Temperatures drop heading into weekend
WILLMAR -- The Thanksgiving holiday forecast is looking good for travelers and holiday shoppers with unseasonable temperatures expected in west central and southwest Minnesota.
The National Weather Service Twin Cities office in Chanhassen forecasts warm temperatures and clear skies today and Thursday across the region, before turning blustery and colder Friday and into the weekend. Today's temperature highs in the region are expected to reach 60 to 65, according to the National Weather Service. The overnight forecast lows are 40 to 45.
The Thanksgiving Day temperatures are forecast 50 to 55, with west 5 to 15 mph winds before shifting to northwest winds at 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
Black Friday shoppers heading out for shopping Thursday night and Friday morning will need to bundle up as temperatures will turn colder, dropping into the low 20s.
As a cold front moves into the Midwest, temperatures in west central Minnesota Friday will reach the highs of 30 to 35, with a similar temperature ranges Saturday and Sunday.
It is a far different story in the northwestern quarter of Minnesota and in North Dakota, as an area of low pressure is expected to track across the Northern Plains on Thursday morning and travel difficulties are possible.
As strong northwest winds develop in its wake, temperatures are likely to fall throughout the day with rain showers changing over to snow by afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D., says.
By Thursday evening strong winds combined with falling snow would impact travel conditions across the area, with the impacts greatest along and north of the U.S. Highway 2 corridor. Accumulating snow -- 2 to 4 inches -- is possible across the northern portions of North Dakota and Minnesota, with the highest totals across northwest Minnesota. At this time 1 to 4 inches of snow are forecast generally along and north of a Devils Lake, N.D., to Grand Forks, N.D., to Bemidji line.
Not only will there be snow falling, but winds will shift to the northwest and increase to 15 to 25 mph, with higher gusts. This would result in areas of blowing and drifting where the snow does fall.
There is still some uncertainty with the track of this system and its potential impacts, however, the Weather Service says. Anyone with holiday travel plans should stay updated to future forecasts.