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How Common Are These Temperature Swings?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Wednesday's Twin Cities low hit minus-28 degrees. Sunday's forecast high is positive-41 degrees.

Pete Boulay is with the state climatology office, which collects historical data on 24-hour temperature swings.

"Having a swing of 30 degrees in a calendar day happens quite frequently. Forty-five degrees in a calendar day happens, you know, about once every ten years," Boulay said. "Having these warm-ups after these arctic outbreaks happens all the time. It's just part of our climate. We're far away from the oceans, right in the middle of the continent, so we don't have anything to modify our air."

winter puddle
(credit: CBS)

The biggest temperature drop in Minnesota in 24 hours was 1982 in Lamberton: 78 degrees to 7 degrees.

"Usually the rises aren't that rapid," he said. "It's a little more gradual."

In five days over December of 2013, the Twin Cities' temperature rose from minus-13 degrees to postive-47 degrees. And over a week in February of 1996, it jumped from minus-32 degrees to positive-42 degrees.

So, while the quick drop in temps caused cracks to trees this week, experts say this weekend's warm-up will be so short that it won't have much of an impact. There wasn't enough moisture on the roads to get terrible potholes, and it won't stay warm enough for allergies to be a problem.

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