Thursday, March 24, 2016

March 24, 2016 Weather Report - Up and down spring weather; 40s Friday; Rain and concrete type snow Friday night-Saturday evening; The beginning of April looks chilly! A recap of the March 23-24 storm included in this post

/Issued 5:10 PM CDT, Thursday, March 24, 2016/

Friday night and Saturday will feature wet snow and rain in most of the Northland, at the moment the greatest chance for a few inches of slushy snow accumulations look to be west and north of Duluth and Superior.

Long range computer models have been fairly consistent in showing a cold start to April.  Note:  I checked the data to see what the record cold high temperatures are in early April in Duluth and International Falls, at both locations records for cold high temps are in the teens and 20s.

Record low temperatures are generally in the single digits below and single digits above zero in Duluth, somewhat colder at International Falls.  We could be setting or tying some records for cold high temps and low temperatures during the first couple days of April unless of course this colder weather pattern doesn't develop.

Tonight's low temperature forecast.  Source, National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota.

Friday's high temperature forecast.  Source, National Weather Service Duluth, Minnesota.

24-hour period snowfall map ending this morning, March 24, 2016.  Source, Midwest Regional Climate Center.

Note:  A powerful spring storm affected portions of the Rockies, Central Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes on March 23-24, 2016.

*Significant amounts of snow fell in parts of 10 states --  Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.

*Ice accumulations of up to 1/4" occurred in parts of 4 states -- Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York.

*Very strong winds affected parts of 7 states -- New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.

Listed below are selected snowfall totals from March 23-24, 2016 ending at 9 AM CDT today.

Source:  National Weather Service Chanhassen, MN; Weather Prediction Center

Augusta, WI:  12.0"
Savage, MN:  12.0"
Burnsville, MN:  11.5"
New Prague, MN:  10.7"
Eau Claire, WI:  10.5"

Prior Lake, MN:  10.0"
Cottage Grove, MN:  10.0"
Eagan, MN:  9.5"
Blue Earth, MN:  9.0"
Menomonie, WI:  8.0"

3 NNE of Sioux City, IA:  17.0"
Algona, IA:  11.0"
Osseo, WI:  13.0"
Wausau, WI:  10.0"
3 SE of Pine Cliffe, CO:  31.6"
Jamestown, CO:  27.0"
3 SE of Denver, CO:  19.5"

Weather Summary for NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin
Date:  March 24, 2016

Low pressure of 996mb has moved into Southern lower Michigan late this afternoon.  Clouds which covered parts of the area this morning moved off to the east giving way to generally sunny skies across the Northland this afternoon.  Temperatures were pretty close to average to a bit above average with highs in the 30s to lower 40s today with north or east winds at 5 to 15 mph with higher gusts near Lake Superior.

Forecast Discussion for NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin

Short Term Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

Tonight (March 24)

Clear to partly cloudy skies with lows in the teens and 20s, maybe a few single digits in spots.  Winds will shift to the south or southeast at 5 to 15 mph.  Low pressure heads into the Northern Plains tonight while a cold front moves toward Northwest Minnesota, this system will affect the Northland by Friday evening...More on that below.

Friday and Friday night (March 25)

One area of low pressure will move across Ontario Province while another one tracks east/southeast out of the Northern Plains toward Western Iowa by Friday night...A cold front over Northwest Minnesota tomorrow morning will move slowly toward the south/east and is forecast to extend from Southwest to Northeast Minnesota by early Saturday morning.

Most of Friday should end up dry although a few rain or snow showers can't be ruled out up around the International Falls area.  Highs will be in the 40s with 30s in far Northern Minnesota and along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Winds will be out of the south at 10 to 20 mph.

A better chance for precipitation arrives on Friday night.  At the moment it looks like the best chance for wet snow would be in Western-Northern portions of the Northland with rain or rain/snow mix occurring in East Central Minnesota, near Lake Superior and in Northwest Wisconsin.  Lows Friday night will be in the 30s with 20s in far Northern Minnesota.  Winds will be out of the south or north/east at 10 to 20 mph.

Extended Forecast - Confidence:  Medium to High.

Saturday through Monday (March 26-28)

A messy Saturday with wet snow and rain affecting most of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin as a cold front moves toward the southeast while low pressure heads northeast out of Iowa.  Looks like the greatest potential for wet snow on Saturday would remain across Western-Northern sections of the Northland with rain or a rain/snow mixture for East Central Minnesota, near Lake Superior and in Northwest Wisconsin.

Precipitation should wrap up Saturday night as wet snow or rain ends from SW-NE.

Highs on Saturday will be in the 30s with 40s possible in Eastern Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.  Lows Saturday night will be in the 20s and 30s.

Easter Sunday looks pretty nice with mainly dry weather as highs top out in the 30s and 40s.  Lows Sunday night will be in the 30s.

Dry weather should continue on Monday with highs in the 30s and 40s.

Long Range Forecast - Confidence:  Medium.

(March 29-April 3)

A chance for rain on Tuesday-Wednesday (March 29-30) Rain or snow is possible on Thursday (31st) Low pressure developing over the Rockies could track northeast and affect the Upper Midwest during the middle portion of next week which cause some rain in the Northland and possibly some snow by Thursday.

Near to above average temperatures on March 29-30 followed by below average temperatures from March 31-April 3.


.Tonight...  Mostly clear.  Low 20 to 25.  Wind east at 10 to 20 mph becoming southeast late.

.Friday...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  High 40 to 45 but cooler near Lake Superior.  Wind south at 10 to 15 mph.

.Friday night...  Rain developing.  Rain could mix with or change to wet snow at times.  Low 32 to 35.  Wind south at 5 to 15 mph becoming east late.

.Saturday...  Occasional rain or wet snow.  High 35 to 38.

.Saturday night...  Rain or wet snow tapering off late.  Low 22 to 27.

.Easter Sunday...  Partly sunny.  High 37 to 42.

.Sunday night...  Partly to mostly cloudy.  Low 27 to 32.

.Monday...  Partly cloudy.  High 38 to 43.

Normal temperatures for Friday

High:  38
Low:   21

Sunrise Friday:  7:00 AM CDT
Sunset Friday:   7:29 PM CDT