Brisk winds from the west and southwest swept milder air into the Dakotas, Minneasota and Wisconsin today. The lack of snow cover in the upper Midwest, along with the parched soil helped to maximize the warmth of late December sunshine to boast the thermometer to record readings.
Late this afternoon St. Cloud topped out at 49 breaking the previous record of 48 degrees set in 1905. The temperature at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport was 51 degrees at 4PM, which ties the record for the date set in 1936. *Updated at 525PM, the International Airport reach 52 degrees this afternoon surpassing the record of 51.
International Falls began the morning with the mercury above freezing and climbed to a high of 41 degrees. International Falls fell short of the record of 42 set in 1994 (corected from earlier post). Even Duluth got into the action reaching a record high of 43, besting the old record of 42 set in 1908.
Temperatures at 3PM.
Winds whipped above 40 miles an hour acoss the state, including 45 mph at Rochester, Waseca and Duluth. By sunset winds had diminished slightly. Cooler air is funneling into the upper Midwest as winds turn more to the north.
The RUC model forecast for midnight tonight still maintains temperatures close to 40 degrees in south central Minnesota. Winds continue to slacken this evening in all but the Arrowhead region.
After a chilly and rather blustery day on Tuesday, with temperatures more December-like, mild air attempts a comeback on Wednesday. The push of milder air is likely to enhance to probability of needed moisture.
There is a chance for up to a quater inch of liquid precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday through central Minnesota. With the moisture falling as snow, there is the possibility for an inch or two of slushy accumulation from Morris to Hutchinson. Could the Twin Cities get in on the light snow? Stay tuned.
Plans for New Years Eve? The weather is expected to be quiet.