Wet today, with a cold weekend ahead

Rain, snow, then frigid wind chills

A cross-country skier glides across a snow-covered area lake recently . An approaching cold front will push out today's rain and milder air and bring with it gusty winds, falling temperatures and snow (Gazette photo by Lee Miller)

A cross-country skier glides across a snow-covered area lake recently . An approaching cold front will push out today’s rain and milder air and bring with it gusty winds, falling temperatures and snow (Gazette photo by Lee Miller)

The calendar reads January, but it’s going to feel like March today thanks to a cold rain and fog.
But winter returns this weekend with rain changing to snow Saturday, followed by a blustery shot of cold air Sunday into early next week.
Rain that developed Thursday evening caused scattered icy patches on sidewalks and roads in the St. Croix Valley this morning. Motorists also had to deal with foggy conditions, with the area under a National Weather Service dense fog advisory until noon today.
Parts of central Minnesota just north of the Twin Cities were under a National Weather Service freezing rain advisory until early this morning.
NWS forecasters said intermittent freezing rain developed Thursday evening over the advisory area and continued this morning. Up to one-tenth of an inch of ice accumulation was possible, forecasters added.
“Untreated roads and walkways will become slippery. Ice will accumulate on vehicles left outdoors,” forecasters said. “Be prepared for slippery roads, slow down and use caution when driving.”
In the Valley, meanwhile, dense fog reduced visibilities to about one-quarter mile into early this afternoon, forecasters said. Clouds and drizzle lingered in the region with a high near 40 and southeast winds 7 to 15 mph.
But the big change comes tonight and Saturday when a cold front brings frigid air and gusty winds to the region, forecasters said. Lows by Saturday morning will be in the teens.
“Some light snow will be possible behind this front along with strong west winds of 20 to 35 mph,” forecasters said. “This will create wind chills well below zero through Saturday night.”
Forecasters added that some wind gusts could hit 40 mph Saturday morning.
Snow showers and flurries are expected Saturday with slowly falling temperatures and west wind 15 to 23 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph, resulting in wind chills of minus 6 to 4 above.
Snow ends and winds will diminish slightly Saturday night with lows falling to low single digits above zero. Sunday will partly to mostly cloudy and cold with a high near 13 and low falling to near 3 above.
It will feel more like January Monday through Wednesday with highs ranging from the middle teens Monday to the middle 20s Wednesday and lows in the single digits Monday to low teens Wednesday morning. The next chance of snow for the region is Tuesday night.

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