Double digits Saturday; 20s return on Sunday

The official Twin Cities metro area high temperature hasn’t reached the 20s since Dec. 24.

The last time that we felt temps in the 30s was on Dec. 19.

We’ve endured below-zero low temperatures on 12 of the past 13 days in the Twin Cities.

That’s enough chilly talk.

The arctic chill that’s been entrenched over Minnesota for almost two weeks is going to leave us on Sunday!

Temperature trends

Most of Minnesota will see highs in the double digits above zero this Saturday afternoon, with a few single digit highs in the northeast.

Highs in the 20s will be widespread on Sunday, and the southwest could see lower 30s:

I wouldn’t be surprised if a few spots in the southwest metro touch 30 degrees on Sunday.

Monday’s highs will be in the 30s in most of southern Minnesota:

Our average high temp is 23 degrees this time of year in the Twin Cities metro area, so we’ll be well above average on Monday.

Twin Cities highs in the lower 30s are expected on Tuesday, with upper 30s to around 40 on Wednesday.

Metro area highs dip back into the teens for Thursday and Friday.

Snow chance

Northern Minnesota could see some light snow showers late Saturday afternoon into Saturday night.

The Twin Cities metro area might see a Saturday evening snow flurry.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential snow pattern Saturday afternoon and evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening, via tropicaltidbits

Potential for more snow late Wednesday into Thursday

It’s too early to have much confidence in a storm system that is about 5 days out, but things could get interesting late Wednesday into Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential rain and snow pattern Wednesday afternoon through Thursday:

NOAA GFS model precipitation rate (mm/hour) Wednesday through Thursday, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the precipitation rate (mm/hour), not to the amount of rain or snow.

If the GFS model pans out, we could see several inches of snow in parts of southern and central Minnesota Wednesday night into Thursday.

The European forecast model shows much less snow in the Twin Cities metro area than the GFS model.

We’ll be watching the models closely as we get closer to Wednesday night and Thursday.

Snow depth

Sunday’s milder temps might have you thinking about playing outdoors.

There’s plenty of snow on the ground in most of northern Minnesota for snowmobilers and cross-county skiers.

Here’s the latest snow depth map from the Minnesota State Climatology Office:

Minnesota State Climatology Office/Department of Natural Resources

There’s less snow cover in most of southern Minnesota, but many areas still have enough snow for decent sledding.

North American cold stretch

Most of the area from the Rocky mountains to the East coast experienced colder than normal temps for the Dec. 23 through Jan. 3 period:

Notice the above normal temps in Alaska.

That’s very common when the central and eastern parts of the U.S. have below normal temps.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.