Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snow wraps up Tonight; A brighter Wednesday ahead; Another system on the horizon for this weekend?

/Issued 2:38 PM CST, Tuesday, March 5th, 2013/

*Is there another storm brewing for late this week/weekend?  The map below is the 500mb forecast for late Friday Night, March 8th, 2013.  The flow aloft goes southwest with a nice "U" shape trough covering the Rockies.  The key to this forecast is the flow to our northwest in Canada, that's the Northern branch of the jet stream, does it head southeast into our area and cause the Rockies trough to miss us? Or does the Northern branch stay far enough north, allowing the Rockies trough to move into the Upper Midwest?  Stay tuned!

*Snowfall report for March 4-5, 2013*
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

Note:  Snow continues to fall in parts of the Northland late This Afternoon so the totals that are listed below may not represent the final amount.

Northome, MN (Koochiching County)  10.2"
7 S of Bigfork, MN (Itasca County)  9.5"
3 E of Orr, MN (St. Louis County)  9.0"
15 N of Grand Rapids, MN (Itasca County)  9.0"
Squaw Lake, MN (Itasca County)  9.0"

5 N of Virginia, MN (St. Louis County)  8.0"
7 SE of Grand Rapids, MN (Itasca County)  8.0"
12 N of McGregor, MN (Aitkin County)  7.2"
Chisholm, MN (St. Louis County)  7.1"
Pillager, MN (Cass County)  7.1"

Webb Lake, WI (Burnett County)  7.0"
5 W of Cotton, MN (St. Louis County)  7.0"
5 N of Crosby, MN (Crow Wing County)  7.0"
Togo, MN (Itasca County)  6.5"
8 ESE of Pine City, MN (Pine County)  6.3"

Moose Lake, MN (Carlton County)  6.0"
1 SE of Floodwood, MN (St. Louis County)  6.0"
Grantsburg, WI (Burnett County)  6.0"
Cass Lake, MN (Cass County)  6.0"
5 E of Danbury, WI (Burnett County)  6.0"

Brainerd, MN (Crow Wing County)  6.0"
1 S of Walker, MN (Cass County)  5.0"
2 S of Tower, MN (St. Louis County)  3.8"
Gordon, WI (Douglas County)  3.5"
Silver Bay, MN (Lake County)  3.5"

8 S of Hayward, WI (Sawyer County)  3.3"
International Falls, MN (Koochiching County)  2.6"
8 NE of Cook, MN (St. Louis County)  2.5"
Seeley, WI (Sawyer County)  1.5"

Duluth, MN (St. Louis County)  7.7" official NWS total thru 12 PM Today.

Today's Weather Summary for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Another snow event verified quite well, although I was surprised to see how much snow ended up falling over parts of the Iron Range, I was not expecting that much snow that far north.  Also, the snowfall amounts in the Twin Ports ended up being on the high side of my 2-6" range, partially due to a nice burst of lake enhanced snowfall that occurred in Duluth before Noon Today when snowfall rates approached 1" an hour for a few hours.

As of 3 PM:  Low pressure of 1004mb was over Southern Indiana with high pressure of 1034mb over Ontario.  A trough extended northwest from the Indiana low through Central Minnesota.  Snow earlier in the day has decreased in intensity in our area This Afternoon, otherwise skies were mostly cloudy Today with high temperatures in the 20s to around 30 degrees with winds from the north or east 5 to 15 mph with gusts over 30 mph occurring near Lake Superior where there was quite a bit of blowing and drifting snow through mid-Afternoon.

Today's Upper Level Analysis

A blocking pattern continues as an upper low sits over the Northeast U.S. and off the Northeast coast, this is forcing an upper low/trough over Iowa to move more south vs. east.  850mb temperatures as of 2 PM ranged from -10 to -12C in Minnesota.

Forecast Discussion for Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast - Confidence:  High.

Tonight (March 5th)

Areas of light snow and flurries will likely persist most of the night with mostly cloudy skies.  Additional snowfall accumulations should be 1" or less, but up to 2" of snow is possible in a few spots.  Lows will be in the single digits to around 20 degrees with north or northeast winds from 10 to 20 mph.

Wednesday and Wednesday Night (March 6th)

High pressure settles into the Upper Midwest during this period.  Could be some Morning snow showers or flurries in Northeast Minnesota, otherwise this period looks dry.  Highs Tomorrow will mainly be in the 20s with lows Tomorrow Night ranging from around 10 below to 10 above zero.  Winds will be out of the north or northwest on Wednesday at 10 to 15 mph with variable winds Tomorrow Night.

Extended Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

Thursday through Saturday (March 7th-9th)

The weather doesn't look that bad on Thursday with generally dry conditions expected in our area with highs in the 20s and 30s with lows in the teens to around 20 degrees.  The trouble period may end up being Friday Night and this weekend, but the exact details are still somewhat uncertain at this time so stay tuned. 

At the moment it looks like will see a SW flow aloft develop across the Plains and Great Lakes with a nice looking trough heading NE out of the Southern Rockies this weekend.  The problem is that the pattern looks split, meaning there's going to be a northern branch and a southern branch to the jet stream, which one wins out remains to be seen, but the computer models are trending toward the northern branch winning out for our area which means the main storm over the Rockies would miss us to the south/east, however, it's still a couple days away so things could change. 

Note:  What we will have to keep an eye on is a possible lead system coming out of that Southwest U.S. H5 trough, and this system may impact our area from Friday Night into early Sunday with possible snow or mixed precipitation.

High temperatures on Friday and Saturday will be in the 20s and 30s with lows Friday Night mainly in the 20s.

*SREF (15z run) Freezing rain probability map for late Friday Night, March 8, 2013.  Parts of Central/Southern Minnesota are in at least slight chances for freezing rain accumulations reaching 0.05" for late Friday Night.

Long Range Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

(March 10th-15th)

There could be some lingering snow showers and flurries in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin on Sunday (10th)   And then drier weather moves in for early next week as that main storm over the Southern Rockies heads toward the Ohio Valley region next Monday-Tuesday (11th-12th)  Another system is possible sometime between the 14th-15th, this one if it hits us could bring a little more snow to our area.  Near to below average temperatures are forecast through this period.


Timing:  Until 6 PM CST Tonight.

.Tonight...  Occasional light snow and flurries, additional accumulations of 1" or less.  Storm totals ranging from 6-8".  Mostly cloudy.  Low 7 to 12.  Wind north to northeast at 10 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday...  Partly to mostly sunny.  High 21 to 26.  Wind north to northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

.Wednesday Night...  Mostly clear.  Low 0 to 5.  Wind light and variable.

.Thursday...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 27 to 32.

.Thursday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Low 15 to 20.

.Friday...  Mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.

.Friday Night...  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow or mixed precipitation possible.  Low 22 to 27.

.Saturday...  Mostly cloudy.  Light snow or mixed precipitation possible.  High 30 to 35.

Normal temperatures for Today

High:  30
Low:  13


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