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Sloppy, slushy afternoon commute for metro-area drivers

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Get ready for a sloppy commute Thursday afternoon.

As temperatures get colder and more moisture moves in, Thursday morning's drizzly rain likely will turn to snow in the metro – just in time for the commute. MPR News' Paul Huttner says the changeover will happen between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and could last two to four hours.

Snowfall is going to be heavy – in weight, not total, WCCO says. The Twin Cities will only get an inch or 2 of slush, which will likely mostly melt on contact with roads and sidewalks, but stick to the grass, WCCO says.

Winter weather advisories are in effect for western and northern Minnesota, which will likely get the most snow accumulation: St. Cloud could see 3 to 5 inches, and Duluth and the north shore will see a mix of freezing rain and snow – totaling 4 to 7 inches. During the height of the storm, parts of southwestern and northern Minnesota could see snowfall rates at an inch an hour.

And all this slushy, snowy slop could freeze up when breezy (10 to 20 mph) cold air comes in, WCCO says. Friday morning will be breezy and icy with a high of 35 degrees in the metro area, but don't worry – warmer weather is still in the forecast for this weekend. Temperatures could get close to 60 degrees in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota.

A sign of spring for Twin Cities drivers: The parking ban in Minneapolis and St. Paul was lifted at 10 a.m. Thursday, unless noted by a no parking sign.

Here's a look at this weekend's forecast across the state:

– Twin Cities: Thursday: Rain and snow turning to all snow after 3 p.m. Two to 4 inches possible. Temps will fall to around 32 degrees by 5 p.m. Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 33, low of 16. Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high near 43, low of 32. Sunday: Partly sunny with a high of 51, low of 33. Monday: Rain and snow likely, high of 36.

– Rochester: Thursday: Rain, with snow possible in the evening totaling less than an inch. High near 40, low around 25. Friday: Mostly sunny with a high near 35, low around 21. Saturday: Mostly sunny, high of 43, low of 34. Sunday: Breezy with a high of 57, low of 39. Monday: Chance of rain, high near 39.

– Marshall: Thursday: Rain turns to snow in the afternoon, totaling around 3 inches, high of 41, low of 17. Friday: Mostly sunny, high of 34, low of 21. Saturday: Mostly sunny, high of 49, low of 38. Sunday: Mostly sunny, high of 61, low of 34. Monday: Rain/snow likely with a high of 36.

– Duluth: Thursday: Snow totaling 3 to 5 inches, a high of 31, low of 15. Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 30, low of 9. Saturday: Mostly sunny, high of 33, low of 27. Sunday: Slight chance of rain with a high near 44, low of 32. Monday: Snow likely, high of 32.

– Moorhead: Thursday: Snow possible before 2 p.m., high near 31, low around 10. Friday: Partly sunny with a high of 29, low of 17. Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 45, low around 30. Sunday: Chance of rain/snow, high of 44, low of 19. Monday: Chance of snow, high near 26.

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