January thaw begins; mostly quiet into the weekend

This is the beginning of our 2019 January thaw.

According to the Minnesota State Climatology Office, a January thaw is defined as “two or more consecutive days where the maximum temperature is above 32 degrees. For the Twin Cities this happens about 93% of the time.”

The last time there was not a January thaw in the Twin Cities was in 2011, the climatology office reports.

We’ll see highs in the 30s across most of Minnesota Thursday afternoon, with a few lower 40s possible in the southwest. Many spots in the Twin Cities metro area should see upper 30s, which is well above our average Twin Cities high for this date of 24 degrees.

The warmth will continue, with Friday highs in the 40s south and 30s in central and northern Minnesota:

Our Twin Cities record Jan. 4 high temp of 41 could be tied or broken on Friday.

Saturday will be even warmer in the Twin Cities and southeastern Minnesota, with some mid 40s:

Sunday will feature highs in the 20s north, with 30s south:

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to be in the 30s Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Snow cover will shrink

St. Cloud reports a snow depth of 6 inches this morning, while Rochester has only one inch on the ground.

Officially, there’s only trace of snow cover at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but there’s some snow on the ground in parts of the metro area. The National Weather Service office in Chanhassen reports a snow depth of one inch.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the deepest snow cover is in about the northern half of Minnesota right now:


The snow cover will be shrinking a bit over the next few days, due to warm temps.

Snow chances 

North-central and northeastern Minnesota could an occasional wintry mix of light snow, sleet and light rain this Thursday.

The weather looks pretty quiet Friday and Saturday.

Sunday evening into early Monday, there will be a chance of rain/snow showers in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

NOAA’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon, 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.