Get out and enjoy it. A one-day reprieve from winter is on tap for Valentine’s Day as temperatures will soar into the low 40s in the Twin Cities and even higher in parts of western Minnesota where thermometers could register 50 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
The warmth and sunshine will be a departure from the arctic cold that has gripped the region since late January.
February has served up nine nights of low temperatures of zero or below, and the mercury has yet to crack the freezing mark this month. The last time that happened was Jan. 31, when the high in the Twin Cities just hit 32 degrees. For the month, temperatures are running 11 degrees below the average temperature of 29 degrees.
That will make Wednesday’s forecast high of 42 degrees in the metro area feel quite mild.
“Warm temperatures will continue today with highs near 40 degrees across much of the area, and possibly even around 50 in west central Minnesota,” the weather service said.
Highs on Wednesday will be in the upper 30s across southern and northern Minnesota, where the snowpack will keep temperatures down. Where there is less snow on the ground, the hot spot could be Madison, Minn., where a high of 51 degrees is possible, the weather service said.
The snow-melting warmth will not be the warmest day of the year in the Twin Cities. That was Jan. 26, when the high temperature reached 47 degrees. The Twin Cities also had highs of 40 degrees or warmer during a three-day stretch from Jan. 18-20, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office.
But for three weeks, the mercury struggled to get into the teens as the jet stream blew in air from the polar ice caps.
And come Thursday, the cold will be back. After a high of 33 degrees, temperatures will tumble to 3 above zero by nightfall, accompanied by windchills of minus 12 and a chance of light snow.
Friday will feature a high in the upper teens before temperatures rebound into the low 30s for Saturday and Sunday before dropping back into the 20s for early next week.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768