142-year-old record broken by massive temperature turnaround in Minnesota

·2 min read

You'll have to excuse the residents of Minnesota if they don't know exactly what clothes to be wearing these days.

Within the span of just a few weeks, the city of Minneapolis has experienced low temperatures that challenged a daily record low set 146 years ago, and now, has broken a daily temperature record that stood for 142 years.

On Feb. 14, temperatures dipped all the way down to 19 degrees below zero Fahrenheit at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, just missing a record low temperature for the date originally set in 1875.

But now just three weeks later, city residents are dressing for a very different record. On March 9, the city reached a high temperature of 62 F, shattering the previous high-temperature record of 61 F for the date in the city last reached in 1879.

"We've got a system going up to our west, putting us in the warm part of the system [on Tuesday] with strong southerly winds really pumping in the warmth," Chris O'Brien, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Minneapolis, told AccuWeather.

That system has baked the central U.S. since the weekend, sending temperatures across the northern Plains and Midwest 15 to 30 degrees above normal for this time of the year.

By Tuesday afternoon, daily records were already broken in areas such as Chicago; Duluth, Minnesota; Green Bay and Wausau, Wisconsin; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. On Monday, daily records were broken farther west, including a high of 65 in Mobridge, South Dakota, breaking a 110-year-old record for the date. North Platte, Nebraska, broke a record from 1936 by four degrees on Tuesday.

"The driving force behind the warm blast has been a pronounced northward bulge in the jet stream," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert wrote. "As this bulge builds farther northward and eastward each day through the middle of the week, it will allow unseasonably warm air to spread across much of the Central and Eastern states."

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After heating up the central region, the surging heat is expected to be welcomed with open arms by residents in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Following the record warmth, conditions have begun to take an unsettled turn as a storm system sweeps through the region and cold air presses southward from the Canadian Prairies and into the northern Plains.

This is the first of a pair of storms that will hit the central U.S. over the next week with a bigger, more significant storm set to unfold over the weekend.

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