Albert Lea likely to avoid most of snow

Published 11:15 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, Albert Lea is looking at a 50 percent chance of rain throughout the day before 2 p.m. Friday with a chance of snow after 4 p.m. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph with a 50 percent chance or rain/snow into Friday night. Accumulation of less than a half inch is possible.

The area is looking at a high of 51 degrees dropping to a low of around 24 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 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.