Another Month, Another Record Heat Wave

a soccer field in the evening
A warm late-winter/early-spring scene again, this time with the billowy towers of isolated, far-away thunderstorms to the east of St. Paul on March 3, 2024.
Image credit: Minnesota State Climatology Office.

Meteorological winter may have ended, but the predominantly mild to warm pattern has not, and the first three days of March 2024 proved it, with another flurry of record heat across central and southern Minnesota.

On Friday March 1, the Twin Cities tied the record high of 59 F, shared with 1990. On the 2nd, the high temperature of 63 degrees F crushed the previous record of 54 F, though that old value was rather low for the time of year. On the same day, Rochester also set a record with 64 F, and St. Cloud also broke its record with 58 F.

The warmest day by far was Sunday March 3, when temperatures soared to 70 degrees and above over southern and eastern Minnesota, as southwesterly winds pumped even warmer air into the state ahead of a cold front, which would bring the bout of warmth to an end by evening. The Twin Cities reached 74 degrees F, marking the warmest reading ever recorded so early in the year, and also the earliest occurrence of a 70 F (or higher) temperature. St. Cloud did the same, by reaching 70 degrees. Rochester also broke a daily temperature record, with 72 F. Many cooperative observers in the southeastern quarter of Minnesota recorded high temperatures in the lower 70s F.

Minnesota just missed out on some early-season thunderstorms also. As the cold front swept into the region during the late afternoon, scattered showers and thunderstorms developed in Wisconsin, with hail the size of quarters observed in Bayfield County. 




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