By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As clouds decrease overnight Wednesday, temperatures are expected to fall near or below freezing across much of Minnesota.

The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for much of central Minnesota and a freeze warning for the northern third of the state. The advisories/warnings are slated to take effect at 1 a.m. and last until 7 a.m. Thursday.

In central Minnesota, temperatures could fall to as low as 32 degrees, possibly damaging outdoor vegetation if left uncovered. As for the Twin Cities metro area, lows are expected to be around 39 degrees, according to meteorologist Riley O’Connor. Meanwhile, in northern Minnesota, the mercury could dip well below freezing, posing a risk to unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Minnesotans are advised to protect outdoor plants and wrap outdoor pipes or allow them to drip slowly overnight.

The chilly overnight forecast will come following a wet and cool Wednesday. Scattered showers are expected across the southern half of Minnesota, with high temperatures in the low 50s and even cooler to the south.

In northern Minnesota, skies will be clear during the day, with sunshine boosting temperatures into the mid-to-upper 50s. The clearing will move south through the day, and lead to a significant drop in temperatures across the state come nightfall.

For context, the average low temperature in the Twin Cities this time of year is 55 degrees. The average low Brainerd is about 47 degrees.

Looking ahead, a warmup is expected to kick off Thursday and extend into next week, when highs will again climb near 80 degrees.

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