National Weather Service Duluth Explains Sunday’s Crazy Temperature Drop
Erratic weather is something we're all used to in the Northland. We all know that one day can be like a perfect, warm summer day and then the next day you're looking for your down jacket. Heck, sometimes that drastic temperature difference happens on the same day with that old phrase we all know too well, "colder by the lake".
However, the weather over the past weekend was especially crazy. Saturday, May 22 was nice, warm and humid. It felt like summer had arrived ahead of it's calendar date. Then, Sunday arrived and those shorts were quickly replaced by pants and warm jackets. It seemed everywhere I went I heard "Wow, what a difference a day makes!".
The National Weather Service in Duluth posted the following tweet showing how fast and far the temperature dropped in Cloquet, but it pretty much sums up what we all felt in the Northland.
The big question is what could cause such a drastic temperature difference? It turns out the answer really isn't that complicated. In a follow-up tweet, NWS Duluth explained what what happened Sunday:
After highs in the 70s and 80s Saturday, temps crashed overnight, especially near Lake Superior. So where did the warm air go? It went up! The cold air off the lake created a shallow wedge of cold air near the surface and forced the warm air up. So while it was in the 40s near the surface in Duluth, it was 60F about 4,500 up! We can see this in the NAM forecast sounding at left for Duluth valid at 6AM Sunday morning. Note the sharp temperature inversion in the lowest levels and the gusty northeast winds driving the cooler air inland.
The good news is that southerly winds Monday will help mix that warmer air back down our way which will eventually lead to warmer temperatures than we experienced Sunday. However, those warmer temps won't last long as another erratic weather pattern is expected this week.
Expect a breezy high around 80 on Tuesday, May 25. Enjoy that day all you can as it will be followed by a Wednesday high of 58 and then just 43(!) on Thursday.
This is why every Northland vehicle needs to be stocked with shorts, sunscreen, a fleece jacket, an umbrella and a winter hat. You may need them all in the same day.
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