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Breezy and much cooler Friday. Lingering light snow and flurries

Our remarkable winter warmup ended on Thursday with a record high of 53 in the Twin Cities. It was the metro area’s 12th 50-degree day since meteorological winter began on Dec. 1, far exceeding the previous record of eight 50-degree days, according to Kenny Blumenfeld, senior climatologist with the Minnesota State Climatology Office. It’s also remarkable that seven of those 12 days were in what should be the depths of winter in late January and early February. A mild outbreak is more likely in early December when the ground might not yet be snow covered.

Here’s a quick look at upcoming temperatures:

Forecast for the Twin Cities area
Forecast for the Twin Cities area
Twin Cities National Weather Service

The much cooler air that arrived Thursday is still warmer than average. Highs Friday will be mostly from the upper 20s to mid-30s. Northwestern Minnesota will be cooler with highs in the low to mid-20s. The Twin Cities will likely max out around 36 degrees and a day where the average high is 26. But the gusty west wind, while lighter than Thursday’s southerly blow, will still have a bite.

Forecast high temperatures for Friday
Forecast high temperatures for Friday
National Weather Service

Some light snow into Friday

Patchy light snow has been falling in parts of northern and central Minnesota. Up to an additional inch of snow could accumulate on Friday in some northern areas such as around International Falls and Ely. The Twin Cities area could see morning flurries.

Has anybody been getting a lot of snow?

Yes! While Minnesota has certainly been shortchanged with regard to snow this winter, northern Arizona has recently been getting more than its share. Flagstaff, Ariz., had heavy snow on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. The official measurement was for a three-day total of 36 inches. That brought their season total so far to 72 inches.

Even scenic Sedona, Ariz., got into the act on Thursday with morning rain changing to moderate and heavy snow for the afternoon.

Dry, mild weekend

The weekend looks dry and milder than normal. Highs will be mainly in the 20s across northern Minnesota and 30s in the south.

Forecast high temperatures for Saturday
Forecast high temperatures for Saturday
National Weather Service

Sunday looks to be slightly warmer than Saturday.

Forecast high temperatures for Sunday
Forecast high temperatures for Sunday
National Weather Service

Quiet weather next week

Next week looks storm-free with no temperature extremes. A weak Alberta clipper might bring a potential inch of light snow to northern and central Minnesota about Thursday. A stronger system could spread a more impressive swath of snow across Iowa next Friday.

Highs will be mostly in the 30s for most of the state most days next week. Some upper 20s will show up on some days in northern Minnesota while southern Minnesota should warm to a few low 40s. The Twin and much of southern Minnesota are likely to see low 40s on Monday.

Temperature outlook

Temperatures will slide down a bit toward next weekend. At the same time, the climatological averages have begun to climb as we exit the deepest part of winter. Combining those two trends leaves us with a forecast of near-average temperatures for Feb. 16-22.

Temperature outlook for Feb.16-22
Temperature outlook for Feb.16-22
NOAA Climate Prediction Center

Next Friday could be the start of the near-normal stretch.

Forecast high temperatures next Friday
Forecast high temperatures next Friday
NOAA Weather Prediction Center