A meteorologist with the NOAA says the warmth was a "freak event" caused by warm air blowing north from the Gulf of Mexico. But some outside scientists say climate change is indeed behind weather extremes like the March heatwave and that we should expect more.
Lower gas prices haven't hurt, either. Some consumers can expect their total winter heating bills to be up to $200 less than last year.
Maple trees this year didn't see the usual fluctuations from warm days to freezing nights that cause the sap to run. And now with buds appearing, "sap production's over," says one producer who harvested about a quarter of what he usually collects.
MPR's Paul Huttner crunches the numbers and says this month could be the warmest ever -- when compared with average temperatures at MSP airport -- in 121 years. So far temperatures overall have been 16.7 degrees higher than the average in the Twin Cities area.
The city says it doesn't yet know what effect that could have on its budget.
People "shouldn't even be thinking about going out there," a DNR officer tells the Star Tribune after a weekend that saw yet more vehicles and people cracking through thin ice.
Our mild weather continues to pose a danger on Minnesota lakes right now. Another pickup broke through thin ice Saturday on Lake Minnetonka. WCCO reports the two men inside the truck were able to escape from the windows and make it to shore safely. An SUV crashed through Lake Minnetonka last Sunday. Authorities continue to remind people the warm winter is creating "extremely dangerous" conditions.
Step aside, 1933. You've been bumped down to ninth place on the list of warm Januarys. And at least the first week of February is looking pretty toasty, as well.
Enjoy it while you can: The National Weather Service says a cold front will sweep through soon. Climatologists are saying this will likely be the warmest start to January we've ever seen, and the operator of a maple syrup business tells Kare 11 he's astounded to see the sap flowing.
More winter-like temperatures are arriving, after a weekend that felt downright spring-like. Fargo and Grand Forks both surpassed 50 to break long-standing record highs.