Major weather whiplash ahead

Monday afternoon temperatures have reached the 70s through a large swath of southern Minnesota and almost all of Iowa. Today’s highs are setting daily records and for the warmest February temperatures recorded at most stations. While tonight through Tuesday morning remains mild, we’re in for a big, wintry shift late Tuesday through Wednesday. Some of the coldest air of the month is headed our way and will stick around for just a short while.

A cold front will slide through the region around the middle of the day Tuesday. Ahead of it, highs will reach the upper 40s to lower 50s by lunch, and temperatures will then drop quickly behind the front. By Tuesday evening, temperatures will plummet to the 20s throughout southeast Minnesota and north-central Iowa. In addition to cold air, a line of snow will develop between 6pm-11pm Tuesday evening. Amounts will stay between a coating up to a couple inches of snow, falling in a relatively short amount of time. Snow will affect travelers Tuesday evening.

Wednesday promises to be one of the coldest days of this record warm February with daytime temperatures getting no warmer than the lower 20s. After a cold start to Thursday, highs will quickly rebound to the 40s. It’s going to be one of the shortest cold snaps we’ve seen all winter, which isn’t saying much. By this coming weekend, temperatures will be back to near-record territory with Saturday and Sunday high temperatures in the 60s, nearing 70° Sunday afternoon.