Split flow prevents extremes
We have been in a split atmospheric flow pattern this past week and it will continue into next week.
Split flow means that the usual single meandering storm track across the United States has split into two tracks — one south of Minnesota and the other generally to our north. Temperatures between the storm tracks generally do not stray too far from seasonal normals. We usually remain In the Goldilocks zone of not too cold and not too warm.
As a result, most of our weekend is likely to be drama-free with near-normal temperatures for mid-March.
One exception will be a chilly Saturday morning across northern Minnesota. As the northwest wind diminishes Friday evening, infrared radiation from the deep snow pack that remains up north will cause temperatures to drop into the single digits across much of that part of the state.
Saturday will see a snowy stripe develop from Nebraska across parts of Iowa into Illinois. Minnesota will remain dry except for maybe some flurries in the southwest corner.
Saturday’s highs will be mainly in the 30s except for 20s in the chillier northwest corner. The Twin Cities should have a high near 38 degrees.
Milder Sunday with snow possible in the northwest
High temperatures on Sunday should range from the low 30s to the low 40s with the Twin Cities seeing about 42 degrees in the afternoon.
The northern storm track across southern Canada might nudge a little snow into northwestern Minnesota on Sunday.
Snow likely north on Sunday; scattered rain farther south
The Canadian storm track is forecast to advance a west-to-east band of light snow across the northern counties of Minnesota Sunday night and into Monday. Some accumulation is likely.
Scattered rain will fall farther south on Monday.
A glance well into next week
Forecast models are indicating that the split flow pattern might break down later next week and bring a decent swath of snow our way around Thursday through Friday. I am not going to guess at just where and how much snow might fall at this early time.
Temperature outlook later into March
The six-to-10 day temperature outlook probability for March 19-23 — that’s next Thursday through the following Monday — indicates the good chance of below-normal temperatures for Minnesota and especially points to our west and in the Southwest. Note that the southeastern U.S. and Alaska have a very good chance of being warmer than normal during that time.