Milder afternoons coming this week

Large high pressure sprawled across the Great Plains will deflect any storms for a few days and gradually allow milder air to drift into Minnesota.

Forecast surface weather map for Monday. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Prediction Center

That high-pressure system also brought the clear skies and light winds that allowed widespread areas of fog to form by Monday morning. Meteorologists call it freezing fog when liquid droplets form at subfreezing temperatures.

Those droplets will freeze on any cold surface they encounter and form a very thin layer of ice. Walk with care.

Some of the thickest fog has formed in southeastern Minnesota. The National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory until 10 a.m. on Monday for Dodge, Olmsted, Mower and Fillmore counties, including the cities of Rochester, Austin and Preston. Visibilities in that area having been dropping to around a quarter of a mile or less.

Dense fog advisory until 10 a.m. on Monday. National Weather Service

Look for highs from the low 20s to the low 30s for both Monday and Tuesday along with a likely repeat of foggy conditions Tuesday morning.

Pacific air

Milder air from the west and southwest should bump our temperatures up a bit more toward midweek.

Workweek outlook for the Twin Cities area. Twin Cities National Weather Service

Some light snow is possible during the week. One disturbance will bring light snow to mainly Wisconsin on Wednesday. Then a second, slightly stronger disturbance seems likely to track light snow into mainly northern Minnesota on Thursday.

Slushy afternoons

While our nights will be well below freezing, as expected in December, sunny days and warmer afternoons late in the week will cause some melting and slush production. The Twin Cities could easily see afternoon high temperatures in the mid 30s on Friday and Saturday.

A weak cold front could kick out a little snow Saturday night and Sunday and cool us by  a few degrees for Sunday.

Adding up the next week

As an indicator of how storm-free we will remain over the next week, here is an outlook of the expected cumulative precipitation through 6 a.m. next Monday. Another storm from the Southern Plains will track toward the East Coast later this week while repeated Pacific storms will soak coastal areas and mountains from northern California to British Columbia.

Forecast seven-day total precipitation through 6 a.m. on  Dec. 17. NOAA Weather Prediction Center