Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24, 2016 - Update on Monday's snow event (Future radar) Temperature and snow stats included in this post

/Issued 9:22 AM CST, Sunday, January 24, 2016/

Sunday morning water vapor satellite imagery and the weather setup for Monday.  Source,

Energy to our northwest and to our southwest (Marked with an X on map) will track into the Upper Midwest on Monday while the main surface low (Red L on map) heads northeast from Western Oklahoma to Lake Huron.  Two narrow corridors of enhanced snowfall with perhaps 2-4" totals could develop on Monday (Blue areas on map) Those snow bands could shift a bit more to the north or south than what is shown on this map.

A small portion of Central Minnesota could get 4" or more of snow on Monday.  Source, Weather Prediction Center.

Green=Moderate probability or 40% chance for snow totals of at least 4".
Blue=Slight probability or 10% chance for snow totals of at least 4".

Snow map I made Saturday evening for Monday still looks good at this point, might have to fine tune it just a bit though this afternoon.

Future radar per 12z NAM guidance.  Source,

Note:  When looking at these maps, green colors usually result in a somewhat heavier snow vs. blue colors which is mostly light snow.

As for when the snow starts in Duluth - I'd say between 3-6 AM Monday morning but before then we could have some patchy freezing drizzle or snow flurries.  Snow should be ending Monday evening in Duluth.

Snow stats for Duluth, Minnesota (Airport location)

January snowfall total thru the 23rd:  8.0"
Departure:  -7.1" below normal

Winter 2015-16 snowfall total (Dec 1 - Jan 23)  32.6"
Departure:  -0.2" below normal

Annual snowfall total (July 1 - Jan 23)  37.0"
Departure:  -11.9" below normal

This month hasn't been very snow in Duluth but it's quite similar to what happened last January when just 6.6" of snow fell for the entire month!

The only chance of measurable snow I'm seeing for the rest of January occurs on Monday (25th) Still think will pick up around 2-3" of snow with this event so our monthly snowfall total should end up at around 11" - The average snowfall for this month is 19.4" so will likely end up below average unless some kind of miracle takes place.

Why the lack of snow?  The overall weather pattern has been on the quiet side around here.  Started off the month with unseasonably mild temperatures which was followed by about 2 weeks of a few different shots of arctic air - Usually when it gets cold like it did that pretty much guarantees little if any snow for us.  Now, temperatures are rebounding as we close out the month of January but still no signs of a major snow event thru the end of the month.

*The average temperature at the Duluth Airport so far for January 2016 is at 9.3 degrees which is -0.9 degrees colder than normal.  Mild temperatures today and Monday, and then again later this week should result in the monthly temperature going back above average again.

*The average temperature at International Falls so far for January 2016 is at 5.9 degrees which is +1.8 degrees warmer than average - So even with the recent cold snaps, this month is still running above average at International Falls.

Looking ahead to Monday's snow event:

Two pieces of energy will move into the Upper Midwest during the next 24 hours.  The first one was over the Southern Rockies this morning and that feature will head out onto the Plains by tonight then will move northeast passing over the South half of Lake Michigan Monday night and over the Eastern Great Lakes by Tuesday morning.

The second piece of energy was over the Northern Rockies and adjacent portions of Alberta and Saskatchewan Provinces - This disturbance will head east or southeast into the Upper Midwest by Monday.

Light snow will develop late tonight and Monday morning with light snow persisting through the afternoon and early evening before ending late Monday night.  It does appear that a smaller band of enhanced snowfall will develop on Monday somewhere over Central or East Central Minnesota, under this band snowfall totals could get up to 3-4".  Elsewhere expect general snowfall accumulations of around 1" to 2" in Northern Minnesota and most of Northwest Wisconsin.

Note:  Another weather concern for tonight and Monday will be the threat of patchy freezing drizzle in the Northland.