UPDATED AT 12:30 P.M.
Northland sets new state records for low barometric pressure
As predicted, it appears that observation sites in the Northland have set Minnesota and Wisconsin records for the lowest barometric pressure. Here are reports from the National Weather Service:
.MINNESOTA ALL TIME LOWEST PRESSURE RECORD BROKEN THIS MORNING…
…PRESSURE IS STILL FALLING AND WILL CONTINUE INTO THE AFTERNOON…
REMEMBER THAT THIS INFORMATION IS PRELIMINARY. THE LOW IS STILL STRENGTHENING SO THE VALUES LISTED BELOW ARE LIKELY TO CHANGE.
AN UNUSUALLY INTENSE LOW WAS AFFECTING THE STATE OF MINNESOTA THIS MORNING. AT 1013 AM CDT…THE AUTOMATED WEATHER OBSERVING SYSTEM AT AITKIN MINNESOTA RECORDED A 962.3 MILLIBAR /28.42 INCHES/ PRESSURE. THIS BREAKS THE ALL TIME MINNESOTA STATE RECORD FOR THE LOWEST OBSERVED PRESSURE.
THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 962.6 MB SET ON NOVEMBER 10 1998 AT ALBERT LEA AND AUSTIN IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA.
IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT DULUTH BROKE THEIR PRESSURE RECORD. AS OF 1028 AM…THE PRESSURE AT DULUTH WAS 962.9 MILLIBARS /28.44 INCHES/. THIS BREAKS THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 964.3 MILLIBARS WHICH OCCURRED ON NOVEMBER 10 1998.
PRESSURE RECORDS AT INTERNATIONAL FALLS WERE ONLY AVAILABLE BACK TO 1948. THE LOWEST PRESSURE PREVIOUSLY AT THAT LOCATION WAS 971.9 MILLIBARS ON OCTOBER 10 1949. THE PRESSURE AS OF 1024 AM WAS 967.4 MILLIBARS /28.57 INCHES/. THEREFORE…INTERNATIONAL FALLS ALSO BROKE THEIR PRESSURE RECORD.
THE LOW CONTINUES TO DEEPEN AND THE PRESSURE WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO FALL. THEREFORE…THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND WILL BE UPDATED ONCE THE LOWEST PRESSURE IS FINALLY OBSERVED.
THE LOW WAS AT ABOUT 983 MB ONLY 24 HOURS AGO OVER CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA. THAT IS A PRESSURE DROP OF ABOUT 21 MILLIBARS IN 24 HOURS.
…NEW WISCONSIN STATE RECORD FOR LOWEST PRESSURE RECORDED…
VERY STRONG LOW PRESSURE MOVED SLOWLY ACROSS NORTHEAST MINNESOTAÂ THIS MORNING. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE OF THIS SYSTEM FELL RAPIDLYÂ OVERNIGHT AND THROUGH THE MORNING…WITH A NEW RECORD SET THISÂ MORNING FOR LOWEST PRESSURE RECORDED IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN. THEÂ NEW RECORD WAS SET AT SUPERIOR AT 1135 AM CDT WITH A MEASUREMENT OFÂ 28.38 INCHES…OR 961.06 MB. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 28.45Â INCHES…OR 963.43 MB…AT GREEN BAY ON APRIL 3 OF 1982.
As noted, the pressure continues to fall – and as of noon Duluth was reporting a pressure of 28.39 inches of mercury, or 961.4 millibars, and rising – so that would be the new state record, pending any further drops in pressure and pending reports from other observation sites.
In general, the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. As a comparison, pressure readings as low as we’ve seen today are comparable to a typical Category 2 or 3 hurricane. Because of the differences between storm systems up here and down in the tropics, though, we won’t see Category 3 hurricane wind speeds.
Some strong thunderstorms over the Northland
The National Weather Service reports that the storm has drawn some warmer, more humid air has into the Northland, creating the potential for more thunderstorms – possibly strong – over the area today. As of 11 a.m., strong storms had prompted a special marine warning for the western tip of Lake Superior.
Farther south, a much bigger severe weather outbreak is under way (see below).
High winds cause air travel troubles
The Associated Press reports that high windsÂ forced authorities to stop flights at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago this morning. An airport officials said more than 125 flights were canceled.
The AP also reported that “officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are asking travelers to prepare for delays,” but all runways were open as of mid-morning.
Major severe weather outbreak from lower Michigan across the Ohio River Valley
Here’s a map of weather warnings as of 10:30 a.m. All of those red areas from lower Michigan southward are tornado warnings – as you can see, there are a bunch of them.
We’ll have to see how many actual tornadoes occur from all those warnings, but no doubt there will be quite a few. Already there have been tons of storm damage reports received by local National Weather Service offices in those areas.
A cold front trailing south from the big storm over the Northland is sparking all that severe weather.