Thursday will be slightly cooler and breezy but with more sunshine. Northern lights will be potentially visible statewide Thursday night.
Slightly cooler, breezy Thursday
A weak cool front continues to move through the Upper Midwest early Thursday. It will make for a slightly cooler set of afternoon high temperatures Thursday afternoon but still above normal.
We’ll see a fair amount of sunshine again with just some patchy clouds in northern Minnesota. Winds will increase from the northwest, reaching 10 to 15 mph in the wake of the cold front.
It will be a little colder overnight Thursday night with lows mainly in the teens to low 20s.
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Good chance to see auroras statewide Thursday night
An explosion on the sun’s surface has triggered a series of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are now racing toward Earth.
One is being called a “cannibal CME” because it’s a large ejection that takes over a smaller one. All of this energy, reaching Earth Thursday night could make for a vivid display of northern lights if it aligns with our magnetic field just right. A KP index of 7 is forecast.
When the KP index reaches 6 or higher, the lights are potentially visible across even southern Minnesota. A 7 means that they could be visible into Iowa and Illinois.
Most of Minnesota should see mostly clear skies overnight Thursday night as well. There will be some scattered areas of clouds especially in northern Minnesota, but overall visibility should be good.
Weekend system tracks mainly south but some snow showers possible
The developing storm system we’ve been watching for the weekend looks to affect areas mainly to the south and southeast with a swath of snowfall from Des Moines, Iowa, to Madison, Wis.
We’ll still see a broad trough that will bring at least some snow showers to eastern Minnesota but the best chances for accumulations will likely be just southeastern Minnesota into parts of southwestern Wisconsin.
Overall, we remain very mild into next week with the possibility of 50 degree temperatures again in southern Minnesota by mid to late week.