The extended pattern keeps Minnesota milder

Lake ice is eroding under mild and windy conditions

Despite a cooldown over the weekend, the trend will be higher than average temperatures into early March. Meanwhile, precipitation chances stay limited.

Lake ice

Remember that ice conditions and thickness can quickly change this time of year, especially with the warmer weather. Plus, we have windy conditions in the forecast, and that causes waves in any areas with open water.  Waves can also erode the ice.

Here is a look at how quickly the ice on Lake Superior has changed since last week:

weather graphic
Lake Superior ice conditions
National Weather Service

Obviously, Lake Superior is a very large lake and the ice was not as thick as on some of the smaller lakes across the state, but it is a good reminder to always know ice conditions before going onto any lake.

Thursday’s forecast

The state started off above average again for a late February morning, with temperatures in the teens and 20s.

The morning has also seen some spotty, light snow along the northern edge of Minnesota, which lingers through early afternoon. However, places that get any of the snow will mostly only see a dusting.

Otherwise, skies clear during the morning, bringing widespread sunshine by afternoon, although the Arrowhead may see mostly cloudy skies stick through the day.   

Winds switch more southerly through the day, and that combination of sunshine and warm winds brings most of Minnesota back into the 30s for highs, with a few 40s south.

weather graphic
Thursday high temperatures
National Weather Service

Extended forecast

The southerly winds that help drive up temperatures Thursday turn breezy by Thursday evening and windy Friday. That pushes more highs Friday to 40, but gusts by Friday afternoon will top 30 and possibly 40 mph, especially in southern Minnesota.

weather graphic
Gusty winds Friday
National Weather Service

There is also a chance for light precipitation in eastern Minnesota Friday afternoon and evening, with light snow north, and sprinkles south, including for the Twin Cities — with maybe flurries in the evening.

weather graphic
Precipitation forecast Friday afternoon
National Weather Service

Then, a cold front that crosses Minnesota Saturday briefly drops temperatures. It also likely brings light snow to southern Minnesota late Saturday and through the overnight, although it looks like totals should stay under 2 inches.

weather graphic
Forecast weather pattern Saturday night
Tropical Tidbits

In terms of the cooler air, in northwestern Minnesota, the colder air hits Saturday, with a few highs staying stuck in the teens, while southern Minnesota still sees a few 40s. Most of the state gets the colder day Sunday, with teens north to about 30 degrees south.  That puts the state slightly below average, but temperatures immediately rebound, with most of Minnesota back in the 30s by Tuesday. 

Here is that forecast through the weekend for the Twin Cities:

weather graphic
Staying mostly above average
National Weather Service

After that, milder than average weather is expected to dominate out forecast through at least the first part of March.

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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