Saturday is the coldest day this weekend; Sunday p.m. snow update

Plenty of snow cover across most of Minnesota

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The average temperature at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for Jan. 1 through Jan. 9 of 2020 was 9.7 degrees warmer than normal. The only colder-than-normal day in that stretch was this past Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Much colder air is spreading across Minnesota today and it’ll linger into the weekend.

Temperature trends

Saturday morning low temps will be in the teens below zero in much of northern and western Minnesota:

Saturday forecast lows
National Weather Service

Some spots in the north will drop into the 20s below zero. Metro area lows will be in the single digits above zero in and near Minneapolis and St. Paul, with some below-zero readings possible in the far suburbs.

Saturday highs reach the upper teens in the metro area, with single digits in western Minnesota and much of northern Minnesota:

Forecast Saturday highs
National Weather Service

Afternoon wind chills will be well below zero in the west and north:

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

Sunday highs reach the teens in the north and west, with 20s in the metro area and points to the south and east:

Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Sunday afternoon wind chill temps are coldest west and north:

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

Weekend snow chances

Southeastern Minnesota could get clipped by some snow late Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening, but the heavier snow will fall over southern and central Wisconsin. Another batch of snow moves into Minnesota and western Wisconsin Sunday afternoon and evening, and continues Sunday night.

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

Simulated radar Saturday morning through Sunday evening
NOAA, via

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

Snow depths

We looked at 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

You can see that snow cover ranges from near zero in parts of far southeastern Minnesota to over 24 inches in parts of the north. The official Twin Cities snow depth was three inches this Friday morning.

Most of Minnesota has plenty of snow on the ground for weekend cross-country skiers, sledders and snowboarders. There’s enough snow cover for snowmobiling in much of central and northern Minnesota.

Outdoor events

Explore Minnesota has a list of many events around the state of Minnesota this weekend. One outdoor activity that might be of interest is Winter Trails Day this Saturday at Fort Snelling State Park:

Winter Trails Day is an annual winter festival for people of all ages to enjoy fun, free winter activities at Fort Snelling State Park. All equipment will be provided by our partners, with outdoor enthusiasts on hand for demonstrations and assistance. Make sure to take a break and enjoy a cup of complimentary hot coco in between activities!

The website notes that:

This event is free and open to everyone, however vehicles require a Minnesota State Park permit; $7 for the day or $35 for the year.

Temperatures during the event will be in the teens, with wind chill temps slightly below zero at times. Wear warm clothes!