Thursday, February 19, 2015

February 19, 2015 Weather Report - A brief break from the arctic air through Saturday; Deep freeze returns Saturday PM-next week; A fresh coating of snow on the way for Friday. Great lakes ice stats/maps in this post

/Issued 2:58 PM CST, Thursday, February 19, 2015/

Here's the basic weather setup through next week.  Upper low centered over eastern Canada -- north/northwest flow bringing several more shots of cold arctic air south out of northern and central Canada.

Midwest low temperature map for February 19, 2015.  Source, Midwest Regional Climate Center.  Note:  Text reports below.

Low temperature report for This Morning February 19, 2015
Source:  National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota

3 SE of Cotton, MN:  -43F
Embarrass, MN:  -41F
2 S of Brimson, MN:  -41F
3 E of Orr, MN:  -36F
Ely, MN:  -36F
Crane Lake, MN:  -36F
Bigfork, MN:  -35F
Cook, MN:  -35F
International Falls, MN:  -35F
Littlefork, MN:  -34F
3 SSW of Cable, WI:  -34F
8 WNW of Minong, WI:  -34F
Orr, MN:  -33F
Northome, MN:  -32F
Hayward, WI:  -30F
3 WNW of Twig, MN:  -29F
Brainerd, MN:  -29F
Glidden, WI:  -28F
Gordon, WI:  -28F
Winter, WI:  -28F
2 ENE of Oliver, WI:  -26F
Phillips, WI:  -26F
Bruno, MN:  -26F
1 NNE of Hermantown, MN:  -25F
Siren, WI:  -22F
Duluth, MN (NWS)  -21F
2 SW of Proctor, MN:  -20F
2 E of Cloquet, MN:  -20F
Silver Bay, MN:  -20F
Duluth, MN (Airport)  -18F
Superior, WI:  -17F
Sky Harbor Airport, MN:  -15F

Weather Tidbits:

*So far this month there have been 11 days with a subzero low temperature at the Duluth Airport.  The 2014-15 winter total is at 28.  Note:  Last February had 19 days with a subzero low temperature.

*The winter of 2014-15 is running +3.5 degrees warmer than normal in the U.S. with an average temperature of 34.9 degrees.  Source, Climate Prediction Center.

*January saw 3499 warm daily temperature records broken or tied in the U.S. (1906 maximum; 1593 warm minimum)  This compares to just 775 cool daily temperature records broken or tied (441 maximum; 334 cool minimum)  Source, Climate Prediction Center.

*December and January were warmer than average in the temperature department at the Duluth Airport with temperature surpluses of +7.2 degrees in December and +2.5 degrees in January; so far in February were at -6.6 degrees below average (thru the 18th) 100% certain February will be a below average temperature month.

Ice coverage on the Great Lakes has increased dramatically during the past month.  Stats and maps below.  Source, GLCFS.

January 18, 2015:  22.9% of the Great Lakes covered by ice.
February 1, 2015:  38.0% of the Great Lakes covered by ice.
February 18, 2015:  85.4% of the Great Lakes covered by ice.

January 18, 2015 ice coverage map:

February 1, 2015 ice coverage map:

February 18, 2015 ice coverage map:

Weather Summary for February 19, 2015
Location:  northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

Warm air advection has begun as arctic high pressure of 1032mb moves off to the south/east.  Afternoon 850mb temperatures have gone up a bit compared to 24 hours ago with H85 temps in the -18 to -24C range as of 3 PM.  Mid level heights have also increased Today with late day H5 heights ranging from 528-534 meters.  Skies were generally sunny Today with high temperatures in the single digits above zero.  Winds weren't much of a factor Today with calm or southerly winds at around 10 mph.

Forecast Discussion for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast - Confidence:  High.

Tonight (February 19)

Clouds will be on the increase Tonight as low pressure approaches from the west/northwest.  Light snow should start to break out in western areas toward Midnight with light snow spreading south/east during the Overnight hours.  Low temperatures will be in the single digits above to teens below zero with 20s below possible in the traditional cold spots in northwest Wisconsin and in the Arrowhead of Minnesota.  Note:  The coldest minimum temperatures are expected to occur prior to Midnight.

Friday and Friday Night (February 20)

A low pressure system will be moving east/southeast through the Upper Midwest and into the Great Lakes during this period.  Light snow and snow showers will be common throughout the Northland on Friday with lingering flurries expected for Friday Night.  Highs Tomorrow will warm into the teens to lower 20s with lows Friday Night in the single digits below to teens above zero.  Winds on Friday will be out of the south or west at 10 to 20 mph.  Winds Friday Night will be out of the northwest or southwest at 10 to 20 mph.

Note:  Most of the Northland should pick up around 1-2" of fresh snow on Friday with isolated 3" totals possible in a few locations.

Extended Forecast - Confidence:  High.

Saturday through Monday (February 21-23)

A few flurries or snow showers are possible on Saturday as arctic air returns later in the day.  Sunday and most of Monday look dry with light snow possibly returning Monday Night ahead of another dump of arctic air.  Highs on Saturday will range from the single digits in far northern Minnesota to the teens and 20s elsewhere, lows Saturday Night will be in the single digits, teens, and 20s below.  Highs on Sunday will only be in the single digits below zero with lows Sunday Night in the teens and 20s below.  Highs on Monday will be in the single digits and teens.

Long Range Forecast - Confidence:  High.

(February 24-March 1)

Below average temperatures are forecast to continue from the 24th-1st.  No major storms affecting the Northland through this period.


.Tonight...  Clear This Evening with increasing cloudiness late.  Light snow possible after 4 AM.  Low 2 below to 7 below.  Wind south around 10 mph.

.Friday...  Light snow with accumulations of 1-2" possible.  High 13 to 18.  Wind south to southwest at 10 to 20 mph.

.Friday Night...  Light snow early with flurries possible through the night.  Mostly cloudy.  Low 3 to 8.  Wind west to northwest at 5 to 15 mph.

.Saturday...  A few snow showers or flurries possible otherwise partly sunny.  High 13 to 18.

.Saturday Night...  Very cold.  Partly cloudy.  Low 12 below to 17 below.

.Sunday...  Very cold.  Partly cloudy.  High 0 to 5 below.

.Sunday Night...  Very cold.  Mostly clear.  Low 15 below to 20 below.

.Monday...  Partly cloudy.  High 7 to 12.

Normal temperatures for Friday

High:  26
Low:    8

Sunrise Friday:  7:04 AM CST
Sunset Friday:   5:41 PM CST