Light, fluffy snow will turn much of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, into a winter wonderland this weekend.
The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for all of southern Minnesota, the metro area and areas as far north as St. Cloud. From west to east, the system stretches from the middle of South Dakota and across Wisconsin. The advisory will begin at noon Saturday and run until 3 a.m. Sunday.
The Twin Cities area is likely to see 4 to 6 inches of snow, according to the NWS.
To the south, the Minnesota River Valley and cities such as Redwood Falls, Faribault and Mankato may see more, said Caleb Grunzke, a meteorologist at the Weather Service's regional office in Chanhassen. The winter weather advisory in that area could be upgraded to a winter storm warning, he said.
The snow, which will move from west to east, should taper off around 8 a.m. Sunday, and then it will be partly sunny and dry, according to Grunzke.
"The roads could become treacherous, so when traveling, use caution," he said.
As always, motorists can find current road conditions on the state Department of Transportation website, 511.mn.org.
The snow will be light and fluffy, a welcome change for shovelers and snowblowers from the heavy, wet snow that fell last week.
During the storm, winds will be around 10 miles per hour, far calmer than they were Thursday, when gusts over 30 mph were reported as a cold front moved across the state.
On Friday morning, temperatures sank to 3 degrees at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, one of the coldest readings of the month. Still, the mercury has yet to slip below zero there in January, which often is the coldest month of the year.
Friday's high temperature of 14 degrees marked the coldest daily high of this month. The previous lowest daily high temperature was 18 degrees on Monday.
High temperatures during this relatively balmy January have been above freezing 12 times, with the warmest temperature 39 degrees on Jan. 13.
Once the weekend snow is cleared, there shouldn't be any further shoveling for at least a few days. A sunny, calm period of weather is on tap for next week, with high temperatures in the teens early in the week moderating to the upper 20s by Thursday, the Weather Service said.