After 39 below, Northland over winter hump (with video)
Temperatures dropped as low as 39 degrees below zero in Northome this morning, with 21 below in Duluth, in what may be the last arctic blast of winter.
For many areas it was the second-coldest night of the winter, with wind chills dipping to 40 blow -- and near 50 below -- in some areas. And temperatures won't warm up much today, with highs likely below zero.
But Saturday and Sunday will see temperatures rise above zero, with the National Weather Service in Duluth forecasting highs in the 20s by Tuesday and upper 20s by Thursday -- actually above normal.
After Sunday morning there are no below-zero temperatures in the forecast.
The averages dictate that the Northland will eventually warm up as winter slowly transitions to spring. Average daily highs are now about 23, with a low of 3, while highs by the end of February for Duluth will hit 29, with lows of 10.
We also will notice a lot more sunlight as the Northern hemisphere begins to tilt back toward the sun, with sunrise moving from 7:33 a.m. to 6:50 a.m. and sunset moving from 5:11 p.m. now to 5:52 p.m. at month's end -- a gain of 1 hour, 23 minutes of daylight.
January above normal
Despite two artic outbreaks last month, January in Duluth finished 1.9 degrees above normal.
While it saw its coldest stretch of weather in about seven years, the first half of January in Duluth was so warm, with high and low temperatures so far above normal, that it more than made up for the below-normal stretches. For example, on Jan. 11, the average daily temperature was 26 degrees above normal. The coldest departure was 24 degrees below normal Jan. 21.
The Climate Prediction Center on Thursday released its outlook for February, showing the Northland in a large area of the nation with no major variation from normal temperatures. The center shows the Northland in a fairly high likelihood of above-normal precipitation.
Selected Friday morning cold temperatures