Minnesotans can expect spring-like weather to continue a little longer before winter returns.
Southerly winds brought record warmth Sunday, with temperatures peaking from the middle 60s to lower 70s at most locations in the state. The main exception was along the North Shore, where winds off Lake Superior held readings in the middle 40s to middle 50s. The forecast for today and Tuesday predicted more of the same before more typical cold weather returns.
The high at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reached 72, breaking the record of 56 set in 1987 and 1937. The record high also was the earliest a 70-degree or higher temperature has been recorded in the year. The previous earliest 70-degree or higher temperature occurred on March 7, 1987.
In Minneapolis, Tom Sween started his Sunday indoors, taking his son, Sam, to a University of Minnesota baseball game at the Metrodome.
But as the Golden Gophers were being beaten by Wake Forest, the Sweens, of Minneapolis, left to ride their bicycles across town and do what many fathers and sons do in sunny weather: play a game of catch.
''Why watch when we can do it ourselves?'' said Sween as he tossed a baseball to Sam, 7, at a Minneapolis playground. ''It's way too nice to be inside.''
In central Minnesota, St. Cloud had a record high of 66, breaking the previous record of 57 set in 1925. In Willmar, the high was 71.
The high at the Duluth airport reached 56 degrees, breaking the previous record of 50 set in 1987. The all-time record for the city of Duluth remains 57, which was set in 1878.
In International Falls, 67 degrees was the warmest temperature ever recorded so early in the season in the so-called Icebox of the Nation. The reading of 60 on Friday was at that time the warmest temperature ever recorded so early in the season.
Rochester reached 65, breaking the old record of 60 set in 1983.
Highs today were expected to be near record or record, ranging from the 50s in the north to around 70 in the south. A similar temperature pattern is expected across the state on Tuesday.
A low pressure system is expected to move across Minnesota on Wednesday, bringing colder air, rain and possibly snow by Thursday.
High temperatures on Thursday are expected to reach only the 20s in the north with 30s in the south, which is normal for this time of year.
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