While we've gotten some cold snaps and a taste of snow along the way, this fall has been a pretty pleasant season so far. Things look like they could be changing as we head through the first full week of November.
In an updated set of information published Tuesday from the National Weather Service, a winter storm watch has been published for parts of the Northland (pictured below).
Something worth noting is that the forecast is likely to change at least some through the course of the week. As the system that is aiming for the region approaches, things are bound to change - at least a bit. That said, the National Weather Service does anticipate a significant weather event for the region. Included in that event is some significant precipitation (both rain and snow) and a blast of wintery cold.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms midweek
For people here in the Northland, the first part of this storm system is expected to bring significant rain, with the possibility of some isolated thunderstorms. Some of those thunderstorms could be stronger in nature.
Areas with the greatest chances of seeing thunderstorms in the Northland are in areas of Northwestern Wisconsin. The Twin Ports area and places to the north are seeing smaller chances of thunderstorms, with the greatest odds in the Twin Ports of thunderstorms coming Wednesday night and early Thursday.
Rainfall estimates for these storms have shifted the higher amounts north, now including the Twin Ports area and North & South Shores through Friday.
The Iron Range is in line for 1.5-2 inches of rain, while the Twin Ports area and portions of the North Shore along with Northwestern Wisconsin could see 2-3 inches.
Here's a map of what the National Weather Service thinks could fall across the region through the heart of the week:
Rain changes to snow Thursday night into Friday
As the storm moves through the region, cold air will get swept in, changing rainfall to mix precipitation and then snow through Thursday night and into Friday. The change from rain to snow will happen from west to east, with areas like Brainerd seeing the switch to snow first. That changeover is expected to happen through the later parts of the day Thursday, into Friday morning.
For the Twin Ports area, that has shifted earlier, with mixed precip and snow occurring through Thursday night.
Exact snowfall totals are still coming into focus, but it sounds like the heaviest snow is expected in Northern Minnesota at this time, where the winter storm watch mentioned above was issued.
During their Tuesday update, the National Weather Service in Duluth broke down their snowfall expectations in terms of what areas are most likely to see 4+ inches of snow. Expectations have come down some for the Twin Ports area and parts of the Iron Range.
In the map below, you'll see that many areas on the Iron Range are at a 20-40% chance of seeing 4+ inches of snow, while the Twin Ports area and North Shore is under a 5% chance.
Here's a map, showing the percentages of areas across the region seeing 4+ inches of snow Thursday into Friday. You'll see the gradient has shifted to the dividing line being near the Iron Range to places north and west. You'll also notice that an area near International Falls and Bigfork could see 8+ inches of snow.
Frigid wind chills set in for the weekend
Anyone that has been through a Northland winter storm knows that cold air often follows the storm. That looks to be the case once again this time. As the storm moves out on Friday, cold air and persistent breezy conditions will sink wind chills to their coldest points so far this season.
How cold will it get?
In the Twin Ports area, air temperatures will sink into the low 20s Friday night, and we won't see much warming after that. Saturday night into Sunday, air temperatures will sink even further, getting to the teens above zero overnight and on Sunday morning.
Add in the wind we could expect, and those "feels like" wind chill levels will sink to near zero degrees across the Northland. Saturday morning, the Northland could see wind chills near zero degrees, with a couple of places that could sink just below zero on the "feels like" chart.
Sunday and Monday don't look to bring too much of a reprieve, with daytime wind chills expected to warm up only to the teens above zero on Sunday and only slightly warmer on Monday
Here's a map showing what sort of wind chills we could experience on Saturday morning:
Will it warm up after?
If you're looking for 40's, don't expect them anytime soon. In the days following this coming weekend, air temperatures look to hang around the freezing mark (32 degrees) for daytime highs at least into the middle part of next week.
All of that said, it might be time to dig out the winter coat, hat, and gloves - if you haven't done so already.