A taste of winter; freezing rain, snow and cold in the offing

After a quiet weather morning Minnesotans will be served up a sample of winterlike conditions with light freezing rain developing later today, particularly north of the Twin Cities.

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Area outlined in purple is under a Freezing Rain Advisory, which extends north to cover the remainder of northern Minnesota for this evening. The tan shading highlights the big change in temperatures arriving on Friday night.Source:NWS Chanhassen, MN

Light rain is expected to develop later today and as the darkness sets in the precipitation will freeze on the surface. The critical factor is the low dew points this morning, which are not expected to climb much. As moisture falls evaporational cooling will occur. The ambient temperature will slip to 32 F or lower. Watch for slick spots this evening.

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NOAA/NWS outlook for the most likely area to accumulate a tenth of an inch or more of ice in the next twenty-four hours.

Strong thunderstorms, producing heavy rain and the threat for severe weather, continue to pound the lower Mississippi Valley this morning. Heavy rainfall will extend up to southern Illinois today.

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Screen capture of regional radar at 730 a.m. EST. Source:Weather underground

Temperatures should top out in the middle to upper 30s in southern Minnesota today as clouds thicken.

Winter’s main course arrives on Friday with a potential for several inches of snow in northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. A Winter Storm Watch is posted for that area. Snow should fall heavily later on Friday and taper off on Saturday. Five to ten inches of snow could accumulate from Grand Forks to Roseau.

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The center of the storm system is forecast to travel on a path that puts southeast Minnesota in the mild sector on Friday, with also limited precipitation amounts. Highs could top 40 in Rochester Friday afternoon.

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Surface weather map valid at 6 p.m. CST Friday.

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Arctic air will sweep into the Great Lakes on Friday night and Saturday as icing on the wintry landscape. Blustery winds will add a sting to the air that we haven’t experienced for some time. Bundle up on the weekend. Hoods or caps are recommended to cover the head and ears. Mittens are preferred over gloves to keep your fingers warm.

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Saturday night’s low temperatures. Source:NWS

Seasonal temperatures remain in our weather picture through next week.

Craig Edwards

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