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Brisk, bracing, nippy … oh, heck, it's cold

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Hopefully you remembered a coat as you dashed out the door – it was 18 degrees colder Thursday morning than it was Wednesday morning in the Twin Cities.

Morning low temperatures ranged from the upper 20s in northern Minnesota to temperatures in the low 40s in the southern part of the state as Minnesotans got their first real taste of fall.

Some of the coldest places: It was 28 degrees in Orr and 29 degrees in Embarrass, according to weather observers.

Although it was chilly, the National Weather Service in Duluth told BringMeTheNews via Twitter there weren't any record lows set Thursday morning. Orr tied the record low temperature for Sept. 11, set in 1965, according to AccuWeather, while Embarrass was 1 degree warmer than the record low, which was also set in 1965, AccuWeather notes.

For Minneapolis, the morning low was 42 degrees (normal is about 55 degrees) – the record low is 35 degrees, set in 1962, according to AccuWeather.

The high temperatures for the state aren't expected to get out of the upper 50s Thursday (see map above). Thursday's high will be 57 degrees for the Twin Cities – that's the average high for Oct. 19, meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog. The average high for the Twin Cities this time of year is in the 70s.

Crisp weekend ahead

The cool October-like weather is expected through the weekend, with a few showers possible Thursday and Friday. It's expected to clear up Friday night, which will make frost possible Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities.

Huttner says frost is likely everywhere outside the "the inner metro core." The first frost for the Twin Cities area is typically between Sept. 28 and Oct. 7, the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

It's expected to gradually warm over the weekend and next week. It's expected to be in the mid-60s with mostly sunny skies in the Twin Cities Sunday when the Vikings play their first home game of the season at TCF Bank Stadium.

The cold weather did make for a colorful sunrise Thursday morning:

It could have been worse

For those not keen on the cold weather, just think – it was cold enough in some parts of the state to snow.

There was a report of light snow in Paynesville, Minnesota, Thursday morning, but don't worry – winter isn't here yet. The National Weather Service told BringMeTheNews via Twitter that its automated website, which reported light snow, has a defective weather sensor and no precipitation occurred – the weather service reported the problem to the "repair folks at MnDOT."

Minnesota's neighbors to the west and north did see some snow. There were about 4 inches of snow on the ground in Custer, South Dakota, Thursday morning. Custer is just outside of Mount Rushmore. The Argus Leader said some areas in the western part of the state have reported over 7 inches.

Calgary, Canada, got about 8 inches of snow earlier this week – and some people weren't too happy about it:

Northern lights

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center says a geomagnetic storm is likely to hit the Earth’s magnetic field Friday, which could make for some brilliant Northern Lights shows farther south than they’re typically visible – including in Minnesota. Read more here.

Fall colors

Leaf peepers take note – leaves are already starting to change colors in northern Minnesota. More details on the best places to see the fall colors here.

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