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Delightful weekend until late on Sunday; wet and much cooler next week

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Very strong winds from the south and southeast have been blowing across Minnesota this Friday afternoon and boosting temperatures well above normal for this date.

Winds blew to 40 mph in the Twin Cities area and went above 40 mph across southern Minnesota. The Rochester airport reported gusts to 45 mph at 4 p.m.

Such a southerly rush of mild air pushed temperatures into the 60s for most of the state. Most of southwestern and south central Minnesota and parts of the Twin Cities touched the low 70s.

Cold front Friday night

A weak cold front from the Dakotas will trek eastward across Minnesota with isolated showers Friday night.

A larger area of rain should develop over southeastern Minnesota early Saturday morning and linger there into the afternoon before departing into Wisconsin.

Southeastern Minnesota is likely to be rainy Saturday morning
Southeastern Minnesota is likely to be rainy Saturday morning
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Enjoyable October Saturday for most

The weak front will not cool our temperatures significantly. Look for Saturday to bring clearing skies, mild temperatures and light winds. The Twin Cities should have a high temperature near 64 with a west wind around 10 mph.

Those conditions will be great for outdoor fun as well as autumnal chores. The Minnesota DNR’s Friday update on fall color shows that the color peak is advancing rapidly southward.

Much of northern Minnesota is past fall color peak
Much of northern Minnesota is past fall color peak
Minnesota DNR

Slow-moving storm at the end of the weekend

A low pressure system will intensify as it crosses the Dakotas on Sunday. I expect rain to reach parts of western Minnesota later Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening.

Areas of rain, along with some thunderstorms, will soak the state from Sunday night through Monday and into Tuesday as this storm plods toward Ontario. A few snowflakes might mix in at the end of the storm but otherwise this one will be all rain.

Chillier beginning Monday

Cooler air from the northwest will blow in on the backside of this storm. Monday will gradually become blustery in western and southern Minnesota. The tight pressure gradient will advance and spread strong winds all across the state Monday night and into Tuesday.

Expect cooler than normal afternoons all next week. The Twin Cities could see highs just in the mid 40s on a few days.

Tropical Storm Nestor

One type of adverse weather that we dodge in Minnesota is tropical storms. Florida often wishes that it could say the same thing.

What had been potential tropical cyclone 16 has grown into Tropical Storm Nestor over the Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Nestor is forecast to remain a tropical storm with heavy rain and a dangerous storm surge as it crosses northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas over the weekend.

Forecast track of the center of Tropical Storm Nestor
Forecast track of the center of Tropical Storm Nestor
NOAA National Hurricane Center

Looking ahead to winter

The Climate Prediction Center has released its outlook for the three months of meteorological winter — December, January and February. I discussed the winter snowfall outlook for our part of the world in my Updraft of Friday morning.

The temperature outlook, below, shows Minnesota to be in part of the country with potentially equal chances of being either warmer or colder than normal during the dead of winter. We often refer to that as being an outlook for near-normal temperatures.

Our outlook for winter is for rather normal temperatures
Our outlook for December-January-February is for rather normal temperatures
NOAA Climate Prediction Center

Meanwhile, most of the rest of the 48 states might trend toward the warmer-than-normal side. Very warm temperatures indicated for Alaska would not be good for their ecosystems.

Such long-range outlooks are highly prone to future updates.