Moderating temperatures; warm enough for liquid precipitation

It’s that time of year when surges of arctic air into the upper Midwest battle it out with a return push of milder air from the central plains. Temperatures can climb nicely, particularly where the landscape is free of snowcover.

Snow depth in inches for December 11th:

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Source:NOAA

There will be melting snow in southern Minnesota today as temperatures top out in the upper 30s. At daybreak temperatures were already near 20 degrees in the Twin Cities, where peeks of sunshine today will boost temperatures above the thawing point.

Patchy cloud cover invaded the upper Midwest during the nighttime hours. What a difference cloud cover can make to halt raditional cooling from snow cover, especially when accompanied by a moderate push of milder air. St. Cloud saw the temperature rise from 8 below zero before midnight to 12 above by 6 a.m.

Enhanced IR satellite image from 530 a,m. CST. Colder, high cloud tops shown in light blue. Light snow was moving across far northern Minnesota this morning:

sat_ir_enh_mw.gif

Source:NOAA/Unisys

A couple inches of fresh snow can be expected in far northern Minnesota this morning. There is a chance for a ribbon of light snow to fall in northern sections of Minnesota later tonight as well.

Good news for motorists! Warmer temperatures today will partner with the chemicals to melt some of the ice on the heavier traveled roadways. It will take a little longer to see bare/wet pavement on the side streets.

Today’s expected high temperatures:

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Source;NOAA/NWS

We are still tracking the potential for snow and a mixture of rain and snow for Friday night and Saturday. Precipitation amounts and type are still questionable due to the uncertainity of the low pressure track and intensity.

Remember the previous blogs have been showing a low center reaching southeast Iowa at dusk on Saturday. Here’s the overnight GFS predicting a little faster movement, placing the low pressure center at 6 p.m. Saturday in southeast Wisconsin.

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Precipitation could begin late Friday and will continue into Saturday. A refinement to the forecast of rain and possible snow amounts will be a work in progress.

The latest thinking from the NWS forecast staff in Chanhassen for the weather maker moving toward the upper Midwest later in the week:

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A bright spot in this approaching system is much needed moisture coming on Friday night to parts of Nebraska and Iowa.

NOAA’s forecast of precipitation potential for Friday and Friday night.

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Happy motoring. Don’t forget to fill up with window washer fluid!

Craig Edwards

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