Winds ease up on Sunday; Wednesday will be the warmest day next week

Blowing snow in parts of southwestern Minnesota Saturday

We finally have a weekend with some snow on the ground. I’m sure that the snow is bringing smiles to the faces of cross-country skiers, snowboarders and kids who want to use their sleds.

Minnesota snow depths

The snow that arrived Wednesday and lasted into Wednesday night blanketed much of the southern half of Minnesota. The Minnesota State Climatology Office released the updated snow depth map on Thursday:

Minnesota snow depth Thursday morning
Minnesota State Climatology Office

The green-shaded areas have between 4 and 8 inches of snow cover, with 2 to 4 inches in the areas that are shaded yellow.

A bit of that snow cover has melted due to the warm ground below it, but a good deal of the snow remains.

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Windy today

A low pressure system will track from south-central Canada to just north of Lake Superior today, bringing strong winds to Minnesota and adjacent states.

Winds of 18-28 mph, with gusts of 30 to 35 mph or higher, will develop Saturday afternoon across much of Minnesota. Even stronger winds are expected in parts of southwestern Minnesota, with some gusts as high as 45 mph.

A winter weather advisory for blowing snow and reduced visibilities covers five southwestern Minnesota counties from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday:

Winter weather advisory (blue) 10 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Saturday
National Weather Service

Here are details of the advisory:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Sioux Falls SD 310 AM CST Sat Feb 17 2024 MNZ071-072-080-081-097-171800- /O.CON.KFSD.WW.Y.0008.240217T1600Z-240218T0000Z/ Lincoln-Lyon-Murray-Cottonwood-Pipestone- 310 AM CST Sat Feb 17 2024 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM CST THIS EVENING... * WHAT...Blowing snow expected. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph. * WHERE...Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Cottonwood and Pipestone Counties. * WHEN...From 10 AM this morning to 6 PM CST this evening. * IMPACTS...Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility in open areas. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...In addition to the blowing snow, drifting snow across roadways may melt and refreeze, impacting travel with slick conditions resulting from blow ice. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Use caution while traveling, especially in open areas. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Patchy areas of blowing snow are possible elsewhere in Minnesota today.

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

Updated forecast information will be posted by the National Weather Service offices in the Twin CitiesDuluthLa Crosse, Wis., Sioux Falls, S.D. and Grand Forks, N.D.

The average Twin Cities high temperature is 29 degrees on Feb. 17. Most of the Twin Cities metro area will see Saturday afternoon highs in the upper 20s to around 30 degrees.

Saturday high temps are expected to be in the 30s from the Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota down through west-central Minnesota and far southern Minnesota. 20s are expected in much of north-central and northeastern Minnesota. Warm clothes will be appropriate today, with afternoon wind chills in the teens in many areas.

Sunday highs reach the 30s in most areas, with 20s in far northern Minnesota:

Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Monday highs will be in the 30s in most areas, with lower 40s in far southeastern Minnesota:

Monday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to be around 40 degrees on Tuesday, followed by mid 40s Wednesday then upper 30s Tuesday and mid 30s on Friday. It looks like the metro area will see highs in the 30s next weekend.

Above-normal temps could then continue into the last week of February, according to the latest outlook from the NWS Climate Prediction Center:

Temperature outlook February 24 to March 1
NWS Climate Prediction Center

Weather nugget

Despite 6.9 inches of new snow on Wednesday, the snow total for the Twin Cities 2023-2024 snow season is 21 inches below normal through Feb. 16.

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.