Record highs possible Wednesday; chilly weekend follows

Precipitation chances stay sparse through the end of the week

Overnight precipitation had mostly ended by Wednesday morning, and now the same pattern will send temperatures soaring by afternoon.

Wednesday’s forecast

A warm front influencing Minnesota overnight brought a wintry mix of precipitation as expected, most of which has cleared as of 9 a.m.

Northern Minnesota, could continue to see some spotty snow or freezing precipitation during the morning, and then would be mild enough for light sprinkles during the afternoon.

Behind the overnight precipitation, areas of fog developed in central and northern Minnesota, that continue to lift through the morning.

The warm front that brought the precipitation in also made for a mild morning, with all of the state, except a few spots in northern Minnesota, starting the day in the 30s.

Highs will be even warmer compared to average, ranging from the 30s north to a few 60s southwest.

weather graphic
Wednesday high temperatures.
National Weather Service

For northern Minnesota this is about 10 degrees above average, but for southern and western Minnesota, those highs are 20 to 25 degrees above average in most cases.

This puts some towns in western Minnesota in range of record highs. For example, the forecast highs in Marshall and Moorhead are 60 and 55 degrees respectively, with those records at 64 and 57.

Western Minnesota has the best chance at records because that is where our wind pattern from the south to southwest will be the gustiest by the afternoon, with gusts over 20 mph funneling in warm air.

Turning colder

weather graphic
Forecast cold front position early Thursday
National Weather Service

The colder side of the same storm responsible for Wednesday’s warmth starts sweeping across the state later in the day. This drops highs Thursday 5 to 10 degrees for most of the state, but that still puts Minnesota above average.

Friday nudges temperatures an additional couple of degrees cooler, and Minnesota slides back to chilly December average highs by Saturday — 20s north and 30s south.

weather graphic
Twin Cities temperature trend through Sunday
Weather.us

Here is the Twin Cities forecast through the weekend, showing the return of the colder air:

Meanwhile, precipitation chances stay slim. A disturbance Friday could bring a couple of sprinkles or flurries across the state.

The next bigger potential comes Sunday, with a system that looks like it will track snow into northern Minnesota.

weather graphic
Forecast storm position Sunday morning
Tropical Tidbits

Three is still a lot of uncertainty with that storm, in terms of how far south the precipitation may get, and snowfall amounts, but it does have the potential to produce a few inches of snow. We will keep you posted on that prospect as the weekend approaches!

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Monday through Friday morning.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.