Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A breezy but mild Thursday ahead; Light snow possible on Friday; Update on the Christmas storm, could be a wild one!

/Issued 4:47 PM CST, Wednesday, December 21, 2016/

Next chance for snow comes on Friday -- This should be a minor snow event the way it looks now with perhaps 1-2" of snow occurring in parts of southern and eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Surface map valid for Friday morning.  Source:

*Update on the holiday weekend storm for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin*

-The biggest change I have made since Tuesday is for a more westerly storm track.  Computer models are in excellent agreement on this type of track.

-Heaviest precipitation is forecast to occur from late Sunday afternoon through Sunday night tapering off Monday morning.

-A significant ice storm can't be ruled out yet but this will depend on the surface temperature.  If temperatures hold in the 29-32 degree range, then a significant ice event would likely occur, but if temperatures climb to around 33-34 degrees, then rain would be the main precipitation type.

-Breaking it down for Duluth and Superior

*East wind increases Saturday night with strong easterly winds expected Sunday into Sunday night, wind gusts could exceed 30 mph!

*Occasional light snow or freezing drizzle is possible on Sunday.

*Periods of heavy precipitation moving in late Sunday afternoon and continuing through most of Sunday night.  Snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain are all possible with the chance for ice accumulations greatest on top of the hill; Lower chance for ice accumulation below the hill.  Some snow accumulation is also possible.

Tonight's low temperature forecast.  Source:

Thursday's high temperature forecast.  Source:

Today's clipper as seen on the water vapor satellite image from early this afternoon - A pretty potent but fast moving storm today.


Water vapor satellite loop of today's potent clipper system that tracked through the Northland.  Source:

Snowfall reports for December 21, 2016

Lutsen, MN 4 ENE:  5.8"
Grand Marais, MN 4 W:  5.5"
Lutsen, MN 3 NE:  4.8"
Kabetogama, MN 2 SSW:  4.5"
Manitou, MN 4 E:  4.0"
International Falls, MN 1 SSE:  3.4"
Ely, MN 1 SSW:  3.0"

Weather Summary for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

Low pressure moved east/southeast across northern Minnesota today with a swath of accumulating snow occurring north of Highway 2 in northeast Minnesota with the heaviest amounts found along the Borderland and also northeast of Silver Bay along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Elsewhere there has been some passing snow showers or even mixed showers from time to time under mostly cloudy to partly sunny skies.  Highs today were in the mid to upper 20s in far northern Minnesota with 30s common elsewhere.  Winds were out of the southwest, east or north at 5 to 15 mph.

Forecast Discussion for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

.Short Term Forecast...

Tonight (December 21)

Low pressure will continue to scoot off to the E/SE as it exits northeast Minnesota and reaches central Upper Michigan this evening and southeast Ontario Province by daybreak.  Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected tonight with lingering areas of snow in far northeast Minnesota and parts of northwest Wisconsin early this evening.  Lows will be in the teens to around 20 degrees but a few locations could slip into the single digits.  Winds will be all over the place tonight with directions going from southwest to northwest and then back to southwest again, wind speeds generally in the 10 to 20 mph range.

Thursday (December 22)

Dry on Thursday with highs in the 30s, lows Thursday night will be in the teens and 20s.  Winds out of the southwest at 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts possible.

.Extended Forecast...

Friday (December 23)

A cold front will move into the upper Midwest along with an upper level disturbance -- This system could bring some light snow to parts of the Northland on Friday with the greatest chance at seeing some snow over east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin where about 1-2" of accumulation is possible.  Highs on Friday will be around 30 or in the lower 30s.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight...  Mostly cloudy with some clearing possible late.  Low 15 to 20.  Wind becoming northwest at 10 to 20 mph then shifting to the southwest overnight.

.Thursday...  Partly cloudy.  Breezy.  High 31 to 36.  Wind southwest at 15 to 25 mph.

Normal temperatures for Thursday

High:  20
Low:     5

Sunrise Thursday:  7:51 AM CST
Sunset Thursday:   4:24 PM CST