You may have thought the season of crazy weather extremes was behind us. But, no. Prepare yourself for record-breaking warm weather on Tuesday.
Yes, the temperature could soar into the middle to upper 60s.
According to the forecast, Tuesday's warmth will surpass the record high for that date, which is 61 degrees. That goes all the way back to 1879, said Tyler Hasenstein, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen.
The record temperature for Monday's date, set just five years ago, is 70, he said, and the forecast for this coming Monday is low 60s.
Wednesday's high is expected to drop to about 51, far below the record of 66, but well above the average of 38 degrees.
How did March 9's not particularly impressive record high of 61 stand for almost a century and a half? Especially since it's 9 degrees chillier than the record for just one day before?
Who knows? March is weird.
It's certainly a time of change, Hasenstein noted. The record high for March 1 is 59 degrees; by March 31, the record high goes up to 82. The temperature spread between record lows for March is, coincidentally, exactly the same as its highs — zero on the first of the month and 23 on the last.
Perhaps that variability explains why so many weather myths and legends swirl around March.
The old "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" certainly contains some truth, as shown by those record highs and lows. But in any given March, a lamb might take the lead, a lion might pounce at the end, or lions and lambs might pop up throughout the month like whack-a-moles.
Is March the snowiest month? Nope. Third snowiest at best. It does surpass February snowfalls — but then again, March is two or three days longer.
April has become weird of late, too. For the past three years, substantial snow has fallen on parts of the state in mid-April. No sign of that happening this year — but don't put the snowblower into storage just yet.
"It's absolutely still a possibility to get that one rogue system that ends up doing that," Hasenstein said.
It seems unlikely, though, because we "already had our breakdown of the polar vortex," he said.
Some think of the polar vortex as a climatological fluke that traps bitter cold over Minnesota, but actually the polar vortex is always there, normally keeping cold where it belongs, at the North Pole. Sometimes, though, a break in the system lets cold air escape — Hasenstein compared it to a hole in a balloon — and invade parts to the south, such as Minnesota. That already happened this year, though (remember mid-February?) and doesn't usually happen more than once a winter.