Winter breezes into Valley

Thanksgiving Day sees record high early, snow late

Gazette Photo by Avery Cropp
Larry Trom of the Stillwater Elks Lodge No. 179 sets up Christmas trees at Lily Lake Park this morning. The park tennis court is the staging area for the annual Elks Christmas tree sale that starts today.

A strong cold front brought a frigid, windy and snowy start to Black Friday across the region today after Thanksgiving Day saw a record high in the Twin Cities early Thursday morning.

Holiday shoppers faced temperatures in the low 20s, flurries and gusty northwest winds that dropped wind-chill readings in the upper single digits today after a cold front Thursday ushered in a strong blast of Arctic air.

Although northern parts of the Twin Cities saw about three inches of snow, the St. Croix Valley received about half that amount, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.

“The Stillwater area, it looks like about an inch-and-a-half,” said Shawn DeVinny. He added that most of the metro area received about one to two inches of snow.

Thanksgiving Day Thursday started out mild with a high of 60 reported shortly early Thursday morning, DeVinny said.

“It was 60 before the cold front, right after midnight,” he said. “That was a record high.”

But the mild air gave way to falling temperatures by late morning Thursday, DeVinny said.

“It was right around the 11 a.m., noon timeframe that the front started to move through and we saw falling temperatures,” he said.

DeVinny said the cold air would remain into next week with another chance of snow possible Saturday night into early Sunday.

“We’re looking at mainly some flurries today,” he said. “We’re a little concerned about tomorrow and tomorrow night. We’ve got a wave coming through that we’re keeping our eye on. It could bring a chance of snow late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Highs today will be in the middle 20s with blustery northwest winds 18 to 23 mph and gusts up to 32 mph.

Winds will gradually diminish tonight under partly cloudy skies with lows falling into the low teens.

Saturday will see increasing clouds with a high near 31. Saturday night will be cloudy and not was cold with lows in the middle 20s.

Sunday is expected to be sunny with highs near 34 and lows falling into the high teens.