Bright and mild Tuesday, warmer Wednesday

Most of Minnesota remains dry this week

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Forecast highs Tuesday
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Pivotal Weather

Updated 9 a.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday will continue to be very mild with more sunshine. A cool front Thursday will drop temperatures briefly for Friday and increase winds.

Another mild day with sunshine Tuesday 

Tuesday will be another mild day with sunshine. Highs will be mostly in the 30s and 40s, about 10 to 15 degrees above normal. 

Forecast temperature anomalies (departure from normal) Tuesday
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

Temperatures will drop back into the 20s overnight Tuesday night with some teens in the northwest corner of the state under mostly clear skies.

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Forecast lows Tuesday night
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

Wednesday will be the warmest day of the week with highs reaching the 50s in parts of southwestern and far southern Minnesota. 

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Forecast highs Wednesday
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

A cool front sweeps through Thursday, increasing winds and dropping temperatures briefly for Friday.

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Forecast highs Friday
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

Stormy California helps keep Minnesota mild

California is once again getting slammed with rainfall Tuesday. Many areas have seen double to triple the normal amount of rainfall over the past 60 days prompting flood watches and warnings.

flood watch
Flood watches for much of California Tuesday
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

The stormy pattern on the coasts helps to prop up an upper level ridge of high pressure which keeps things quiet and mild in the central U.S., including Minnesota. This pattern is a typical one in a strong El Niño pattern.

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The map shows the forecast upper-level pattern over the next several days with a ridge of high pressure and warmth in the central U.S. and stormy weather in the west and east.
WeatherBELL Analytics

Temperatures are expected to reach peak levels early next week when we could be well into the 50s across central and southern Minnesota Monday.

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Forecast highs Monday, Feb. 26
NOAA via pivotal weather

About half of the forecast models have us even reaching 60 degrees in the Twin Cities Monday. For some context, the warmest ever recorded high temperature in the Twin Cities in the month of February is 64 degrees.

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Potential forecast highs Monday
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via WeatherBell Analytics

This February will easily beat the previous No. 1 spot of 1998, which was also a strong El Niño year, and the meteorological winter overall will easily beat the previous No. 1 spot of 1877-78.

This year’s El Niño is weaker than both of those, so the obvious co-culprit left standing in the room is climate change. Winter average temperatures have warmed a staggering 5 degrees in the past several decades but it is also our season of greatest variability.