Saturday Weather Outlook

Don't be concerned by that big snow icon in the forecast on Saturday - if we see any snow on Saturday it will be during the evening hours. However, with an approaching storm system, clouds will be on the increase during the day. Highs will only top off in the mid-30s, which is slightly above average.

As we look across the state, highs will be in the 20s and 30s with a mix of sun and clouds. While there are a few snow showers on the map, I think most areas will hold off from seeing snow until the overnight hours in association with a snow storm moving into the region - more on that below.


Northern Minnesota Winter Storm Concerns

Hourly forecast precipitation type between 6 PM Saturday and 6 PM Sunday. Credit: WeatherBell.

As we are heading into the weekend we are watching a developing system out west that will move toward Minnesota Saturday Night into Sunday. Snow could start with a band across western Minnesota late Saturday, spreading northward into Saturday Night with rounds of snow continuing into Sunday and Sunday Night. While we will see some period of snow or a rain/snow mix in the Twin Cities, the bulk of the precipitation will fall across northern Minnesota in the form of snow.

Winter Storm Watches have been hoisted across northern Minnesota from Saturday evening through Sunday Night, including areas like Bemidji, International Falls, Ely, and Duluth. These are in place for the potential of at least 6" of snow.

This system will produce a band of at least 6" of snow across portions of northern Minnesota. The highest totals are expected to be near the North Shore, where some locations could see a foot or more of snow fall through Monday morning.


Cooler Behind This System

Behind this system, we will see highs cool into the 20s for the first half of the week with some more snow possible on Tuesday. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more snow chances during the second half of the week.


A Chilling Reality Check Arrives Next Week
By Paul Douglas

This week in Minnesota it was theoretically possible to ski - and then play 18 holes of golf. I've seen people fishing on the lake out back; pretty amazing for December.

Roughly 8 percent of the contiguous US is covered in snow, the lowest number since 2003, when NOAA began tracking this value. Denver has never entered December without measurable snow since Chester A. Arthur was President of the US in 1882.

This reminds me of last year, when lawns were still green in early December. For the record, a foot of snow fell between December 13-31, 2020.

It would be foolishly premature to write off winter just yet. Exhibit A: a family of cold fronts pays us a visit next week. 3-6" snow will pile up over the northern half of Minnesota Sunday; Monday temperatures won't climb out of the teens in spite of a pleading sun. The metro may see a coating Sunday night, maybe an inch or 2 on Tuesday, but a big, wet storm tracks south of Minnesota the weekend of December 11-12. A white Christmas this year? My gut tells me yes.


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

SATURDAY: Clouds increase, cooler. Wake up 28. High 35. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

SUNDAY: Metro mix, 3-6" northern Minnesota. Wake up 33. High 41. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind SW 10-15 mph.

MONDAY: Clearing skies with a bitter breeze. Wake up 14. High 18. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.

TUESDAY: Inch or two of snow? Icy roads. Wake up 10. High 23. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Some sun, better travel. Wake up 20. High 32. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 5-10 mph.

THURSDAY: Few flurries, no big deal. Wake up 29. High 35. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind SE 10-15 mph.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy and chilly. Wake up 20. High 27. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
December 4th

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 57 minutes, and 25 seconds
*Daylight LOST Since Yesterday: 1 minute and 19 seconds

*Day With Least Sunlight: December 21st (8 hours, 46 minutes, and 11 seconds)
*Latest Sunrises Before We Start Gaining Morning Light: 7:51 AM between December 30th and January 5th
*Earliest Sunsets Of The Year: 4:31 PM between December 5th and December 14th


This Day in Weather History
December 4th

1886: Minneapolis hits a record-setting 15 degrees below zero.


National Weather Forecast

On Saturday, a storm in the northwest will start to move east, spreading snow and rain across the region during the day and into the upper Midwest Saturday Night. A few storms will be possible in the lower Mississippi River Saturday. A low in Canada approaching New England will bring the chance of rain and snow showers.

The northern tier of states will see the best chance of snow, with up to a foot in portions of the Minnesota Arrowhead and up to two feet in portions of the northern Rockies. Rainfall amounts of an inch or two will be possible through the weekend from the Ohio Valley to the lower Mississippi Valley and in portions of the Northwest.


Trapped in Ikea: snowstorm in Denmark forces dozens to bed down in store

More from The Guardian: "A showroom in northern Denmark turned into a vast bedroom after six customers and about two dozen employees were stranded by a snowstorm and forced to spend the night in the store. Up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) of snow fell, trapping the customers and employees when the department store in Aalborg closed on Wednesday evening. "We slept in the furniture exhibitions and our showroom on the first floor, where we have beds, mattresses and sofa beds," store manager Peter Elmose told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid. People could "pick the exact bed they always have wanted to try.""

Wildfires are erasing Western forests. Climate change is making it permanent.

More from Grist: "The trees were not coming back. In the years following the 2000 Walker Ranch Fire, Tom Veblen, a forest ecologist at the nearby University of Colorado, Boulder, saw that grass and shrubs were regrowing in the charred foothills, but he had to search to find the rare baby version of the tall ponderosa pines that had dominated the area before the fire. "I kept watching and I was barely seeing any seedlings at all," Veblen said. One of his graduate students at the time, Monica Rother, who now leads her own lab at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, took a closer look, formally sectioning off research plots and returning year after year to count little trees. More than a decade after the Walker Ranch Fire most of her plots had zero tree seedlings. Now that the winter has cooled the 2021 fire season, scientists are looking at the big burn scars across the West with the grim understanding that, in some places, the pine and Douglas fir forests will not return."

IEA says renewable power installations are set for a record year, warns of net-zero uncertainty

More from CNBC: "The world is set to add nearly 290 gigawatts of renewable power capacity this year, according to the International Energy Agency, with the Paris-based organization expecting 2021 to "set a fresh all-time record for new installations." Published on Wednesday, the IEA's Renewables Market Report forecasts that the planet's renewable electricity capacity will jump to more than 4,800 GW by the year 2026, an increase of over 60% compared with 2020 levels. Capacity refers to the maximum amount of energy that installations can produce, not what they're necessarily generating. China is set to be the main driver of renewable capacity growth in the coming years, according to the IEA, with Europe, the U.S. and India following on behind."


Thanks for checking in and have a great day! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser).

- D.J. Kayser