Warmest in 16 days, wintery relapse Thursday with cold and more snow

Coming up for air

It was nice while it lasted.

Temperatures soared from the mid 30s to the lower 40s as advertised in southern Minnesota Wednesday. The Twin Cities metro area topped out at 37 degrees, the warmest day in 16 days.

Image: Twin Cities NWS

It was nice to drive on ice free streets for a change, with relatively stress free commutes. Wednesday’s warm up was just the tip of a nose of Chinook driven warm air in the central United States that boosted temps into the 60s as close as Kansas.

Image: University of Illinois

Southwest Minnesota near the Buffalo Ridge posted the mildest temps Wednesday. Here are some of the slushy numbers.

37 degrees high at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Wednesday

16 days since we’ve been that warm at MSP (38 on Dec. 2)

43 degrees at Marshall on Wednesday

44 degrees at Canby

45 degrees at Madison, Minn.!

Image: NOAA

Now, back to your regularly scheduled winter programming.

Colder winds, and snow return to Minnesota Thursday.

Image: La Crosse NWS

As temperatures fall into the 20s and teens again, a weather disturbance sailing overhead will trigger snow. Snow should break out in western Minnesota Thursday morning, and spread east toward St. Cloud and the Twin Cities about or after lunchtime into Thursday afternoon.

It will likely be snowing for late afternoon rush Thursday in the metro area, and there may be enough snow down to gum up some roads and ramps again.

A broad band of 1 to 2 inches looks likely between St. Cloud and the Interstate-90 corridor, with some 3-inch totals possible in areas that see more sustained snowfall. here’s the North American Meso morning snowfall output, which is among the most aggressive with totals.

Image: wxcaster.com

Bottom line: Be ready for more snow Thursday afternoon and evening. Most of the snow should taper off in the metro from west to east by around midnight.

Image: snowcrystals.com

Bigger storm headed from K.C. to Quad Cities, Milwaukee and Chicago Sunday

You may want to read on if you are planning travel south on I-35 or I-90/94 this weekend.

A significant winter storm winds for from Kansas City to Milwaukee and Chicago. Right now the latest track favors a swath of 3 to 6 inches or more from Kansas City to eastern Iowa and the Quad Cities, to Rockford and Milwaukee Saturday night and Sunday.

Surface low tracks south of Chicago Sunday. Image: NOAA

Here’s a look st the potential for an 8-inch snow bull’s eye around Kansas City Saturday night into Sunday.

Image: wxcaster.com

And here’s the likely snow stripe through eastern Iowa through Rockford, Chicago’s northwest suburbs and Milwaukee.

Image: wxcaster.com

Having spent several years forecasting in Chicago, I can tell you the far northwest Chicago suburbs seem to be snow magnets. Folks in McHenry County, Ill., up to the Lake Geneva area in Wisconsin, may see the heaviest totals with this system — and that could be over 6 inches.

Merry White Christmas!

  • Andy

    Where are you finding ice-free streets? The roads are still a snow-covered, icy mess in Crystal, Robbinsdale, Minneapolis, and St. Paul based on my commutes the last two days. Doesn’t look like there’s been much plowing going on since the first snow nearly two weeks ago. I’m hoping this next snow will be enough to convince city managers to get their plows back out again.

  • David

    Are you saying you don’t believe that 65 mark near Mankato?

  • Jaden

    Hey, Madison Mn made it on MPR!! The ice free streets are in Madison after today!