Mild Thursday; winter storm hits Minnesota on Friday

Update on warnings and watches

Our average Twin Cities high temp is 23 degrees this time of year. Parts of the metro area will reach the lower 30s Thursday afternoon. Highs will range from teens in far northern Minnesota to lower 30s in the far south:

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Thursday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Friday highs will be mainly in the teens, with 20s in southwestern and south-central Minnesota:

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Friday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Parts of the Twin Cities area could touch 20.

Friday snow

Computer models show snow moving into far western Minnesota late Thursday evening, then spreading eastward overnight and Friday.

The highest snow totals are expected in southwestern Minnesota and parts of west-central and south-central Minnesota:

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Potential snow totals Friday and Friday evening
National Weather Service

Winter storm warnings (shaded pink in the graphic below) start at midnight Thursday night and continue through Friday evening in the areas most likely to see 6 or more inches of snow:

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Winter storm watches and warnings begin midnight Thursday night
National Weather Service

Blue shaded areas are winter storm watches for that same time period.

Here are winter storm warning details for southwestern Minnesota:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Sioux Falls SD 310 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 MNZ071-072-080-081-089-090-131715- /O.UPG.KFSD.WS.A.0001.220114T0600Z-220115T0600Z/ /O.NEW.KFSD.WS.W.0001.220114T0600Z-220115T0600Z/ Lincoln-Lyon-Murray-Cottonwood-Nobles-Jackson- 310 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO MIDNIGHT CST FRIDAY NIGHT... * WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 9 inches. * WHERE...Portions of southwest Minnesota. * WHEN...From midnight tonight to midnight CST Friday night. * IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Northerly winds gusting 25 to 35 mph on Friday evening may cause patchy blowing and drifting snow. 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 for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Here are details of the winter storm watch that includes Mankato starting at midnight Thursday:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN 245 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...HEAVY SNOW LIKELY TO FALL ACROSS WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA LATE THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... .Moderate to Heavy snow is expected in Western Minnesota, with the area of highest confidence of exceeding 6 inches of snow being upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning extending from Stevens County down through Martin County in our warning area, with 1 inch per hour snowfall rates possible. The highest overall totals are expected along the Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota, however snowfall amounts of 4-8 inches remain possible in the Winter Storm Watch. There will be a sharp gradient of lowering snowfall totals as you head into eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect beginning late Thursday night through Friday evening from Alexandria through Albert Lea. MNZ048-057-065-067-075-083-092-131645- /O.CON.KMPX.WS.A.0001.220114T0600Z-220115T0600Z/ Pope-Kandiyohi-Renville-Sibley-Nicollet-Blue Earth-Faribault- Including the cities of Glenwood, Willmar, Olivia, Gaylord, St Peter, Mankato, and Blue Earth 245 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... * WHAT...Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches possible. * WHERE...Pope County. * WHEN...From late Thursday night through Friday evening. * IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

New model info will come in Thursday, but at this point, it looks like Twin Cities metro area snow totals Friday and Friday evening may be in the 2- to 5-inch range, with the highest totals in the west metro and lowest in the east metro.

You can hear updated weather information for Minnesota and western Wisconsin on the Minnesota Public Radio News network, and you can see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

The Updraft blog will be updated around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, with a look at the weekend and the start of the coming week.

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