/Issued 4:40 PM CST, Thursday, February 16, 2017/
Image below is from today's 12z European model.
Temperatures at 850mb (5,000 feet) will be in the 50s and 60s Friday afternoon, a lot of this warm air should be able to mix down to the surface across western, central and southern Minnesota, but in northern Minnesota and far northern Wisconsin where there is a lot more snow on the ground, it remains to be seen just how warm will get, 40 degree temps are a virtual lock in our area, which is well above normal for mid February, but I still think some parts of the Northland will reach or even surpass the 50 degree mark Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Tonight's low temperature forecast. Source: https://graphical.weather.gov
Friday's high temperature forecast. Source: https://graphical.weather.gov
I'm still keeping an eye on a system for late next week. The GFS model has been flipping around on the storm track, especially in today's 12z run which shows the system remaining well south of the Northland (Little to no impact for us)
So far, the European model and the GEFS model have been more consistent on the storm track, which would lead to a snow event over most of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin for late next week -- The EURO is warmer, however, which would result in the rain/snow line setting up somewhere over east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. There is still plenty of time for things to change considering this possible storm is still about a week away. Stay tuned.
Note: With the average monthly temperature for February already several degrees warmer than normal, this month will once again end up above average, it's just a matter of by how much at this point. And the winter of 2016-2017 is also guaranteed to finish several degrees above average in Minnesota and Wisconsin. (The unofficial end to winter is February 28th)
Here's the temperature departure map from February 1-15, 2017. Source: http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu
February 1-15, 2017 precipitation departure map. Source: http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu
February 1-15, 2017 climate summary for Duluth, Minnesota
Average temperature: 16.2 degrees
Departure: +3.2 degrees above normal
5 days with a high temperature of at least 32 F
1 day with a high temperature of at least 40 F
4 subzero nights
Total precipitation: 0.41"
Departure: +0.05" above normal
Total snowfall: 5.6"
Departure: -0.5" below normal
Weather Synopsis for northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin
The long advertised warm up has begun! Highs today were in the mid to upper 30s with the warm spot at 4 PM at International Falls at 41 degrees. Slightly cooler closer to Lake Superior with low to mid 30s due to an east wind but even these temperatures are above normal for February 16th. Mostly cloudy skies this morning has given way to more sunshine this afternoon as a massive ridge begins to shift east into the Northland.
Clear to partly cloudy skies across the area tonight with lows in the 20s to around 30 degrees. A warm front will pass through the Northland on Friday which will be followed up by a cold frontal passage Friday evening -- Partly cloudy to partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the 40s and 50s (Record or near record warmth) Lows Friday night will be in the 30s.
Record or near record high temperatures are possible the next few days. See list below.
February 17th: 52 degrees set in 1981
February 18th: 53 degrees set in 1981
February 19th: 51 degrees set in 1930
February 20th: 54 degrees set in 1877
International Falls, Minnesota
February 17th: 52 degrees set in 1907
February 18th: 49 degrees set in 1954
February 19th: 47 degrees set in 1994
February 20th: 48 degrees set in 1990
Note: Monday still looks rainy especially later in the day into Monday night. An area of low pressure is forecast to lift northeast through the northern Plains while a warm front and cold front push through the upper Midwest -- Unseasonably moist air will be found out ahead of this system, and this combined with the forcing associated with the low, warm front and cold front should lead to widespread rain in the Northland. Rain totals of a quarter inch or more are possible on Monday.
Forecast for Duluth and Superior
.Tonight... Clear to partly cloudy. Low 24 to 29. Wind east at 10 to 20 mph becoming south overnight.
.Friday... Warmer! Near record warmth possible. Partly cloudy. High 48 to 53. Wind south at 10 to 20 mph. Note: Record high temperature for February 17th is 52 degrees set in 1981.
Normal temperatures for Friday
Sunrise Friday: 7:09 AM CST
Sunset Friday: 5:37 PM CST