Friday, March 8, 2013

Latest on the snow/mixed precip event for late Tonight through Saturday Night - Updated 4 PM.

/Issued 3:36 PM CST, Friday, March 8th, 2013/

-Snowfall accumulation forecast for Saturday and Saturday Night per 15z SREF model.  Looks like a general 2-6" of snow for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin with the greatest amounts found across Northern Minnesota where some locations might get over 6" of snow.  Note:  This snow will be the wet, slushy kind so use caution while shoveling.

Weather Tidbits:

-Today marked the 1st time this month with a high temperature at or above 32F at Duluth, Minnesota.  Last March we had 4 days at or above freezing already in the the first 8 days of the month.

-It's been a chilly beginning to March 2013 at Duluth.  The average monthly temperature (1st-7th) 15.3F which is 5.9 degrees colder than normal. 


-Updated winter weather headline information.
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Koochiching County MN including the cities of International Falls, Littlefork and Northome from 4 AM CST Saturday until 12 AM CST Saturday Night.

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for St. Louis, Lake, Cook and Carlton County MN including the cities of Orr, Crane Lake, Ely, Hibbing, Floodwood, Duluth, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Isabella, Grand Marais, Wright, Cloquet and Moose Lake from 4 AM CST Saturday until 7 AM CDT Sunday.

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Itasca, Northern Cass and Northern Aitkin County MN including the cities of Bigfork, Togo, Deer River, Grand Rapids, Cass Lake, Walker and Hill City from 4 AM CST Saturday until Midnight CST Saturday Night.

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Southern Cass, Crow Wing and Southern Aitkin County MN including the cities of Pine River, Brainerd, Aitkin and McGregor from Midnight CST Tonight until Midnight CST Saturday Night.

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Pine County MN and for Douglas, Burnett and Washburn County WI including the cities of Hinckley, Pine City, Superior, Solon Springs, Danbury, Siren, Minong, Spooner and Shell Lake from 4 AM CST Saturday until 7 AM CDT Sunday.

*WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, Sawyer and Price County WI including the cities of Port Wing, Bayfield, Ashland, Butternut, Gile, Upson, Hurley, Hayward, Exeland, Winter, Park Falls and Phillips from 6 AM CST Saturday until Noon CST Saturday.


Today's Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Temperatures warmed to above normal levels in most of our area Today with highs in the 30s with even some lower 40s showing up from Ashland and Hayward to Park Falls.  Skies varied from mostly cloudy to partly sunny with winds out of the south at 5 to 15 mph.

Today's Upper Level Analysis

A large upper level trough covered the Western U.S. with height falls of around 60 meters.  Ahead of this trough was a southwest flow from the Plains to the Upper Midwest.  850mb temperatures as of 3 PM ranged from 0 to -6C across Northern Minnesota to +2 to +6C in Central and Southern Minnesota.

*Lots of winter weather headlines with this next storm system.  Ice Storm Warning for parts of Northeast South Dakota (dark purple area)  Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings for all but far Southern Minnesota and Southern Wisconsin.  Blizzard Warnings for parts of Northeast Colorado, Western Nebraska and Southeast Wyoming.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

Tonight (March 8th)

Low pressure will be over the Rockies with a cold front off to our west-north.  It'll be dry This Evening, then precipitation chances will increase from southwest to northeast from late This Evening through the Overnight hours.  Precipitation that does fall Tonight will remain in the form of snow, sleet or freezing rain.  Low temperatures will be in the 20s to lower 30s with south or east winds at 5 to 15 mph.

Saturday and Saturday Night (March 9th)

Low pressure will move out of the Central Rockies and into the Central Plains this period while a cold front settles slowly south/east through the Northland.  A juicy airmass will be found ahead of the cold front, upper trough and surface low on Saturday with PWATS of 0.50-0.75" which is rather high for this far north in March.

Snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain is forecast to occur on Saturday with mainly snow for Saturday Night.  Northwest Wisconsin has the greatest potential to see the mixed precip turn to rain on Saturday.  Northern Minnesota, including the Iron Range, North Shore and Arrowhead has the greatest chance at seeing the precipitation stay in the form of snow through the entire event.  The Brainerd Lakes, Aitkin, Pine City, Hinckley, Moose Lake and Twin Ports area will likely have a messy mixture of precipitation Tomorrow with mainly snow Tomorrow Night.

At this time it looks like the bulk of the heavier precipitation will occur Saturday and Saturday Evening.  Additional precipitation that falls late Saturday Night through Sunday Morning should be on the light side as the deeper moisture gets pushed farther south/east from our area.

Highs Tomorrow will mainly be in the 30s with lows Tomorrow Night in the 20s and 30s.  Winds will be out of the south, east or north at 10 to 20 mph.

-0.25" or greater Ice accumulation forecast for Tonight and Saturday.  Portions of Western, Central and Eastern Minnesota and far Western Wisconsin are in a Slight to Moderate risk for at least one quarter inch of ice accumulation.  (Source, Weather Prediction Center)

Extended Forecast - Confidence:  High.

Sunday through Tuesday (March 10th-12th)

An upper level trough and area of low pressure will cover the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes on Sunday with flurries or snow showers possible in our area.  A weak disturbance could bring a little more snow to the Northland early next week.  High temperatures will be in the 20s and 30s during this period with lows Sunday Night in the single digits below to teens above zero.  Lows Monday Night will be in the single digits and teens.

Long Range Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

(March 13th-18th)

Some more snow is possible sometime between the 13th-14th (next Wednesday/Thursday) as an area of low pressure scoots SE out of Western Canada, gotta watch the track of this system as it will determine whether or not we get some snow or if we miss out.  Near to below average temperatures are expected through this period.


Timing:  4 AM CST Saturday Morning until 7 AM CDT Sunday.

.Tonight...  Increasing cloudiness.  Snow, sleet or freezing rain developing after 4 AM.  Low 25 to 30.  Wind east to southeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Saturday...  Snow, sleet or freezing rain.  Patchy fog also possible.  High 30 to 35.  Wind southeast at 5 to 15 mph.

.Saturday Night...  Occasional snow.  Total snowfall accumulations of 3-6".  Low 20 to 25.  Wind north to northwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Sunday...  Flurries.  Considerable cloudiness.  High 30 to 35.

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

.Monday...  Partly sunny.  High 25 to 30.

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

.Tuesday...  Partly sunny.  High 30 to 35.

Normal temperatures for Tomorrow

High:  32
Low:  15

Sunrise Saturday:  6:33 AM CST
Sunrise Saturday:  6:06 PM CST