Sunday, March 3, 2013

Latest details on the winter storm that may hit parts of the Northland Monday-Tuesday. Updated - 5 PM.

/Issued 4:40 PM CST, Sunday, March 3rd, 2013/

*Numerous winter weather headlines in effect from Montana through North Dakota, parts of South Dakota, east to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.  Yes, this is a widespread snow event.

*Low confidence forecast for Monday and Tuesday.
*Sharp cutoff in the snow, where does that setup?
*18z model run pulling back on the eastward progression of the snow.

-Storm timeline for DULUTH:

*Dry Tonight and Monday Morning

*Possible light snow Monday Afternoon, accumulations less than 1".

*Steadier snow possible Monday Night-Tuesday, this is when the bulk of the snow would fall.

*Gusty ENE winds Monday and Monday Night, may lead to some blowing and drifting snow.

*3-6" of total snow accumulation in the Twin Ports by Tuesday PM.  Locally heavier amounts possible due to lake enhancement.

High temperature report for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

February 24-March 2, 2013

2/24:  37F/10 degrees above normal
2/25:  35F/8 degrees above normal
2/26:  35F/7 degrees above normal
2/27:  33F/5 degrees above normal
2/28:  28F/Normal
3/1:  21F/8 degrees below normal
3/2:  29F/Normal

Low temperature report for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

February 24-March 2, 2013

2/24:  12F/3 degrees above normal
2/25:  15F/5 degrees above normal
2/26:  5F/5 degrees below normal
2/27:  20F/9 degrees above normal
2/28:  21F/10 degrees above normal
3/1:  4F/7 degrees below normal
3/2:  -9F/21 degrees below normal

Total precipitation for 2/24-3/2:  Trace.
Normal:  0.28"
Departure:  -0.28"

-Temperature departure map for last week.  Right around average in Duluth.

-Precipitation departure map for last week.  A very dry week in Minnesota, something we haven't seen much of lately.

Here's the latest watch and warning information from the Duluth National Weather Service

-Updated at 4 PM CST

*Winter Storm Warning 3 AM Tonight until 4 PM CST Tuesday for Cass...Crow Wing...and Aitkin Counties in Eastcentral Minnesota.

*Winter Storm Warning 9 AM Monday until 6 PM CST Tuesday for Pine County Minnesota and Burnett County Wisconsin.

*Winter Storm Watch late Tonight through Tuesday Afternoon for Itasca County in Northern Minnesota.

*Winter Storm Watch Monday Afternoon through Tuesday Afternoon for Carlton...Southern St. Louis...and Southern Lake Counties in Minnesota and for Douglas...Bayfield...Ashland...Washburn...and Sawyer Counties in Wisconsin.

Today's Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Not a bad early March day in the Northland.  Skies varied from sunny to mostly cloudy with highs in the middle 20s to lower 30s.  Winds were out of the south or east at 5 to 15 mph.

Today's Upper Level Analysis

A powerful upper level trough/low is digging slowly south/southeast out of Southern Alberta into the Northern Rockies late This Afternoon per water vapor satellite imagery with 12 hour height falls of 90-150 meters per RAP model analysis.  A northwest flow was in place over the Upper Midwest Today out ahead of this system to our west.  850mb temperatures as of 4 PM ranged from +2 to -4C in Western and Southern Minnesota to -6 to -10C in Northern, Central and Eastern Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast - Confidence:  High for Tonight.  Medium-Low for Monday/Monday Night.

Tonight (March 3rd)

Low pressure of 1000mb over Southeast Montana early This Evening will move slowly east-southeast during the night while high pressure remains to our north/east.  Light snow and flurries are possible by late Tonight in Western parts of our area, mainly affecting the Brainerd Lakes region.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast with lows in the single digits below to teens above zero.  Winds will be out of the east or southeast at 5 to 15 mph with higher gusts near Lake Superior.

