Sunday, January 31, 2016

Long range outlook for February 2016 - The final month of Meteorological winter 2015-16

/Issued January 31, 2016/

February 2016 temperature anomaly forecast per 00z CFS model.  Source,

Orange, red and pink colors=Above average temperatures
Blue=Below average temperatures
White=Near average temperatures

Note:  The upcoming month shouldn't be a blowtorch like we had in December as will likely be dealing with a few shots of arctic air in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin (Similar to what happened in January)  But in the end the month of February will probably end up slightly warmer than average for the entire month.

February 2016 precipitation anomaly forecast per 00z CFS model.  Source,

Yellow=Below average precipitation
Green=Above average precipitation
White=Near average precipitation

Note:  February on average is the driest month of winter at Duluth (0.81")

Going into February - Duluth, Minnesota has a streak of 11 consecutive months where the temperature finished above the monthly average.  February 2015 was the last below average temperature month at Duluth.

Climate normals for February 1-29

Temperature:  15.2 degrees
Precipitation:  0.81"
Snowfall:  12.4"

Average temperatures on February 1st

High:  20 F
Low:     2 F

Average temperatures on February 29th

High:  29 F
Low:   11 F

Astronomical data:

Sunrise on February 1:    7:34 AM CST
Sunrise on February 29:  6:50 AM CST

Sunset on February 1:    5:10 PM CST
Sunset on February 29:  5:52 PM CST

What can we expect in February?

I think it will be quite similar to January - Long range model trends support a few shots of cold arctic air but will also have some periods of milder or above average temperatures.

As for snowfall - Near to slightly above average totals are possible in Duluth.  Here's the breakdown for February snowfall totals per

Snow1:  15.0"
Snow2:  13.6"
Snow3:  11.1"

Thinking will end up with around 13" of snow in February which would be +0.6" above normal.

Looking back at January 2016:

CFS temperature anomaly forecast for January called for above average temperatures in NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin - This was spot on as Duluth will likely finish around +2.0 degrees warmer than normal while International Falls will end up around +4.0 degrees above average in January.

CFS precipitation anomaly forecast for January called for near to below average precipitation in NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin - Duluth will finish the month at +0.09" above normal while International Falls will finish right around normal.

Snowfall forecast of 25" at Duluth in January will be a bust, however, as will finish at 13" for the month (-6.4" below normal)

Meteorological winter 2015-16 stats
Note:  Meteorological winter is the period from December - February

Snowfall total:  37.6"
Departure to date:  +0.6" above normal

Normal snowfall for Dec - Feb:  49.5"; Will need an additional 11.9" of snow in February to get to the average total for the season.  Pretty good chance that will happen.

Annual snowfall total for 2015-16 since July 1:  42.0"
Departure to date:  -11.2" below normal

Note:  The average annual snowfall total at Duluth is 86.1".