The calendar says April. That usually means we’re due for one more shot of wintry weather in Minnesota.
Let’s break down this system into the dominant precipitation types across the region.
Precipitation will predominantly fall as ice and snow across northwest Minnesota and the Red River Valley. There may also be some icing here, and that means a potentially nasty combination on the roads. A band of 4 to 7 inches looks likely by Friday midday across northwest Minnesota.
The lowest mile of the atmosphere looks primed for freezing rain in much of western and northern Minnesota. That could mean a quarter-inch of ice on roads, driveways, sidewalks, trees and power lines.
Throw in winds gusting to 30-plus mph and we could see power outages in western Minnesota by Friday morning as ice-laden trees and power lines snap.
Rain, then a wintry mix
Rain will be the predominant precipitation type in eastern Minnesota including the Twin Cities. The bulk of the rain falls Thursday night. Rain likely changes to ice and snow Friday morning from west to east.
We could get an icy glaze and snowy coating again, but temperatures will be above freezing Friday afternoon.
What determines who gets rain, ice or snow? Temperatures in the lowest mile of the atmosphere are the deciding factor. Here’s a great way to visualize different precipitation types based on temperature.
Springy by Monday
The mildest air so far this year pushes into Minnesota early next week. We may also see a few April showers.
I won’t be shocked to see 70 degrees across southwestern Minnesota Tuesday, maybe even in the southwest Twin Cities.
Expect to see a wave of green shoots emerging in the landscape next week.