Rain to snow: Winter storm warnings for northeast Minnesota

It’s May. But March is not done with Minnesota.

Our latest weather system is pulling in just enough cold air to change rain to heavy wet snow across central and northeast Minnesota. The Duluth National Weather Service office has posted a winter storm warning for a big chunk of real estate surrounding the western tip of Lake Superior.

NWS Duluth

Including the cities of Isabella, Two Harbors, Silver Bay,
Grand Marais, Duluth, Superior, Washburn, and Bayfield
227 PM CDT Wed May 8 2019


* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8
inches, except 6 to 10 inches along the higher terrain
surrounding Lake Superior.

* WHERE…In Wisconsin, Douglas and Bayfield Counties. In
Minnesota, Northern Cook and Lake, Southern Lake, Southern
Cook and Carlton and South St. Louis Counties.

* WHEN…From 7 PM this evening to 10 AM CDT Thursday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult. The
hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. There may
be power outages due to the wet and heavy nature of the snow.

Wintry hangover in May 

I can’t believe I’m still typing and saying this stuff in May.

Our “spring” this year feels like the eternal winter that won’t go away. The chill has lingered and overstayed its welcome for many. Our current weather system is mostly rain. But a wedge of subfreezing air aloft is just enough to change the rain to a band of heavy wet snowfall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NAM 3 km model paints the picture. Don’t be shocked to see a few wet snowflakes reach as far south as the Twin Cities Thursday morning. I know.

NOAA NAM 3 km resolution model into Thursday morning, via tropical tidbits.

The Duluth National Weather Service office has been busy assessing the changing snowfall situation. Their latest snowfall map is a blend of many model solutions. Many will wake up Thursday to several inches of May slush. The heaviest accumulations fall north and east of a Brainerd-Hinckley line.

Milder air ahead

The good news about snow in May? It’s May. Milder air returns by next week. Highs around 70 will be more common. And welcome.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

Hang in there Minnesota.

  • Bill H

    You can’t spin this, it’s awful! How about analysis as to why temps have been below normal most of the last 8 months or so?

    • horrido

      Climate change. Springs have been cold and wet for at least a decade. As a gardener, I can tell you intimately. Remember last year’s April 24″ snowfall? Our winters now also have lots and lots of small snowfalls, where they use to be more rare, with larger dumps. Just notice what’s happening around you. I haven’t had to dig my mailbox out since the 70s, when I had to do it regularly.

      • Bill H

        29 years here. And this has been an unusually cold seven or eight month stretch. Too much snow and now too much rain. Last year, April was brutal, but we were well into summer by this time last May. 6 days of 90+ degrees and 100 on Memorial day. That’s not gonna happen this year.

  • joe ketter

    I’m with Bill, and I too am curious why the hell the weather has been so especially atrocious throughout 2019 so far.

    • horrido

      This April was better than last April.