Winter Weather Advisory In Northern Minnesota

A Winter Weather Advisory is in place through Midnight Thursday night across portions of northwest Minnesota as an area of mixed precipitation is expected to move through. Up to an inch of snow and a light glaze of ice could fall, causing slippery road conditions.

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Weekend Outlook

The weekend is almost here! Highs are expected to be around 40F both days, but Saturday does look to be the sunnier day across the region. Don't fret, though, about that snow you see Saturday Night into Sunday. It does look to be late Saturday Night into Sunday morning, potentially mixing with rain across southern Minnesota.

The good news is this looks to be a quick-hitting snow, with conditions becoming a lot nicer (and likely sunnier) by the afternoon hours.

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December Through February Outlook

We are going to be heading into the heart of winter here soon, with meteorological winter running from December through February. On Thursday, the Climate Prediction Center updated its outlook for the next three months. Looking at temperatures, about the northwestern half of the state has odds of below average temperatures over the three month period, with equal chances of above/below/average temperatures across the rest of the state.

Meanwhile, most of the state has above average chances of precipitation over the December through February timeframe.

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Drought Update

Also on Thursday the latest Drought Monitor was released. Minnesota still has about 44.5% of the state under abnormally dry conditions, including across central Minnesota stretching into the Twin Cities. 8% of the state is classified under moderate drought, with a sliver of southwestern Minnesota under severe drought (0.28%).

In both the abnormally dry and moderate drought categories, this is actually an improvement compared to last week.
 

As we look at precipitation over the past 90 days, many areas of the state are running at least 1-4" below average. The exceptions are across portions of west-central and southeastern Minnesota, where some areas are actually above average.

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Odds Of A Cold, Snowy Winter - Quiet Thru Saturday
By D.J. Kayser, filling in for Paul Douglas

Who's ready for some snow and cold weather? Yesterday the latest December through February outlook from the Climate Prediction Center was released. This update shows heightened odds of below average temperatures across the northwestern half of the state over the three-month period. Meanwhile, above average precipitation chances are painted over the Dakotas, most of Minnesota, and into the Great Lakes.

However, a good portion of Minnesota could use some moisture right now. Over the past 90 days, many areas are running 1-4" below average. The latest Drought Monitor shows about 8% of the state in moderate drought - confined to western and northern Minnesota - with severe drought across far southwestern Minnesota.

A quick-hitting batch of light rain/snow showers will be possible late Saturday Night into Sunday morning - about the only blip to an otherwise nice weekend. A better chance at widespread precipitation arrives Monday Night into Tuesday. The good news is we should see quiet weather as we head into Thanksgiving Day.

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D.J.'s Extended Twin Cities Forecast

FRIDAY: A few passing clouds. Wake up 34. High 42. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind WNW 10-15 mph.
SATURDAY: Mainly sunny. Late night rain/snow. Wake up 23. High 40. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 3-8 mph.
SUNDAY: Morning rain/snow. Clearing skies. Wake up 29. High 40. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind WNW 5-15 mph.
MONDAY: Sunny start. Increasing PM clouds. Wake up 23. High 37. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: Snow changing to rain. Wake up 29. High 38. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind S 5-15 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Clouds early. Sunnier by the afternoon. Wake up 30. High 42. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.
THURSDAY: Quiet Thanksgiving. Sun/cloud mix. Wake up 31. High 42. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind WSW 5-10 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
November 20th

1996: Heavy snowfall accumulations of four to eight inches blanket much of Central Minnesota. Some of the heavier amounts included 8 inches at Montevideo and Gaylord, along with 7 inches at St. James, Mankato, Madison, and Stewart. Six inches was reported in the Twin Cities and Glenwood.

