Slow Moving Cold Weather Will Break … Eventually

ice fishers on lake Wingra
Ice fishers on Lake Wingra, in Madison. Photo: Richard Hurd (CC-BY)

A stubborn trough of air is causing extreme cold and snow this winter, but a group of Duluth-Superior meteorologists – surprisingly unpopular this winter, for some reason say things are about to change.

Adam Clark didn’t get any well-wishes on National Weatherperson’s Day Wednesday.

“Usually you get a cake or cupcake or something. This year? Nothing,” Clark said. “Nothing at all and I was like ‘Well, I understand. I totally understand.’”

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The Duluth NBC-TV affiliate meteorologist blames it on a trough that’s put California in an extreme drought, Alaska with temperatures in the 60’s and the Midwest and South in the deep freeze. Duluth National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Stewart says the country has been trapped in that trough.

“It’s not moved because farther downstream there’s a high pressure system over the Atlantic and it’s not allowed it to move. Therefore, we stay in this cold pattern,” Stewart said.

Because of that, Clark says, 84 percent of Lake Superior is covered with ice: almost unprecedented for early February.

“We’ve been trying to track the ice on Lake Superior since the ’70s,” Clark said. “This is some of the most ice we’ve ever seen.”

ABC-TV affiliate meteorologist Justin Liles says the ice cover is going to keep things cooler by the Great Lakes into summer.

“With the lake being that frozen, that much ice, that cold, when we do get a lot of these warm air masses, the two of them are going to combine,” Liles said. “Sad to say, we’re going to get a lot of fog.”

As for the trough? Liles says it should finally break up in about 10 days.