Weekend forecast: More snow Saturday afternoon into Sunday

Cold temperatures linger

A person rides a bike on a snowy bike path.
A bicyclist cruises down a snowy path Tuesday in Upper Landing Park in St. Paul.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News file

The sky is looking a bit strange this morning in the Twin Cities:

Ice particles in the air may be combining with a bit of smoke (aloft) from Colorado wildfires to bring us the interesting hues. Here’s a mention of the morning sky by the National Weather Service, along with the mid-morning radar loop:

The Twin Cities metro area will see a mix of sleet, rain showers, drizzle and snowflakes this Thursday afternoon and evening. A bit of thunder and spotty light freezing drizzle is also possible. Heavy snow will continue to fall in parts of central and northern Minnesota:

rt1022advis
Thursday warnings, advisories and the forecast snow totals
National Weather Service

The pink-shaded area from west-central Minnesota up to Duluth will see the most snow, and that area is in a winter storm warning. The blue-shaded counties are in winter weather advisories this Thursday afternoon and evening.

Here are details of the Brainerd and Duluth portion of the winter storm warning:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Duluth MN 1046 AM CDT Thu Oct 22 2020 ...WINTER STORM CONTINUES

A strong winter storm continues over the Upper Midwest. A strong area of low pressure over eastern Colorado this morning will lift northeastward through northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin to northern Lower Michigan by early Friday morning. The forecast generally remains on track, with the potential for a swath of accumulations between 5 to 8 inches from the Brainerd Lakes region towards the Twin Ports.

Some uncertainty remains on the southern edge of the forecast snowfall swath as there will be a transition to a wintry mix or all rain the further southeast you go, so there is the potential for a shift in the location of the heavier snowfall. Some sleet or freezing rain may mix in with the snow at times at this transition zone over portions of northwest Wisconsin.

Additionally, there may be relatively little snow accumulations along the shoreline of Lake Superior as the lake is still relatively warm, so there may be a tight gradient in snowfall amounts along the North Shore to the higher elevations.

MNZ033>037-230400- /O.CON.KDLH.WS.W.0005.000000T0000Z-201023T0600Z/ South Cass-Crow Wing-Northern Aitkin-South Aitkin- Carlton and South St. Louis- Including the cities of Pine River, Brainerd, Hill City, Aitkin, and Duluth 1046 AM CDT Thu Oct 22 2020 ...

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM CDT FRIDAY...

WHAT...Heavy snow. Additional snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches. * WHERE...Crow Wing, South Cass, Northern Aitkin, South Aitkin and Carlton and South St. Louis Counties. This includes the Tribal Lands of the Fond du Lac Band and the Mille Lacs Band, East Lake and, Big Sandy Lake areas. *

WHEN...Until 1 AM CDT Friday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 511. Road conditions can also be found at 511mn.org for Minnesota or 511wi.gov for Wisconsin.


There’s already been a report of 5 inches of new snow in Alexandria, Minn.

You can hear updated weather information on the MPR network, and you’ll see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Minnesota road conditions can be found here.

Weekend snow outlook

Forecast models show a batch of snow spreading across central and southern Minnesota plus western Wisconsin as we go through Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. The snow lingers through much of Sunday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale (NAM) forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon:

rt1022rad
Simulated radar Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

We can give detailed snow totals as we get closer to the weekend, but at this point I’d say that most areas that see weekend snow will receive enough snow to shovel.

Weekend temps

Our average Twin Cities high temp is 54 degrees on Oct. 24. The metro area will probably top out in the lower 30s this Saturday. Highs will range from the 20s in western Minnesota to 30s in eastern Minnesota on Saturday:

rt1024h7
Saturday forecast highs
National Weather Service

High temps on Sunday will also be very cold, with lower 30s again in the metro area:

rt1025h
Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Forecasters are still searching for milder temps!

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on MPR News at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:39 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

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