1953: Freezing rain hits parts of Minnesota. 3 inches of ice accumulates on wires at telephone wires at Lake Benton.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
November 20th

Average High: 38F (Record: 63F set in 1925)
Average Low: 24F (Record: -3F set in 1921)
Average Precipitation: 0.06" (Record: 2.01" set in 1975)
Average Snowfall: 0.4" (Record: 8.0" in 1975)
Record Snow Depth: 10" in 1981

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
November 20th

Sunrise: 7:18 AM
Sunset: 4:39 PM

*Length Of Day: 9 hours, 21 minutes, and 6 seconds
*Daylight LOST Since Yesterday: ~2 minutes and 7 seconds

*When Do We Drop Below 9 Hours Of Daylight? December 2nd (8 hours, 59 minutes, and 48 seconds)
*When Is The Sunrise At/After 7:30 AM?: November 30th (7:30 AM)
*When Is The Earliest Sunset?: December 4th-13th (4:31 PM)

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Twin Cities And Minnesota Weather Outlook

It's going to be a cooler day in the Twin Cities Friday, but mainly sunny skies will continue. Temperatures start in the mid-30s, only climbing to the low 40s behind a cold front that moved through Thursday.

On Friday, sunnier skies are expected in southern Minnesota with more clouds across northern portions of the state. I can't rule out a few flurries across northern Minnesota during the day, however, chances do appear to be slim. Behind that cold front highs will only be in the 20s in far northern portions of the state, but reach the mid-40s in southern Minnesota.

Depending on where you are on Friday, highs will either be up to about 5F degrees below average (across northern Minnesota) or up to 5F degrees above average (southern Minnesota), with central Minnesota hovering right around average. The average high for November 20th in the Twin Cities is 38F.

We could see some stronger wind gusts in the Twin Cities Friday, particularly during the midday and afternoon hours when they could approach 20 mph out of the west-northwest.

A similar situation is expected across the state Friday, with peak wind gusts up to around 20-25 mph possible during the day.

As we look at the next several days, highs will remain around 40F through the weekend, but some cooler highs - only in the 30s - are expected to start the Thanksgiving week in the Twin Cities. We will be watching a system move through on Tuesday bringing the chance of snow changing to rain along with it. Taking a look a little farther out, highs should climb back into the low 40s for Wednesday and Thanksgiving Thursday with calm weather in place.

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National Weather Forecast

A few areas of rain and snow will be possible across the nation on Friday, including in the Pacific Northwest, upper Great Lakes, the Rockies into the Ohio River Valley, and portions of the Gulf Coast to eastern Florida.

Through Saturday, an inch or two of rain will be possible in the middle Mississippi River region. Up to a couple of feet of snow will be possible in the Cascades.

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Trump Administration Lifts Protections For Largest National Forest In US

More from NPR: "The Trump administration has eliminated federal protections for the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. In late October, the U.S. Forest Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, cleared the way for the Tongass to be fully exempted from the Roadless Rule, a 2001 policy passed in the waning days of the Clinton administration. With the rollback of the Roadless Rule, nine million previously-protected acres are now open further to potential development. Alaskan political leadership has long sought this change for the 32 islanded communities in the Tongass, saying the Roadless Rule is a hinderance to development, infrastructure, and economic opportunity."

Hundreds of towering giant sequoias killed by the Castle fire — a stunning loss

More from the Los Angeles Times: "Kristen Shive glanced around the blackened forest and started counting. She stopped at 13 — the number of giant sequoias she spotted with charred trunks, scorched crowns and broken limbs. The towering trees had grown on this Sierra Nevada ridge top for well over 500 years. They had lived through many wildfires and droughts. But they could not survive the Castle fire, which swept into the Alder Creek Grove in the early hours of Sept. 13. One of the monster wildfires birthed by California’s August lightning blitz, the Castle fire burned through portions of roughly 20 giant sequoia groves on the western slopes of the Sierra, the only place on the planet they naturally grow."

Climate Change and “Atmospheric Thirst” to Increase Fire Danger and Drought in Nevada and California

More from NIDIS: "Since the start of the 21st century, California and Nevada have suffered extreme wildland fires and droughts that have caused devastating impacts to ecosystems and society. A common feature of these events has been very high evaporative demand—the “thirst” of the atmosphere—which has largely been driven by increased air temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change. According to new research funded by NIDIS and the California-Nevada Applications Program (CNAP), a NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) team, climate change and a “thirsty atmosphere” will bring even more extreme wildfire danger and multi-year droughts to Nevada and California by the end of the next century. The research was led by the Desert Research Institute and Western Regional Climate Center, with co-authors from CNAP and in collaboration with University of California, Merced."

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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

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