Rain, ice, snow march across Minnesota Thursday

Falling temperatures in western Minnesota

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A cold front that is slicing across Minnesota is bringing rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow across the state through Friday.

Thursday’s forecast

A potent storm is moving across Minnesota, and as of Thursday morning, the associated cold front is already pushing into the western edge of the state. It will move slowly across the state, only making it through central Minnesota by late Thursday.

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Storm position by late Thursday
National Weather Service

Ahead of the front, temperatures will stay mild, but for western Minnesota, as the front passes through, many locations will see falling temperatures Thursday.

Here are the forecast temperatures by late Thursday afternoon, showing that large temperature divide, with 20s and 30s in western Minnesota, behind the front, and some 50s and 60s ahead of it.

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Temperatures late Thursday afternoon
National Weather Service

Because of that temperature transition, most places will see rain, and even possible thunderstorms for southeastern Minnesota, first. Then precipitation transitions to freezing rain and/or sleet and finally snow. Here is how that transition looked earlier Thursday morning as the precipitation moved into northwestern Minnesota:

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5:30 a.m. radar showing precipitation transition
National Weather Service

By Thursday evening, almost all of western Minnesota is likely to be seeing snow or ice, while eastern Minnesota is still seeing rain. Because of this, western Minnesota is either under a winter storm warning (pink) or winter weather advisory Thursday, then the advisories extend into central Minnesota on Friday.

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Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories
National Weather Service


Snow will be heaviest for northwestern Minnesota, where some reports could go as high as 8 or 9 inches through Friday.

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Forecast snow accumulation through Friday
National Weather Service

Ice will likely be the bigger problem for the southwestern corner of the state, with up to a quarter-inch of accumulation possible through Friday.

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Forecast ice accumulation through Friday
National Weather Service

Here is the projected timing of the transition from rain to freezing rain:

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Timing of Freezing Precipitation
National Weather Service


The cold front will continue across eastern Minnesota on Friday, bringing the ice and snow chances with it. That extended forecast will be updated around 9 a.m.

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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