Plenty of Friday sunshine; mild temps through the weekend

Our Friday started out murky in the Twin Cities metro area, with areas of dense fog and freezing fog before sunrise.

The fog thinned out nicely across much of the Twin Cities metro area by sunrise.

We’ll have plenty of sunshine across most of Minnesota as we go through our  Friday. Areas of fog will linger until late morning in parts of southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Yes, sunglasses will come in handy today!

Temperature trends  

Minnesota highs will be mostly in the 30s this Friday afternoon, with some 40s in west-central and southwestern Minnesota.

Some spots in the Twin Cities metro area should reach the upper 30s.

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Midday update:

Based on the latest info, I won’t be surprised if some spots in the Twin Cities metro area top 40 degrees this afternoon.

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Our average high this time of year is 27 degrees in the Twin Cities metro area.

Saturday will be very mild:

Some spots in the metro area could touch 40 Saturday afternoon.

Sunday highs will be mainly in the 30s:

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to be in the 30s Monday and Tuesday of next week, and we’ll have a shot at 40 on Wednesday.

The mild weather will probably continue into late next week and the following weekend; the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center shows a strong tendency for warmer than normal temps over Minnesota and Wisconsin during the Dec. 19 through Dec. 23 time period:

National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

Snow depth

The latest Minnesota snow depth map from the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows 4 to 8 inches of snow cover across parts of southern Minnesota and northern Minnesota:

Minnesota State Climatology Office

Much of the Twin Cities metro area is in the 2 to 4 inch category, with little or no snow on the ground over central Minnesota.

If you have adequate snow cover, you might want to do your sledding and cross-country skiing this weekend; mild temps will melt some of our snow during the next several days.

Snow chances

No big snowstorms are showing up in the forecast models over the next 7 days.

Northern Minnesota could see some snow or a mix of rain and snow Wednesday and Wednesday night.

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

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

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

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you will also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

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.