Over the next couple of days, one of the most significant concerns will be the danger of light freezing rain beginning today morning and continuing through the night and into Friday morning.
Mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 30s and 40s are forecast for the afternoons today and Friday, with overcast skies and temperatures in the nighttime and early morning hours today and Friday.
According to the National Weather Service, a warm front has extended out from around Minot, North Dakota, to Iowa City, Iowa.
Water vapor imaging taken from the air shows a shortwave traveling over North Dakota that will move into northern Minnesota this morning.
The main issue for today in the MPX region is how much precipitation gets up to the ground north of the warm front, which is expected to be significant.
A ring of precipitation to the north of the warm front, stretching approximately from the Twin Cities to Tomah, WI, has developed and is expected to rise ENE through this morning, causing the HRRR to trend somewhat more aggressively.
With the warm nose coming in above, any model that does generate precipitation will do it in the form of freezing rain instead.
We are not expecting major volumes of freezing rain, but any freezing rain that does fall might provide treacherous roads this morning. Behind all of this, the skies begin to clear, and the temperatures begin to rise.
The tendency of pushing NBM temperatures up near the 90th percentile has continued, despite the absence of significant snow cover in the area.
All of this will be repeated once again tonight. With the arrival of yet another shortwave out of the Dakotas and heading into northern Minnesota, the amount of cloud cover will rise.
Northern Minnesota will have the greatest precipitation forcing, while most models predict some light precipitation Friday morning inside the WAA ahead of a cold front that will sweep over the region Friday afternoon and into Saturday.
As we move into this front, temperatures will be quite warm, and the vast majority of whatever precipitation that does fall will be simply plain rain. However, some freezing rain will be possible if we can maintain some sub-freezing temperatures, which will be mostly north of I-94.
The sky will clear out behind the morning wave, and it will be a fairly pleasant Christmas Eve, much like today. The NBM's highs were pushed up to the 90th percentile once again this time.
Based on how long it takes cold air to flow into the region behind the front, a 50 percent chance of rain is not ruled out for the area south of St. James and Fairmont. This may be the only time we get to see 40 for a few weeks if things go as planned.