Outdoors this weekend? Minnesota weather looking mostly good

Chilliest to the northwest

Whether your weekend plans involve holiday shopping or playing in the snow, we have you covered on the weather.

Here’s a look at what to expect, plus links to some weekend outdoor activities and festivals.


Weekend highs in many areas will be slightly above average for this time of year. Saturday highs reach the 30s across most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, with a few upper 20s in the far north:

Saturday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Sunday highs range from the teens in the far northwest corner of Minnesota to near 40 in far southeastern Minnesota:

Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Temperatures drop a few degrees in northwestern Minnesota during the day on Sunday and wind chill temps drop below zero in the northwest by Sunday afternoon:

Forecast wind chill 1 p.m. Sunday
National Weather Service

Warm clothes will feel good if you have outdoor plans in northwestern Minnesota on Sunday!

Temperatures in most areas will be comfortable for outdoor activities. Explore Minnesota has dozens of festivals and other events around the state of Minnesota this weekend.

One Saturday event in North Mankato, Bells on Belgrade, will feature trolley rides, a medallion hunt, local caroling groups and other entertainment. If you go, expect a mix of clouds and sun Saturday afternoon, with temps in the mid- to upper 30s. It’ll be a bit breezy at times.

Northeast snow looks primed for fun

We showed a regional map of snow cover in Thursday’s Updraft post. Now, we have a detailed Minnesota snow depth map, courtesy of the Minnesota State Climatology Office and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

Minnesota snow depth Thursday
Minnesota State Climatology Office/Minnesota DNR

Snow depths in the Twin Cities metro area are generally in the 4- inch to 8-inch range. There is much more snow on the ground to the north, with a snow depth of 18 to 24 inches near Duluth and in many locations northeast of Duluth.

I bet there’ll be many people out on their sleds, snowboards or skies this weekend. The map link also takes you to trail conditions around Minnesota. There’s enough snow cover in parts of Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin for snowmobiles.

Weekend rain or snow?

Saturday looks dry in most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. There’s a chance of a wintry mix of snow showers and drizzle/freezing drizzle Saturday night and early Sunday in northern Minnesota, followed by chance of snow showers in the afternoon.

Accumulating snow is expected to move into west-central Minnesota late Sunday afternoon, then spread eastward Sunday evening.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern from Saturday morning through Sunday evening:

Simulated radar from Saturday morning through Sunday evening
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

The final few frames of the loop show the snow spreading eastward after sunset on Sunday. The snow continues to expand to cover much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin overnight Sunday night into early Monday.

You can hear updated weather information on the MPR network, and you’ll see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

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