Minnesota Five-0? If snow melts, 50 degrees might be in play next week

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From frigid to fifty? It's possible, but not necessarily likely for the Twin Cities region next week.

Minnesotans will get a comfortable December reprieve late next week, with some areas of the state even pushing the 50-degree mark.

Paul Huttner at MPR described it as a "jaw dropping December mega-thaw" (which we're working on adding to the official meteorologists' dictionary right now).

And while that could be the case, there is one significant factor we're fighting: Snowpack.

This is all going to depend on the snow, and how much is on the ground. (Snow reflects the energy from the sun, and doesn't warm up as efficiently as a dark, bare ground.)

So let's look at how snow much Minnesota has.

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Current snow depth at MSP is 2 inches, with 3 inches in St. Cloud. It's much heavier in the south-central and west-central portions of the state. So 50 degrees in the Twin Cities and those other spots with some snow might be a little tough.

But middle to upper 40s are possible ... IF we ditch most/all of our snow by the middle of next week.

However, the ground is pretty much bare in the southwest corner of Minnesota, so places like Pipestone have a REALLY good chance of hitting 50 degrees Thursday.

Either way, our weather pattern has completely shifted to more of a "Pacific flow" – meaning our air will be coming from the west off the Pacific. It's mild air compared to the chilly winds from Canada, so if we don't hit 50 degrees next week, temps will generally remain at or above average (high 20s-ish is average) perhaps through Christmas.

Paul Douglas with the Star Tribune says the March-like temps should keep things hovering on the high side – and the odds of a brown Christmas are about 50/50 right now.

But first, this weekend

We need to get to next week before the warmer temps come in, however. And it won't be too awful, like it was at the beginning of this week.

Temperatures will reach into the 20s with sunshine Saturday.

On Sunday, we'll warm into the 30s – however, get ready for some snow later in day, perhaps mixed in with a little sleet in the afternoon.

And if you're up in the northeast portion of the state:

The really mild air begins to push in during the middle of next week.

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