Back to the 30s this weekend; some snow & gusty winds Saturday

Milder temps return Wednesday

We haven’t had many snow events in the past few weeks, but forecast maps look promising for flakes on Saturday.

It’s been snowing across much of North Dakota Friday afternoon, with an early evening mix of flakes and light rain in far northwestern Minnesota.

A low pressure system will combine with an upper level disturbance to spread snow into northwestern Minnesota Friday evening, then the snow coverage expands to the east and southeast overnight Friday night, covering much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Saturday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 p.m. on Saturday:

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Simulated radar from 8 p.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Saturday
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

The heaviest snow totals will be in North Dakota and parts of northwestern Minnesota:

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Snow forecast Friday and Saturday
National Weather Service

Snow totals of around one inch are possible elsewhere in Minnesota,, including the Twin Cities metro area and parts of western Wisconsin through Saturday.

A winter weather advisory covers much of North Dakota plus northwestern Minnesota Friday evening through Saturday afternoon:

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Winter weather advisory NW Minnesota Friday evening to 6 p.m. Sat.
National Weather Service

Here are details of the Minnesota portion of the advisory:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Grand Forks ND 224 PM CST Fri Dec 8 2023 MNZ001-002-005-008-013>015-NDZ030-039-049-052-100000- /O.CON.KFGF.WW.Y.0030.231209T0000Z-231210T0000Z/ West Polk-Norman-Roseau-East Marshall-Pennington-Red Lake- East Polk-Traill-Cass-Ransom-Sargent- Including the cities of Crookston, East Grand Forks, Ada, Hadler, Faith, Flaming, Syre, Twin Valley, Halstad, Casperson, Fox, Hayes Lake State Park, Malung, Pencer, Roseau, Salol, Newfolden, Middle River, Espelie, Gatzke, Grygla, Rosewood, Dakota Junction, Thief River Falls, Red Lake Falls, Fosston, Fertile, McIntosh, Erskine, Mayville, Hillsboro, Kelso, Hatton, Portland, Roseville, Fargo, Lisbon, Enderlin, McLeod, Gwinner, Milnor, Forman, and Rutland 224 PM CST Fri Dec 8 2023 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM CST SATURDAY... * WHAT...Snow and blowing snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph. * WHERE...Portions of northwest Minnesota and southeast North Dakota. * WHEN...From 6 PM this evening to 6 PM CST Saturday. * IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions and difficult travel. Widespread blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Slow down and use caution while traveling. The latest road conditions for North Dakota can be found at travel.dot.nd.gov and for Minnesota at 511mn.org, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.

A wind advisory covers southwestern Minnesota on Saturday:

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Wind advisory (brown) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
National Weather Service

Here are details of the wind advisory:

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN 1248 PM CST Fri Dec 8 2023 MNZ054-064-073-074-082-091-090300- /O.NEW.KMPX.WI.Y.0007.231209T1500Z-231210T0000Z/ Lac Qui Parle-Yellow Medicine-Redwood-Brown-Watonwan-Martin- Including the cities of Fairmont, New Ulm, St James, Madison, Granite Falls, and Redwood Falls 1248 PM CST Fri Dec 8 2023 ...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 6 PM CST SATURDAY... * WHAT...Northwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph expected. * WHERE...Brown, Martin, Watonwan, Redwood, Lac Qui Parle, and Yellow Medicine Counties. * WHEN...From 9 AM to 6 PM CST Saturday. * IMPACTS...Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

Wind gusts to around 40 mph are possible Saturday in eastern Minnesota.

You can hear updated weather information for Minnesota and western Wisconsin on the MPR News network

Updated forecast info will be posted by the NWS offices in the Twin CitiesDuluth and La Crosse, Sioux Falls and Grand Forks.

The Friday high temperature at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 49 degrees. That was just one degree shy of the Twin Cities record high for Dec. 8. The average Twin Cities high temp is just 31 degrees on Dec. 8.

Friday afternoon highs were in the 40s across most of Minnesota, but there were some lower 50s in parts of south-central and southeastern Minnesota. Most of northwestern and north-central Minnesota had highs in the 30s.

Many spots in Minnesota will see their Saturday high temps shortly after midnight Friday night, with temps dropping off a bit by the daylight hours of Saturday. Here are forecast temps at noon on Saturday:

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Saturday noon forecast temps
National Weather Service

Sunday highs will be in the 20s to the north, with mainly 30s elsewhere:

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Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the upper 30s on Monday, then around 30 degrees on Tuesday followed by lower 40s Wednesday, mid 40s Thursday and lower 40s next Friday.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on MPR News at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:39 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday