Rain, snow, and even ice: A strong storm eyes Minnesota

Wednesday remains fairly quiet

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Wednesday remains mostly dry, with only light rain chances. Then a major storm rolls across the state with areas of heavy rain, snow, and ice Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday’s forecast

Wednesday started off mild again, with most of the state in the 30s. Highs will also be above average, ranging from the 40s in northern Minnesota to possible 60s in the southwest corner of the state.

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Wednesday high temperatures
National Weather Service

More clouds have moved in, so the day will be partly to mostly cloudy, with most of the state seeing breaks of sunshine.

There will be chances for occasional light rain or sprinkles during the day Wednesday, but most of the day will remain dry. Widespread light rain showers are more likely to move across the state Wednesday evening, and northern Minnesota could see some light snow mix in.

weather graphic
Wednesday evening precipitation
National Weather Service

Another strong spring storm

The increasing clouds and light precipitation Wednesday are precursors to a potent storm that will cut its way across Minnesota Thursday and Friday.

The storm is targeting the state with heavy rain and possible thunderstorms, snow, ice, breezy conditions, and falling temperatures.

The entire state is expected to see some form of precipitation, with the northern half of the state likely seeing an inch or more of total liquid (from a combination of rain and snow), increasing river flooding concerns.

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Total liquid precipitation through Friday night
Pivotal Weather

A cold front will move slowly across the state Thursday through Friday morning from west to east.

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Storm and cold front position Thursday evening
National Weather Service

So, in general with this storm, western Minnesota is more likely to see falling temperatures Thursday and widespread wintry precipitation by Thursday night.

Eastern Minnesota has a better chance for rain Thursday, then colder temperatures and spreading snow or ice mixing in during the day Friday. The entire state will be noticeably colder by Friday afternoon.

weather graphic
Temperatures by Friday afternoon
National Weather Service

Although anywhere in the state could see some snow mix in during the storm, the heaviest snow is likely for northwestern Minnesota, where most of the area could see 4 inches of snow, with some totals as high as 7 or 8 inches.

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Snow forecast Thursday to Friday
National Weather Service

Most of the state also has chances to see freezing rain or sleet mix in, but western Minnesota has the best chance for accumulating ice.

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Ice forecast Thursday to Friday
National Weather Service

Because of the snow and ice potential, all of western Minnesota is either under a winter storm watch (in blue) or winter weather advisory (in purple) from Thursday until Friday morning.

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Watches and Advisories through Friday morning
National Weather Service

Travel could be difficult. The storm will finally clear out west to east from Friday evening through the overnight.

Extended forecast

Skies clear and more sunshine returns Saturday, with temperatures near average in the 40s and low 50s. Temperatures climb back above average by Sunday.

The first part of next week looks mild but active, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s plus more rain chances. Here is that forecast for the Twin Cities:

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Twin Cities Forecast Saturday to Tuesday
Weather.us

Programming note

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

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