  2.0"
4 miles northeast of Askov, MN (Pine county)  1.1"
5 miles south of Herbster, WI (Bayfield county)  1.0"

Note:  The same storm that produced the heavy snow in parts of the Upper Midwest on Tuesday also caused another massive outbreak of severe thunderstorms in portions of the Ohio Valley, Mid-Mississippi Valley, and Southern Plains.  There were 906 severe weather reports including 34 tornadoes on Tuesday per Storm Prediction Center.

Weather Tidbits:

*So far there have been 272 tornadoes this month which makes April 2011 the most active on record in terms of the number of tornadoes.  The previous record was 267 which occurred in 1974.  Source:  Dr. Greg Forbes (TWC)

April 2011 (thru the 20th) climate stats for Duluth, MN:

Number of days with a high temperature of at least 50 degrees:  5
Number of days with a high temperature of at least 60 degrees:  1

15/20 days has had at least a trace of precipitation
10/20 days has had at least a trace of snow

April 2010 climate stats for Duluth, MN:

Number of days with a high temperature of at least 50 degrees:  16
Number of days with a high temperature of at least 60 degrees:    9
Number of days with a high temperature of at least 70 degrees:    2

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Today's Weather:

An upper level disturbance moving across our area combined with cold temperatures aloft (around -32 degree C H5 temps) and steep mid level lapse rates around 7.0 c/km caused scattered Afternoon instability rain and snow showers across our area.  Highs Today were in the middle 30s to middle 40s with partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies along with variable or west winds under 15 mph.

Today's Upper Level Analysis:

A west-northwest 500mb flow covered the Upper Midwest Today in wake of Tuesday's storm system which was moving into Eastern Canada late Today per water vapor satellite imagery.

Tonight:

Scattered light rain and or snow showers will end This Evening, otherwise expect partly to mostly cloudy skies as high pressure builds into the Upper Midwest.  Lows Tonight will mainly be in the 20s with north or west winds under 1 5mph.

Thursday and Thursday Night:

High pressure will move off to our south/east during this period as low pressure moves into the Rockies/Western High Plains.  Partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies are forecast on Thursday with highs in the 40s and 50s.  Clouds will increase Thursday Night with the possibility for some light rain later in the night.  Lows Tomorrow Night will be in the 30s.  Winds will be out of the south or west on Thursday with east winds Thursday Night, wind speeds will remain below 20 mph through this period.

Extended Forecast:

Low pressure will track south/southeast of our area Friday and Friday Night.  850mb temperatures will be cold enough (-1/-4 degrees C) to support snow for parts of our area Friday into early Saturday, but surface temperatures are expected to be warm enough to keep the majority of the precipitation as rain, the exception to this might be in Northern-Northeastern Minnesota will the rain could mix with or change to snow Friday Night with a dusting to a few inches of accumulation not out of the question.  Highs on Friday will be in the 30s to lower 40s with lows Friday Night in the 20s and 30s.  Dry weather should return to the area this weekend with highs on Saturday in the 40s and 50s with lows Saturday Night in the 30s.

Quite a bit of model uncertainty showing up for the early to mid part of next week.  Today's GFS, HPC, and GEM-GLOBAL models show a rather potent storm lifting into the Upper Midwest with rain and perhaps a few thunderstorms for next Monday-Tuesday.  The last two runs per EURO model show a weaker and more progressive system with any precipitation confined to Monday.

5 Day Forecast for Duluth/Superior

.Tonight...  Variable cloudiness.  Spotty light showers early.  Low 25 to 30.  Wind west to northwest at 5 to 15 mph.

.Thursday...  Partly cloudy.  High 48 to 53.  Wind south at 10 to 15 mph.

.Thursday Night...  Becoming mostly cloudy.  Low 31 to 34.  Wind becoming east at 10 to 15 mph.

.Friday...  Occasional rain.  Mostly cloudy.  High 36 to 39.

.Friday Night...  Occasional rain, mainly during the Evening.  Mostly cloudy.  Low 31 to 34.

.Saturday...  Partly sunny.  High 46 to 51.

.Saturday Night...  Partly cloudy.  Low 30 to 35.

.Easter Sunday...  Partly sunny.  High 50 to 55.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  51
Low:  31

Sunrise Tomorrow:  6:11 AM CDT
Sunset Tomorrow:   8:05 PM CDT

Tim