MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It's official. Temperatures are above zero in the Twin Cities metro.
It's the first time since late Monday that the mercury climbed into the positive side of the thermometer. For the last three days, a mass of arctic air has swirled over the state, dropping temperatures deep into the negative double digits.
Amid the bitter blast, schools across Minnesota closed for days on end, pipes in a north metro water tower burst, spilling thousands of gallons of water, and even the U.S. Postal Service halted mail delivery.
During the frigid mornings, temperatures dipped down to around 30 below zero on in the Twin Cities. Wind chills made it feel like 50 below zero, cold enough for frostbite to set in on exposed skin in just minutes.
Indeed, dozens of people were treated for frostbite in Twin Cities hospitals during the polar vortex's visit.
In northern Minnesota, temperatures approached all-time record lows. In Cotton, the mercury plunged to 53 below zero on Thursday morning. That's just a few degrees shy of the all-time record set in 1996 in Tower: 60 below zero.
But the warm-up has begun.
Highs Friday are expected to reach around 20 degrees in the Twin Cities, and the rest of the weekend will be even warmer, with almost spring-like weather.
Saturday is set to bring highs well above freezing in the metro, with plenty of sunshine. Meteorologist Matt Brickman has declared it a Top 10 Weather Day. Expect loads of melting on city sidewalks and streets.
Sunday will be even warmer, with highs forecasted to reach 40 degrees in the Twin Cities. However, the warmth will also usher in rain showers, which could turn to an icy mix as a cold front moves in Sunday night.
For those following the massive temperature swings, between Thursday's low and Sunday's expected high, the Twin Cities will see a swing of around 70 degrees.
What a week it's been.
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