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Plowable snow, cold early this week – 40s possible by Friday

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The end of meteorological winter is bringing a bout of wintery weather to Minnesota early this week, but temperatures will warm up starting Thursday, with the chance of breaking 40 degrees Friday.

Several inches of snow is expected across the state beginning late Monday into Tuesday, the National Weather Service says, and then northwest winds Tuesday could cause near-blizzard conditions across west central and southern Minnesota.

Behind the winter storm, cold temperatures are expected to return. Windchill readings could reach 20 degrees below zero Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in parts of Minnesota.

The blast of cold air may cause wet or slushy surfaces to freeze, which could make for an icy commute Wednesday morning, AccuWeather notes.

Here's what to expect around the state:

Twin Cities: Snow likely Monday, mainly after midnight, with an inch of snow possible. Snow is expected to continue before noon Tuesday, with patchy blowing snow possible Tuesday afternoon – 2-4 inches of snow possible Tuesday. Blustery Wednesday expected, with a high near 9 degrees. Click here for more on the forecast.

Rochester: Snow is likely Monday, with an inch of snow possible mainly after midnight. More snow, with areas of blowing snow, is expected Tuesday. Snow accumulations totaling 3-5 inches Tuesday. Wind gusts could be as high as 34 mph Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures drop Wednesday, with a high of 8 degrees and blustery. Click here for more on the forecast.

Marshall: Snow is likely Monday, mainly after midnight. Two inches of snow possible Tuesday, with patches of blowing snow possible. Temperatures are expected to fall to 8 degrees by 5 p.m. Tuesday, with a high of 7 degrees Wednesday. Click here for more on the forecast.

Moorhead: There's a chance of snow Monday night and patchy blowing snow possible Tuesday. Temperatures Wednesday are expected to top out at 4 degrees. Click here for more on the forecast.

Duluth: There's a 50 percent chance of snow after midnight Monday, with snow likely Tuesday – snow totals are expected to be relatively light. A high of 10 degrees expected Wednesday. Click here for more on the forecast.

Snow drought

Minnesota is in a "snow drought" this year, meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has seen 25.3 inches of snow so far this season, which is 16.1 inches below average. Last year at this time? There were 57.2 inches of snow on the ground, Huttner says.

Early taste of spring

Meteorologist Paul Douglas calls the month of March "baffling," filled with slush, potholes and a freeze-thaw cycles, noting temperatures can range from subzero to 80 degrees, according to his Star Tribune weather blog.

And it looks like we may get a taste of those spring-like temperatures later this week when a Pacific warm front arrives, Douglas says. Temperatures may reach 40 degrees in the Twin Cities Friday, KSTP says, with the chance of 50s in the next few weeks, Douglas notes.

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