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Heavy snow, fierce winds for North Dakota, NW Minnesota; flake chance in metro area

Snowstorm lingers into Saturday in the northwest

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I know, it’s really early in the season to be talking about snowstorms. An intense snowstorm continues this Friday and into Saturday in the eastern half of North Dakota and it will also expand into portions of northwestern and west-central Minnesota. Fierce winds and snowstorm totals of one to three feet are expected in parts of North Dakota. No travel is advised in much of eastern North Dakota:

Portions of northwestern Minnesota could see more than one foot of snow from this storm from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, with severe drifting of snow where winds are highest:  

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Forecast snowstorm totals
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service describes this as “crippling” winter weather in parts of North Dakota:

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North Dakota storm details
National Weather Service

The slow movement of this winter storm is the reason that the snow will really pile up some areas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern from Friday through Saturday:

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NOAA NAM simulated radar Friday through Saturday
Tropicaltidbits.com

The Twin Cities metro area will see some rain showers and snow showers at times this Friday, with off and on snow showers Friday night and Saturday. Snow accumulations of less than one inch are possible in the metro area Friday night through Saturday, especially on grassy areas.

Warnings and advisories

A combination of blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings remain in effect through Saturday morning for North Dakota. Much of northwestern Minnesota is in a winter storm warning through Saturday morning: 

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Warnings and advisories
National Weather Service

Updates on warnings and advisories can be found on the National Weather Service Grand Forks, N.D., site. Winter weather advisories border the winter storm warnings, and also extend as far south as Stevens and Pope county:

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Additional advisories
National Weather Service

Two to 5 inches of snow will be possible late Friday through Saturday in Alexandria. There is a freeze warning for Saturday morning in southeastern Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin. Check with the Twin Cities National Weather Service for advisory updates in central and southern Minnesota.  Minnesota road condition updates can be found here

Updated weather information can be heard on the MPR network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Temperature trends

This feels more like late November than October.  Minnesota and western Wisconsin temperatures will be stuck in the 30s and lower 40s Friday.

Most areas will have highs in the 30s on Saturday:

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Saturday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities will creep into the 40s Sunday afternoon:

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Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Our average high temperature in the Twin Cities is 60 degrees this time of year.

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the mid-40s Monday and Tuesday, followed by upper 40s Wednesday and lower 50s next Thursday.

Fall colors

The latest fall color report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shows fall colors past peak in parts of northern Minnesota, with areas of good fall color in many locations:

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Thursday fall colors
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Keep in mind that the fall color report includes all deciduous trees, not just maples. A Wisconsin fall color report is also available.

The wind, rain and snow will take down a lot of leaves over the next few days.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.