Light wintry mix in some areas Thursday afternoon; chilly weekend ahead

Plenty of snow cover for your outdoor plans

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When the temperature aloft warms faster than the temperature at or near the ground, we can have freezing rain or freezing drizzle:

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NOAA
NWS

Parts of western Wisconsin will see some light freezing drizzle at times this Thursday afternoon. There could also be snowflakes at times. Eastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, could also see some patchy light freezing drizzle early this afternoon. Northern Minnesota will have periods of mainly light snow.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening:

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Simulated radar Thursday afternoon and evening
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

Blue indicates snow and purple shows a wintry mix in the loop. There will be precipitation in some areas that look dry in the loop, since drizzle/freezing drizzle is sometimes missed by computer models and is also hard to detect on radar.

A winter weather advisory covers western Wisconsin Thursday afternoon:

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Thursday afternoon advisories
National Weather Service

Here are details of the western Wisconsin portion of the winter weather advisory:

National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN 836 AM CST Thu Jan 9 2020 ...A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION EXPECTED TODAY... .A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for counties in western Wisconsin east of Hudson, to Durand for a combination of freezing drizzle and light snow on today. A storm system will move from the Central Plains, northeast across the Upper Midwest by this afternoon. Light precipitation in the form of mostly freezing drizzle with some snow mixed in, will develop this morning, and continue through the early afternoon before temperatures rise above freezing. A light glaze of ice and less than a half inch of snow are likely. This will cause area roads to become hazardous. Polk-Barron-Rusk-St. Croix-Dunn-Chippewa- Including the cities of Osceola, Rice Lake, Ladysmith, Hudson, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls 836 AM CST Thu Jan 9 2020 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM CST THIS AFTERNOON... * WHAT...Mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of up to one half inch and ice accumulations of a light glaze. * WHERE...Polk, Barron, St. Croix, Dunn and Chippewa Counties. * WHEN...From 8 AM to 3 PM CST Thursday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Slow down and use caution while traveling. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

There is also a winter weather advisory Thursday afternoon in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin:

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Thursday afternoon advisories
National Weather Service

Details on the snow and ice potential in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Minnesota:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Duluth MN 1017 AM CST Thu Jan 9 2020 ...MIX OF SNOW AND FREEZING DRIZZLE IN NORTHWEST WISCONSIN TODAY... ...SNOW ALONG THE NORTH SHORE TODAY... .A low pressure system will move northeast Wisconsin today, causing snow and freezing drizzle to affect portions of the Northland today. Light snow will continue to affect parts of the North Shore, with light additional snowfall amounts expected today. Light snow and freezing drizzle are expected to develop over northwest Wisconsin for later this morning and this afternoon, which should produce a glaze of ice today. MNZ012-020-021-092200- /O.CON.KDLH.WW.Y.0002.000000T0000Z-200109T2200Z/ Northern Cook and Lake-Southern Lake-Southern Cook- Including the cities of Isabella, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, and Grand Marais 1017 AM CST Thu Jan 9 2020 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM CST THIS AFTERNOON... * WHAT...Snow. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 2 inches. * WHERE...Northern Cook and Lake, Southern Cook and Southern Lake Counties. This includes the Tribal Lands of the Grand Portage Reservation. * WHEN...Until 4 PM CST this afternoon. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Slow down and use caution while traveling. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 5 1 1. Road conditions can also be found at 511mn.org for Minnesota or 511wi.gov for Wisconsin.

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

On to the weekend

It’s never too early to start thinking about the weekend!

Our coldest weekend temps will be Saturday morning:

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Saturday morning forecast lows
National Weather Service

We start the day with teens below zero in parts of northern Minnesota and single digits above zero in the Twin Cities.

Saturday highs reach the teens in the metro area and single digits to the north and west.

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Saturday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Saturday afternoon wind chills are in the teens below zero in western Minnesota:

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Saturday 1 p.m. forecast wind chills
National Weather Service

Sunday highs are more reasonable, with 20s south and teens to the north:

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Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Sunday afternoon wind chills are below zero in northwestern Minnesota, but a bit above zero elsewhere:

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Sunday 1 p.m. forecast wind chills
National Weather Service

Weekend snow chances

Southeastern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin could see some snow showers Saturday afternoon, and snow showers could clip the Twin Cities metro area and west-central Wisconsin Saturday evening and overnight Saturday night. Several inches of snow are possible deeper into Wisconsin Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Another batch of snow spreads into western and southern Minnesota Sunday afternoon and that snow could reach the Twin Cities Sunday evening.

NOAA’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon:

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Simulated radar Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

Check for updates on our weekend snow chances.

Snow depths

If you have outdoor plans this weekend, you’ll be happy to know that there’s plenty of snow on the ground across most of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here’s today’s snow depth analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

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Snow depth Thursday
NOAA/NWS

There are between 12 and 20 inches of snow on the ground across much of northern Minnesota and far northern Wisconsin. There are more than 20 inches of snow cover across a wide swath of northeastern Minnesota. Central Minnesota is mainly in the 4- to 12-inch snow depth range, and we are closer to a 4-inch snow depth in the Twin Cities metro area.

There’s ample snow on the ground in many areas for cross-country skiers, sledders and snowboarders. There’s even enough snow cover for snowmobiling in much of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

I hope that you enjoy your weekend!