Cold first, then snow

A Minnesota State University student is bundled up against the cold as she leaves campus Thursday. A winter storm is expected to follow the cold, which will then be followed by — you guessed it — more cold.

The predicted amount of snow coming to this area Friday into Saturday has been lowered, but the Mankato region is still in line to get 6-8 inches before the storm is done.

“It should start in Mankato a little before noon Friday. The heaviest stuff will be in the afternoon and into the evening,” said Caleb Grunzke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

The snow will taper off Saturday morning, but northwest winds will pick up.

Mankato Area Public Schools was among several area school districts that on Thursday called off Friday classes. St. Peter declared a “flexible learning day.”

Friday evening’s commute could be rough, particularly for those driving in rural areas. And driving conditions are expected to be difficult everywhere Friday night and Saturday.

Grunzke said there will be blowing and drifting snow as winds will be about 25-30 mph Friday and Saturday with some gusts up to 45 mph.

“It’s very likely we’ll get some blizzard conditions, but we’re not sure where those will happen yet.”

Grunzke said the bitter, below-zero cold that met people on their commute Thursday will give way to more seasonable temperatures Friday and Saturday with highs in the mid 20s Friday and upper teens Saturday. But the winds will still make it feel bitterly cold.

Then the area can brace for some more cold. “Sunday and Monday the highs will be in the single digits with negative lows,” Grunzke said.

By mid week and late next week temperatures should feel almost balmy with above freezing highs predicted.

The Twin Cities is expected to get the highest amounts of snow with 7-10 inches predicted. Much of the rest of the state will be in the 6- to 8-inch range.

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