This is one of those times when it’s good to remember that Minnesota is about 400 miles tall. It’s about 405 miles from the Northwest angle to the Iowa border. It’s also 340 miles from the Red River at Grand Forks to the tip of Minnesota’s Arrowhead near Grand Portage.
So there is no single forecast for Minnesota. In fact, it takes six National Weather Service offices to cover all parts of the state.
If you’re in central and northern Minnesota you’ll enjoy a quiet and milder forecast as we head through Friday. Highs will range from the upper 20s northwest to the mid-30s south.
If you’re traveling through southern Minnesota Friday, I hope your tires and driving gloves are in great shape.
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Winter weather advisory south
A winter weather advisory is up for most of southern Minnesota Friday.
Including the cities of Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St Peter, Le Sueur, Faribault, Red Wing, St James, Mankato, Waseca, Owatonna, Fairmont, Blue Earth, and Albert Lea
1117 AM CST Thu Dec 8 2022
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 9 AM CST FRIDAY...
* WHAT...Snow, heavy at times, along I-90. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches with locally higher amounts possible near the Iowa border.
* WHERE...Portions of south central, southeast and southwest Minnesota.
* WHEN...From 9 PM this evening to 9 AM CST Friday.
* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.
And winter storm warnings are up for a few Iowa counties just south of Fairmont, Minn., and Albert Lea, Minn.
Including the cities of Algona, Forest City, Lake Mills, Northwood, Manly, Garner, Britt, Kanawha, Mason City, and Clear Lake
344 PM CST Thu Dec 8 2022
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT... ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM CST FRIDAY... ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 9 AM CST FRIDAY...
* WHAT...Mixed precipitation transitioning to heavy snow. Accumulating ice and snow is expected, with snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches likely, with locally higher amounts possible.
* WHERE...Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock, Worth, and Cerro Gordo counties.
WHEN...Winter Weather Advisory from 6pm this evening to 9am Friday. Winter Storm Warning in effect from 12am to 6am Friday Morning, when the worse conditions are anticipated. *
IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions and snow covered roads. Reduced visibility is expected with heavy snowfall. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.
Overall snowfall totals between 3 and 7 inches are likely by late Friday along the Interstate 90 corridor into northern Iowa. Snowfall will gradually be lighter as you move north toward the greater Twin Cities. Little or no snow accumulation is likely in most of the Twin Cities.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Forecast System model (Kuchera method) paints snowfall totals of 6 inches or more across southner Minnesota with this system. I won’t be surprised to see some local 8-inch totals around Fairmont or Albert Lea.
Bigger storm next week?
Eastern Minnesota may see a light wintry mix Saturday. Then a bigger, slower storm looks like it has the potential to dump some heavy snowfall across central and northern Minnesota.
Right now the early forecast models suggest the freezing (rain-snow) zone could set up near the Twin Cities.
Stay tuned. The forecast and weather pattern look messy next week.