Big warmup Saturday, but it won't last long

Next week starts off with another cold snap

Dangerous cold continues Friday morning. Temperatures then surge only to drop again by Sunday. Northern Minnesota sees light snow Friday night.

Friday’s forecast

The arctic air over Minnesota took an even more frigid turn overnight as clear skies and light-to-calm winds allowed temperatures to plummet even further.

Almost all of Minnesota is started Friday in the negative teens and 20s, with a few readings over 30 below zero in central and northern Minnesota.

Fortunately, winds are calm in much of central Minnesota, minimizing wind chill problems, but when there are even light winds, temperatures feel much colder. For example, Detroit Lakes was at minus 26 as of 7 a.m. but with winds of only 9 mph it felt like minus 47.

Because of the dangerous cold, all of the state is still under a wind chill advisory Friday morning for wind chills to minus 35 — and much of western Minnesota is under a wind chill warning for wind chills near 50 below zero.

The only place not as cold Friday morning is southwestern Minnesota, where winds are becoming southerly, putting morning temperatures only in the negative single digits. This southerly flow spreads across the state by midday, and temperatures start climbing.

By the afternoon, southern Minnesota will be back above zero, with negative single digits north. Temperatures continue to rise overnight, so most of the state should be above zero by the end of Friday.

Here is that temperature trend for the Twin Cities (in red), showing the high coming at the end of the day (wind chill forecast shown in blue):

weather graphic
Twin Cities temperature trend Friday
National Weather Service

The same system brings a light snow across northern Minnesota by Friday evening, into overnight.

weather graphic
Snow and blowing snow late Friday
National Weather Service

Although the snow will be light, with most places seeing under 2 inches, the winds turn gusty by late Friday, with gusts over 30 mph for much of the state and possibly over 40 mph west.

weather graphic
Wind gust forecast late Friday
National Weather Service

That could produce blowing snow and limited visibility despite the snow being light.

Another warmup and drop

The snow in northern Minnesota ends by Saturday morning (although gusty winds could continue to cause areas of blowing snow in western Minnesota through the afternoon).

Meanwhile, temperatures continue to rise all through the overnight and into Saturday. It will be a huge temperature reversal, from some lows of 20 to 30 below Friday morning to highs in the 20s and 30s above zero Saturday afternoon.

For example, the Twin Cities dropped to minus 17 Friday morning, but will be near 30 Saturday afternoon. That is a 47 degree turn-around.

The swing is even more dramatic for parts of central and northern Minnesota. Bemidji dropped to minus 36 Friday morning and will be near 25 for a high Saturday. That is a change of over 60 degrees.

The mild weather doesn’t last long though. Already Saturday afternoon and evening another strong cold front swings across the state, sending temperatures falling once more.

High Sunday will mostly be set right at midnight, with afternoon temperatures Sunday below zero north and in the single digits south.

Monday morning will be the coldest time with the next arctic blast, with morning lows in the negative teens for most of the state and wind chills that are forecast to be 20 to 40 below.

weather graphic
Twin Cities temperature trend through Tuesday

The next cold snap is not forecast to be quite as cold as the snap Minnesota is climbing out of Friday, but it still brings dangerous cold.

This is the forecast trend for The Twin Cities, showing the up and down temperatures (Sunday’s high shown here is projected to come at the beginning of the day) :

Minnesota finally turns milder again Tuesday, then above average temperatures are forecast to continue most of next week.

Other than Friday night’s light snow north, no significant snow chances are on the horizon in the coming week.


This is my last Updraft for MPR News. Thank you so much for letting me bring you the weather the past two years!

— Nicole Mitchell