65 degrees: Monday is warmest February day on record in the Twin Cities

Snow, cold, thunder ahead in the next 7 days

People walk in downtown Mankato
In downtown Mankato, pedestrians took advantage of the 65 degree weather on Monday while walking in shorts and t-shirts.
Hannah Yang | MPR News

Monday is now the warmest February day on record in the Twin Cities. The temperature hit 65 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Monday afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. The previous record is 64 degrees set way back in 1896.

We’re in the 60s for the first time in over three months in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. The last time the Twin Cities hit 60 degrees was on Nov. 17, 2023. We topped out at 69 degrees that day.

The surge of warmth on Monday is blowing in from the south. Temperatures are in the 70s in Iowa.

Temperatures Monday afternoon
Temperatures Monday afternoon
Oklahoma Mesonet

The temperature hit 72 degrees in Austin, Minn., Monday afternoon. That looks like a daily record and within 1 degree of a state record for the warmest February day on record.

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72 degrees at Austin
72 degrees in Austin, Minn., Monday afternoon

I reached out to Peter Boulay with the Minnesota State Climatology Office about that state record.

According to Mark Seeley’s Blue Minnesota Weather Almanac Book, the state record high for February is 73 degrees at Pleasant Mound on February 26, 1896 .

The official records are for those sites that are in the NWS Cooperative volunteer network so we won’t know for sure about whether we broke the record today until the reports come in tomorrow morning.

Northern Minnesota is also challenging several records today. Temperatures are in the 50s across much of northern Minnesota. Here’s a look at some of the record highs for Monday:

Record warmth
Record highs Monday across northern Minnesota
Duluth National Weather Service office

Weather whiplash ahead

Near-record warmth? Snow and wind? Thunder?

We’ll likely check all these weather boxes in the forecast for Minnesota in the next seven days. The weather maps look more like a volatile stock market over the next week. Get ready for some big ups and downs.

Snow and much colder Tuesday

A powerful cold front will bring temperatures as much as 40 degrees colder to parts of Minnesota this week. The system will also produce snow.

NOAA FV3 model
Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core model between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday
NOAA, via Tropical Tidbits

Northern Minnesota will pick up the greatest accumulations with more than 6 inches possible around International Falls.

Snowfall projection for Minnesota
Snowfall projection for Minnesota

The Twin Cities will likely get a little shot of snow during afternoon rush hours on Tuesday. Accumulations will be less than an inch in most locations around the greater Twin Cities.

Temperatures will plummet Tuesday on gusty northwest winds over 40 mph. Subzero temperatures will cover northern Minnesota by Wednesday morning!

Record warmth this weekend?

Our midweek chill gives way to yet another powerful warm front this weekend.

Highs will rise through the 50s on Friday and Saturday. Sunday brings the warmest day. Highs will likely shoot through the upper 60s in the Twin Cities. 70 degrees is possible across southern Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

Forecast high temperatures Sunday
Forecast high temperatures Sunday

The record high Sunday in the Twin Cities is 65 degrees set in 1905. There’s a good chance we’ll break that. If we hit 70 degrees it will be the earliest 70-degree temperature on record for the Twin Cities. The current record is March 5 set in 2000.

Sunday night thunder?

The next potent cold front will blow through Sunday night. Forecast models suggest enough lift and instability to produce a narrow line of thunderstorms along the frontal boundary late Sunday night.

NOAA GFS model
Global Forecast System model Sunday night
NOAA, via Tropical Tidbits

We could hear some thunder on the first weekend of March this year!

Stay tuned.