Warmest air mass in 5 months heading for Minnesota

60s for Twin Cities this weekend; 70s likely next week

NOAA 6 to 10-day temperature outlook
6 to 10-day temperature outlook
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


A major and persistent shift in the upper airflow across North America will bring springlike temperatures into Minnesota and the entire Upper Midwest over the next week.

Meteorologists watch so-called long wave jet stream patterns about 18,000 feet above ground level for indications of large-scale temperature trends, and there’s no mystery about what’s about to happen. A high amplitude ridge of high pressure will build and stall across the central U.S. next week.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model below runs between Friday and next Tuesday. Warm colors mean above-average 500-millibar heights, and that translates into much warmer air where we live at ground level.

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NOAA GFS upper air forecast
Global Forecast System upper-air forecast between Friday and Tuesday
NOAA, via Tropical Tidbits

The warming trend begins in earnest this weekend, then kicks into high gear next week. Highs in the 60s look likely from the Twin Cities southward this weekend, with 40s and 50s north. A few rain showers will arrive Sunday.

Forecast high temperatures Sunday
Forecast high temperatures Sunday

By next week, highs in the 70s will cover a good chunk of southern and even central Minnesota.

Forecast high temperatures Tuesday
Forecast high temperatures Tuesday

The last time the Twin Cities hit 70 degrees was on Nov. 2. Our last 60-degree temperature was Nov. 10.

Flood risk grows next week

A rapid warmup will melt snow quickly across Minnesota. There’s some good news. Much of the snow has already melted south of the Twin Cities.

But snow water equivalent moisture still runs between 2 and 7 inches across our region to the west and north.

Snow water equivalent
Snow water equivalent

Thursday’s updated flood outlook still shows potential for moderate to major flooding on several rivers in our region.

Stay tuned.