Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Storm Update number two. Patchy freezing drizzle/light snow showers possible in Duluth late tonight-Sunday (Heavier snow or sleet arrives 2-4 PM Sunday)

/Issued 6:26 PM CST, Saturday, December 24, 2016/


There is a variety of winter weather headlines that are in effect for Sunday and Monday.  Click on the links below for additional information.  Source:  National Weather Service

Pink area=Winter Storm Warning

Purple area=Ice Storm Warning

Red area=Blizzard Warning

Lighter blue area=Winter Weather Advisory

Darker blue area=Freezing Rain Advisory

Ice Accumulation Index.

Based on the model projections today, it looks like the Ice Damage Index would be in the 1-2 range in parts of northeast and east central Minnesota Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening.  Outside chance some areas get into category 3.

Forecast surface maps.  Source:

Color table for the maps below

Orange=Mixed precipitation; Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain


Storm track forecast through Monday.


Storm timeline for Duluth

*Tonight:  East wind will increase through the night.  Sustained winds in the 10 to 20 mph range with gusts to 30 mph.  Patchy freezing drizzle or snow showers could develop after midnight.

*Christmas day:  Winter Storm Warning beginning Sunday afternoon.  Patchy freezing drizzle or snow showers are possible with heavier snow or sleet arriving between 2-4 PM.  Windy!  East wind 15 to 30 mph, higher gusts are possible.  High 25 to 30.

*Christmas night:  Winter Storm Warning  Expect periods of snow, sleet, and freezing rain (Precipitation could be heavy at times)  A transition to rain is possible especially closer to Lake Superior (Below the hill in Duluth)  East wind 15 to 30 mph, decreasing late.  Temperatures rising into the 30s.

*Monday:  *Winter Storm Warning until Noon.  Breezy and turning colder with occasional light snow.  Temperatures in the 30s early in the day, falling through the 20s.  Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph.

Total event snow/sleet accumulations:  2-6"
Total event freezing rain accumulation:  Ranging from 0.10" to 0.25".

Storm Impacts for the Northland:

-About the only big change seen in the computer models today is for a slower arrival to the heavier precipitation.  It now looks like the heavier precipitation won't begin to affect western-southern parts of the area until early or mid afternoon Sunday.  This shield of precipitation will then lift north/east, lifting further into northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin late Sunday afternoon the way it looks now.

-Storm track remains nearly the same as in previous days.

-Still some uncertainty on when the temperature warms above 32 degrees, looks like the freezing line will push from south-north into our local area late Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening.  Once the temperature gets above the freezing mark (Assuming that it will) that would lessen the potential for freezing rain, although some icing could continue especially on higher elevated objects such as trees even when/if temperatures rise to around 33-36 degrees late Sunday night.

-Potential is there for scattered power outages, with even some tree damage possible if ice accumulations become significant enough (1/4" or more)

-One thing that would keep the ice accumulations down is if we were to see more sleet or even snow prior to the temperature rising above freezing.

-Expect deteriorating road conditions across the Northland Sunday afternoon or early Sunday evening.  Roads will quickly become snow and ice covered once the heavier precipitation moves in.