After hitting a frigid low of 21 degrees below zero just before 6 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, the expected high temps for the upcoming weekend should be a treat for area residents.

For perspective, the temperature difference from Thursday morning to Friday morning should be about 40 degrees, and 60 degrees by Sunday afternoon.

The high temperatures those days will be above freezing, and the sun is expected to shine.

According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, the forecast in Brainerd shows possible highs of 34 degrees Friday; 36 degrees Saturday; and 37 degrees Sunday. Friday may still feel chilly, with a southwest wind of 5-10 mph in the forecast, with gusts as high as 15 mph. However, the wind is expected to calm down Saturday to around 5 mph.

The warmer weather is part of a large high pressure area over eastern South Dakota making its way to northern Minnesota, the weather service reported. The system is expected to produce light winds and clear skies. The dry air, late February sunshine and dark trees are likely to cause high temperatures to be warmer, the weather service stated. The warmer weather may cause fog in areas over the weekend.

Lee Britt, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Duluth, said people should enjoy the warmer weather while they can, as arctic air is expected to move in from Canada next week — Tuesday through Thursday — bringing snow flurries with high temperatures in the teens.

But the upcoming weekend is “... going to be pretty nice overall with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s,” Britt said.

So far this month the warmest temperature in Brainerd was 45 degrees on Feb. 2 and the coldest was 21 degrees below zero Thursday. The normal high this time of year is 29 degrees.

Spring is right around the corner, and the normal high temperature in March climbs to nearly 39 degrees.

Forecast in detail

  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 34. Southwest wind 5-10, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Patchy fog before 11 p.m., then patchy after 2 a.m. Low around 12 degrees, with a west wind about 5 mph.

  • Saturday: Patchy fog before 7 a.m., otherwise mostly sunny with a high near 36. Calm wind becoming southwest about 5 mph in the morning. Low around 17.

  • Sunday: Patchy fog before 8 a.m., otherwise mostly sunny with a high near 37. Low around 19.

Monday: Partly sunny with a high near 35.

JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at jennifer.kraus@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.