Cold and a few inches of snow – then warmer weather next week

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In case you forgot, it's still winter in Minnesota.

Temperatures ranged from 26-below zero in northeastern Minnesota to the single digits below zero in the southern part of the state Saturday morning, the National Weather Service says.

And despite sunny skies, high temperatures aren't expected to climb higher than the low teens.

But there's some good news for those anxiously awaiting spring. Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog that this is likely the coldest morning for the rest of winter.

Plowable snow by Sunday?

After the bitter cold morning, snow is expected to spread into the state Saturday night.

A low-pressure system is moving into the area late Saturday into Sunday, dumping 2-6 inches of snow in the region by Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service says.

The heaviest snow is expected from southeastern Minnesota into northeastern Iowa and far southwestern Wisconsin, where a winter weather advisory is in effect from 9 p.m. Saturday to noon Sunday.

The heaviest snowfall rates are expected between midnight at 6 a.m. Sunday, with the weather service noting 30 mph wind gusts could lead to areas of blowing and driving snow in the advisory area.

But with the snow comes warmer temperatures. Highs Sunday will range in the teens to mid-20s, with temperatures for Presidents' Day expected to be in the mid-20s to mid-30s, the weather service says.

The warming trend continues through next week, with highs in the lower 40s possible by Friday.

Meteorologist Paul Douglas called the warm weather next week a "rapid thaw" on the Star Tribune's weather blog, saying if there wasn't snow on the ground the Twin Cities could see temperatures in the 50s.

Douglas says we'll get a taste of spring, that may even include some rain showers.

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