Weather turning sharply back to seasonal norms; Friday storm to sideswipe area

Published 10:28 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

If you’re hoping to hold on to the recent stint of nice weather we’ve been enjoying, then we have some bad news for you — it’s not going to last much longer.

But on the bright side, Friday’s system, slated to dump possibly a foot of snow on regions in central and northern Minnesota, will most likely skip our area.

“We’ve got chances of rain going through the whole day for Friday and then the colder air is coming in here Friday evening right behind the front,” said Dan Jones, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin. “But by then most of the precipitation will be exiting the area. Maybe we’ll get some light snow, some flurries.”

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Unless patterns shift, which Jones thinks is unlikely, the Austin area is looking at a 50 percent chance of rain throughout the day Friday with a 50 percent chance or rain/snow as we get into Friday night. That will fall to a 20 percent chance as the night wears on. Accumulation of less than a half of inch is possible.

The area is looking at a high of 48 dropping to a low of around 25 at night. From there temperatures will hover in the mid 30s for highs through Sunday with sunny and clear skies.

That’s good news for us, but not for those people north and west of the Twin Cities. According to the National Weather Service, a blizzard watch will go into effect early Friday morning and last through Friday night for cities in central Minnesota including Alexandria, Montevideo and nearby towns.

Six to 12 inches of snow is possible for a large swath stretching from eastern South Dakota and extending northeast into the Arrowhead Region as the system drives eastward. However, a foot of snow isn’t out of the question the further north you go.

Minnesota’s abrupt turn into winter has broken a lengthy period of abnormally mild conditions for the area.

“I would have to say it’s been an unseasonably warm for fall this month,” Jones said.

The storm itself, however, is pretty common.

“This can be typical of November,” Jones said.

After this system passes through, weather patterns revert to what you would typically see this time of year.

“I would say once the pattern gets into next week we’ll see moderate to normal temperatures,” Jones said.

While the area may miss the brunt of Friday’s storm there is a chance we could see our first snow of the year.

Friday: 50 percent chance of rain before 5 p.m., then chance of rain and snow. Temperatures will fall from the 50s early on to around 36 for the rest of the day.
Friday night: Chance of rain and snow before 7 p.m., new snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.