Blizzard conditions possible as snowstorm batters Minnesota

Heavy snow, highs winds, and plummeting temperatures hit the state

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A major snowstorm is making its way across Minnesota, bringing heavy snow and highs winds through Saturday. It will also bring us a brief warmup, followed by more dangerous cold.

Heavy snow and high winds

With the exception of Houston County in southeastern Minnesota, which is under a winter weather advisory, the entire state is under a winter storm warning as of Friday morning as heavy snow and high winds make their way into the state.

Additionally, western Minnesota is also under a blizzard warning that begins early Saturday.

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Weather warnings through Saturday
National Weather Service

The snow has already been spreading quickly through parts of western and southwestern Minnesota Friday morning.

Because winds are picking up quickly as the system moves in, it has been blowing snow and dropping visibility to below 1 mile at times.

By Friday afternoon, the entire state will see snow, and portions of southwestern and northwest Minnesota could also see some freezing rain mix in.

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Friday afternoon precipitation
National Weather Service

For most places, the heaviest snow is likely Friday afternoon or evening, meaning a treacherous evening commute, including for the Twin Cities.

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Snow timing and amounts
National Weather Service

Most of the state has the potential to see up to 6 inches of snow through Saturday, with many areas above that. Up to a foot is possible for the North Shore thanks to lake enhancement.

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Snowfall forecast
National Weather Service

Snow slowly moves out on Saturday, but the wind will continue to cause problems with blowing snow.

While it will be windy both Friday and Saturday, with gusts exceeding 40 mph for parts of the state, the highest winds will likely be on Saturday.

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Saturday afternoon wind gusts
National Weather Service

This is why blizzard conditions are possible for western Minnesota Saturday even though the snowfall will be lighter then. Winds slowly diminish Saturday evening and overnight, with greatly improved conditions for Sunday.

Temperatures

The storm is initially drawing in some warmer air, so Friday temperatures are milder than the bitter cold the state saw Thursday.

For most of the state, temperatures will continue to rise through the evening, setting the highs at the end of the day. Here are the temperatures expected Friday afternoon:

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Friday afternoon temperatures
National Weather Service

Behind the storm more Arctic air moves back in, so most places will see Saturday highs set early in the morning with temperatures plummeting the rest of the day. By Sunday morning, the entire state will be back below zero.

Next week

As mentioned, bitterly cold air returns by Sunday morning, and the first couple days of the week will start below zero, with highs mostly in the single digits.

By Tuesday afternoon, most of the state returns to temperatures at or above average. For Wednesday, it is likely the whole state will be above average and then we stay milder through the end of the week.

Here is how that temperature trend looks for the Twin Cities (highs in red, lows in blue, and shaded areas indicate forecast uncertainty):

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Twin Cities temperature trend
Weather.us

We get a nice quiet break after the snowstorm, with no significant precipitation chances until next Thursday. At that point, with some temperatures likely above freezing, that system could bring a mix of precipitation.

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Possible storm next Thursday
Tropical Tidbits

That is still almost a week away, so we will update you as any potential winter weather become more certain.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:48 a.m. Monday through Friday morning.