After brutal cold Wednesday, temperatures turn milder

Snow likely over the weekend

Much of northern Minnesota saw the coldest morning so far this winter Wednesday, but warmer weather returns late week. The entire state sees a chance for snow by Saturday.

Wednesday’s forecast

Under the influence of high pressure, a colder pattern and clear skies overnight, most of northern Minnesota is started Wednesday with the lowest temperatures we have seen all winter. Here were the temperatures, winds and cloud cover reports at 6 a.m.:

weather graphic
6 a.m. Wednesday temperatures, winds and sky cover
National Weather Service

Because of this, the whole northern third of the state is under a wind chill advisory until 11 a.m. for wind chills that could feel as cold as minus 35.  Fortunately, most places in northern Minnesota have seen light and even calm winds Wednesday morning, reducing that wind chill risk. 

For much of the southern half of Minnesota, enough cloud cover lingered overnight to prevent temperatures from plunging, keeping most of those temperatures above zero. 

The colder pattern means all of Minnesota will see below average highs Wednesday, and for many it could be the coldest “high” of the month.  For example, the lowest high temperature so far in January for the Twin Cities was 15 set last Friday, but Wednesday’s forecast is 14, which would put us just under that. 

weather graphic
Wednesday high temperatures
National Weather Service

Other highs across Minnesota will range from near 0 north, to low teens south, which is about 10 to 20 degrees below average.

No precipitation is expected. 

Milder weather returns

Thursday starts off cold again, with morning lows expected to be in the negative teens north to single digits south.

However, by Thursday the high pressure that has been dominating our weather finally starts sliding east.

weather graphic
Forecast surface weather conditions Thursday
National Weather Service

This means Minnesota finally gets back under a southerly wind flow that helps temperatures rise by Thursday afternoon, putting most of the state back in the 20s Friday. Parts of southern Minnesota will likely even see some 30s by the weekend.

Here is that temperature forecast for the Twin Cities:

weather graphic
Twin Cities forecast through Sunday
National Weather Service

Weekend snow

The high pressure has also kept Minnesota predominantly dry, but as it moves off, more active weather returns. By Saturday, a storm sliding to our south will be able to bring snow into the state. Currently snow is expected most of Saturday until possibly midday Sunday. Because the storm center stays south, the current forecast is for 1 to 4 inches across much of the state.

weather graphic
NGM weather model weekend snow forecast
Pivotal Weather

However, there is still uncertainly in that forecast, especially for southern Minnesota, where temperatures should be mild enough for some mixed precipitation, which would reduce snow totals. If temperatures stay a little lower, that southern edge of the state may see a more significant snowfall. We will continue to update the potential snowfall as the storm approaches!

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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