Monday (March 4th)

Low pressure will remain over the Northern Plains with strong high pressure off to our northwest in Manitoba.  Western and Southern parts of our area should see some snow on Monday, this would include the Brainerd Lakes, Hinckley, Pine City areas in Minnesota and also affecting the Danbury, Siren areas in Northwest Wisconsin.  The Iron Range, Borderland, Arrowhead and North Shore should remain generally dry Tomorrow, but a little bit of light snow and flurries can't be ruled out at times.  Highs Tomorrow will be in the 20s to low 30s with east winds at 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts near Lake Superior.

Monday Night

Snow for all areas except for the Arrowhead and Eastern parts of Northwest Wisconsin.  The cutoff between snow and no snow should be very tight and the computer models continue to waffle around as to where this cutoff will setup.

Note:  At this time I think this cutoff will setup from Hibbing to Two Harbors to Ashland to Hayward.  If you're along and west-southwest of this line you should get some snow.  But if you live north/east of this line I don't think you'll receive much snow out of this storm.

-Here's the 15z SREF model snowfall forecast for Monday and Tuesday.  Blue colors indicate anywhere from 4-7" of snow.  (Legend is on the left hand side)  I'm still a little worried about just how far northeast the snow gets with this system.

Extended Forecast - Confidence:  Low on Tuesday.  High for Wednesday/Thursday.

Tuesday through Thursday (March 5th-7th)

An inverted trough type feature will remain over the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, this feature should keep accumulating snow going most of the day, again as I mentioned above there will be a very sharp gradient between snow and no snow and this will once again be the case on Tuesday with locations west and south of Highway 2 likely getting the bulk of the snow.

The entire area dries out Tuesday Night into Wednesday Night.  Might see another system approach from the west on Thursday which could bring a bit more snow to parts of the Northland.

High temperatures on Tuesday will mainly be in the 20s.  Warming up a bit Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the 20s and 30s.  Lows in the single digits below to teens above zero Tuesday Night and in the single digits and teens for Wednesday Night.

*Total snowfall accumulation forecast by Tuesday Afternoon*

4-8" for Cass Lake, Walker, Leader, Brainerd, Aitkin, Pine City, Siren and Grantsburg.

3-6" for Grand Rapids, Deer River, Bigfork, Hill City, McGregor, Floodwood, Duluth, Two Harbors, Superior, Solon Springs, Port Wing, Bayfield, Minong, Shell Lake and Spooner.  Locally higher amounts are possible around the head of Lake Superior as east-northeast winds could cause some lake enhanced snowfall Monday Night and Tuesday Morning from Two Harbors and Duluth, east to Superior and Bayfield.

1-3" for Ashland, Butternut, Hayward, Silver Bay, Isabella, Hibbing, Ely, and International Falls.

Note:  I can't stress this enough, but stay tuned to later updates as these snowfall totals could increase or decrease as additional model runs come in Tonight and Monday Morning.

Long Range Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

(March 8th-13th)

Still looks like will be dealing with a split flow next weekend into early the following week.  A storm over the Southwest U.S. next week could move into the Central Plains and the Great Lakes between the 11th-13th which could bring some snow or mixed precipitation to parts of our area if the low moves far enough to the north.  Near normal temperatures are forecast during this period.


*WINTER STORM WATCH Monday Afternoon through Tuesday Afternoon*

.Tonight...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.  Wind east at 10 to 20 mph.

.Monday...  Breezy.  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow or flurries possible at times.  Daytime snow accumulations less than 1".  High 25 to 30.  Wind east at 15 to 25 mph.

.Monday Night...  Breezy.  Occasional snow possible.  Low 17 to 22.  Wind east to northeast at 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts possible.

.Tuesday...  Some snow possible.  High 22 to 27.  Total snowfall accumulations from Monday Night into Tuesday of 3-6+" possible.

.Tuesday Night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 5 to 10.

.Wednesday...  Partly cloudy.  High 25 to 30.

.Wednesday Night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 10 to 15.

.Thursday...  Mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  30
Low:  13

Sunrise Monday:  6:42 AM CST
Sunset Monday:   5:59 PM CST