Just when winter seemed to have taken a nice pill there may be extra travel challenges Friday.
The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a winter weather advisory noting patchy freezing drizzle will be possible across the region after midnight Thursday and before noon Friday. After noon there is a slight chance of snow. Friday’s high may reach 29 degrees above. The overnight low, sustained by a south wind, is expected to remain above zero and may not drop below 12 degrees.
While the temperature has warmed considerably in the aftermath of the polar vortex plunge to deep subzero, how can it rain when it’s not above freezing?
Kevin Huyck, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth said that’s a good question.
“Sleet and rain are the result of warmer temperatures above the ground,” Huyck stated. “In cases like this, snow falls into that ‘warm layer’ as we like to call it, and melts on the way down. If it doesn’t refreeze before reaching the ground we experience rain or freezing rain. If it does refreeze we experience sleet.”
The weekend should provide welcome relief after the recent frigid weather, with highs near or above 30 degrees. Sunday may even be above freezing at 33 degrees. The forecast for the coming week may not be as warm but should be back to normal with highs in the 20s and overnight lows warmer than normal as they stay in the single digits or teens. Saturday’s partly sunny skies and no forecast for precipitation looks to be the better day of the weekend. There is a slight chance at 20 percent of rain or snow Sunday. That slight chance of snow continues into Monday. The cold loosened its grip as Brainerd rose to 1 degree before 3 a.m. Thursday and climbed to a high of 21 degrees. Even the wind chill was at least above zero. The coming weekend should provide a welcome respite and after recent weeks, 20 degrees may feel downright warm.