November Gales Arrive Early in the Northland

By KBJR News 1

October 26, 2010 Updated Oct 26, 2010 at 7:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - This year, the gales of November have come calling a week early. Rumors are flying that the storm we have right now rivals the region's most famous storms of old.

"The rumors are not rumors because they're true," said Dan Miller with the National Weather Service. "This storm is actually probably a little stronger than the Edmund Fitzgerald storm. We set a new record state low pressure here in Duluth as of 11 Tuesday morning of 960.4 millibars.

That rivals a category one hurricane. Deep low pressure isn't the only factor in a severe storm so the staff of the National Weather Service isn't calling this the worst storm in history but they are calling it the storm of the new century. Northland's NewsCenter Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson explains why it is so powerful.

"It has a big trough or big source of energy in the jet stream that's off to the west," said Edmondson. "It also has plenty of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and it has plenty of heat from the southeastern part of the U.S."

Since the storm could be stronger than the one that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10th, 1975, ships all around the Great Lakes have found safe harbor. Several will ride out the storm right here in the Twin Ports. Even away from the lake, the weather could cause problems.

"The big impact is going to be the wind," said Miller. "We're talking sustained 25 to 35 mile per hour wind with gusts to 50 miles per hour."

Those winds could lead to downed power lines Tuesday night through Wednesday. Initially feeding on warm air, the storm will eventually drag cold air down to the region so there also is a chance for snow as the system departs. Not everyone will share that chance, though.

"Best chance looks to be Iron Range and north so spots like Eveleth, Virginia, Hibbing also International Falls could see a little snow," said Edmondson.

If the snow does come across, the National Weather Service urges caution on the Wednesday and Thursday commutes.

"Even if we get a little snow and it's not that big a deal it's the first event of the season so if you wake up tomorrow and everything is white, allow a little extra time and get your winter driving going again," said Miller.

The storm is expected to produce measurable snow accumulations in the Dakotas but snow fans here hoping for another Halloween Blizzard may have to wait a little longer for the first ski outing or snowmobile ride.

"No, it's going to take a little longer before we get measurable snowfall it looks like," said Edmondson.

Written by Dave Anderson
Posted to the web by Kevin Jacobsen