Is it spring? Showers today, but winter returns next week


Is this really December in Minnesota?

Rain showers and record temperatures are possible across the state Thursday, but more wintry weather is expected to move into the region in the coming days.

Temperatures Thursday morning were 10-15 degrees above the average high for Dec. 10 – the normal low in Minneapolis is 14 degrees, the National Weather Service (NWS) tweeted.

Here's a look at the record warm low temperatures, which may be broken Thursday:

Daytime temperatures are expected to be well above normal for this time of year as well, the weather service noted. Northern Minnesota is expected to see temperatures in the mid-30s, while lower-50s are expected in the south, the NWS says.

A low-pressure system and cold front is moving across the state, which will bring rain across much of the region Thursday, the weather service notes. That rain could mix with snow in northern Minnesota in the evening.

Wintry weather in the forecast

A few rounds of wintry weather are in the forecast for the coming days, with the greatest chance for accumulating snow in the Twin Cities coming Tuesday, the NWS notes.

Central Minnesota could get some sooner, with another weather system following Thursday's rain set to bring snow to the area. Up to 2 inches of snow is possible in northwestern Minnesota, with rain expected elsewhere, the weather service says.

Temperatures are still forecast to be above average – in the 30s and 40s across the state – which is roughly 15 degrees above the norm for this time of year, AccuWeather says.

The weather service says this unsettled weather pattern will continue through the weekend, with another storm system moving into the region Saturday and Sunday.

The above-average temperatures mean precipitation will be mostly rain for the southeast, while western and northern Minnesota will likely see accumulating snow, the National Weather Service says.

Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' weather blog that the accumulating snow is likely along and north of a line between Brainerd and Ely, noting the Twin Cities could see rain end as wet snow.

Temperatures are expected to be colder early next week, which is increasing the chance for accumulating snow in southern Minnesota – including the Twin Cities – on Tuesday, Huttner notes.

We may even see some days with temperatures in the low-20s late next week, Paul Douglas wrote on the Star Tribune weather blog, noting: "If you squint and pretend it might even look like December.

2nd warmest fall on record

This fall was the warmest fall (September-November) on record for the contiguous United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, with Minnesota and Wisconsin having their second warmest fall, the NWS tweeted.

And this trend has continued into December. Huttner says Thursday marks the seventh straight day above 40 degrees in the Twin Cities.

But it's still December in Minnesota – and the other shoe will drop, MPR News' Cathy Wurzer tweeted. In fact, medium-range models are showing "significantly colder air" by the week of Christmas, Huttner reports.

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