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Step aside, spring: Summerlike conditions will invade the Twin Cities and the southern half of Minnesota as the warmest air of the season arrives just in time for the weekend.

"Comfortable" with plentiful sunshine and no humidity, said Ryan Dunleavy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. "Very nice."

The burst of warmth will send the mercury into the 70s from Fergus Falls, Brainerd and St. Cloud south to the Iowa border Saturday and Sunday. In the metro area, shorts and T-shirts may be the attire of choice as temperatures move into the mid-70s, Dunleavy said.

By Monday, it may be even warmer, especially in places such as Marshall, New Ulm, Mankato and Willmar, where bank thermometers could be blinking 80 degrees or slightly above.

The weekend got off to a cool start by those standards with a high of around 60 degrees on Friday, which is a few degrees above average for the middle of April, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office. But under sunny skies, temperatures will rise from there for at least three straight days and likely will top the season's warmest day, which was 74 degrees on March 3 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

No records are expected over the weekend. That happened last year when a heat spell set high-temperature records of 88 on April 12 and 87 on April 13, according to the Climatology Office. The hottest April day of all time was 95 on April 21, 1980.

The sunny and warm conditions come with a downside — it will be breezy.

"That elevates the fire concern," Dunleavy said, noting the persisting dry conditions. "Be mindful if you burn," especially from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, he added.

Fire danger as of Thursday was labeled as high across western and far northwestern Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said in its weekly report. The danger was moderate across the north metro and in counties along Interstate 35 just to the north, and low in most other places in the state, the DNR said.

Rain is in the forecast on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures in the metro area will fall from about 78 Monday into the upper 60s Tuesday and to right around 60 Wednesday, the Weather Service said.