Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Far northern Minnesota picked up a few inches of snow this morning; Clipper on the way for Wed; Latest on the potential storm for Christmas

/Issued 5:05 PM CST, Tuesday, December 20, 2016/

Here's my snowfall accumulation map for Wednesday.  This system has trended a bit more to the north so I don't think Duluth will get much more than a half inch or inch of snow out of this one.

...Latest on the Holiday weekend storm...

-Computer models continue to show a storm affecting the upper Midwest and western Great Lakes region this weekend.

-Track differences continue, however, with some computer models taking the surface low farther west than what I'm showing on the map below (The black line on the map is the track I'm expecting this storm to take)

-A farther west track would mean a greater chance for rain in much of central and eastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin with mixed precipitation for northern Minnesota while the heavier snow sets up over the Dakotas and northwest Minnesota.

-A farther east track, kind of what I'm showing on the image below would mean a greater chance for significant snow accumulation across northern Minnesota while snow and mixed precipitation with possible ice accumulation occurring in northeast and east central Minnesota including the Twin Ports.  Northwest Wisconsin would see mixed precipitation or rain.

-Stay tuned for further updates in coming days as the storm track will probably shift around just a bit, and this could increase the chance for significant snowfall or for the majority of the precipitation to fall as rain over much of the Northland.

Tonight's low temperature forecast.  Source:  http://graphical.weather.gov/

Wednesday's high temperature forecast.  Source:  http://graphical.weather.gov/

Snowfall reports for this morning, December 20, 2016
Source:  http://www.weather.gov/dlh/

Hovland, MN 2 ENE:  3.2"
Grand Marais, MN 2 W:  2.5"
Ely, MN 1 SSW:  1.5"
Lutsen, MN:  1.0"
Mckinley, MN 1 SSW:  1.0"
Iron Junction, MN 2 W:  0.9"

Weather Summary for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

A perfect setup for unseasonably mild temperatures across the area today as a strong area of low pressure passed north of Lake Superior which caused west/southwest winds in our area, and this combined with a good deal of sunshine this afternoon helped to boost high temperatures into the mid/upper 30s with even a few lower 40s reported around Lake Superior and in Hayward.  Winds were on the gusty side today with wind speeds in the 10 to 25 mph range while gusts of 30-40 mph were reported in parts of the Northland.

There was some light snow early this morning in parts of northern Minnesota with anywhere from a coating up to 3 inches of accumulation reported with the highest totals over extreme northeast Minnesota near Grand Marais and Hovland in Cook County.

Note:  The normal high temperatures for December 20th are in the upper teens to lower 20s so today's highs were 15-20 degrees above average; Quite the change in air masses between Sunday and today, and that is one of the reasons why it was so windy today.

Forecast Discussion for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin

.Short Term Forecast...

Tonight (December 20)

Clear to partly cloudy skies early will become mostly cloudy later in the night as a clipper system approaches from the northwest.  Lows will be in the teens but single digits are possible in some locations.  West or southwest winds at 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts early will become south or east overnight.

Wednesday (December 21)

Low pressure is forecast to pass through northern Minnesota tomorrow and will move into Upper Michigan by tomorrow evening -- This system should bring some light snow to most of the Northland on Wednesday with generally 1" or less of accumulation for east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin while 2-3" of snow is possible in northern Minnesota, including along the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Highs on Wednesday will be in the 30s with upper 20s in extreme northern Minnesota.  Lows Wednesday night will be in the teens and 20s.  Winds will shift from the south/east to the west, and then to the northwest at 10 to 20 mph with higher gusts possible.

.Extended Forecast...

Thursday (December 22)

Mainly dry with highs in the 20s and 30s, lows Thursday night mainly in the teens.

Friday (December 23)

Could be dealing with a little snow or perhaps a light wintry mix of precipitation in parts of the Northland but this doesn't look like it would be a real big deal at this point.  Highs on Friday mainly in the 30s.

Forecast for Duluth and Superior

.Tonight...  Clear this evening with increasing cloudiness late.  Low 14 to 19.  Wind southwest at 15 to 25 mph decreasing to 5 to 15 mph and becoming south late.

.Wednesday...  Some light snow at times with total accumulation around 1" or less.  Mostly cloudy.  High 30 to 35.  Wind southeast at 10 to 15 mph becoming west later in the day.

Normal temperatures for Wednesday

High:  21
Low:     5

Sunrise Wednesday:  7:51 AM CST
Sunset Wednesday:   4:23 PM CST