ST. PAUL — Between the sun and a near-record high temperature, Twin Cities residents on Sunday, Feb. 2, were reveling in the weather.
A high of 46 degrees was recorded about 5 a.m. Sunday at the MSP International Airport, just two degrees short of the record of 48 degrees in 1991, said Chris O’Brien, meteorologist National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
“The normal high on this date is 25,” O’Brien said. “We normally wouldn’t reach a high temperature of 46, on average, until Feb. 21. The sun may have made it feel warmer today.”
The average low for Feb. 2 is 9 degrees; the record low is minus 32 in 1996.
How warm was it?
Ice sculptures in Rice Park in St. Paul were collapsing, and Ice Castles at Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton — a glimmering massive castle made of ice — was forced to close for the day. Ticket holders received notification of the closure and a refund — along with a coupon to rebook at a later date at a discounted price.
“As a weather-dependent attraction, we must do this from time to time to ensure a fun and safe experience for our guests,” said Melissa Smuzynski, a spokeswoman for Ice Castles.
The attraction is normally closed on Monday and Tuesday; Ice Castles officials said Sunday they expect it to reopen Wednesday.
Temps were expected to slowly fall Sunday night, but if it stays above 31 degrees before midnight, a record could be set, O’Brien said.
The record high for the day’s low temperature on Feb. 2 is 31 degrees, a record that was set in 2003.
“We’re above that so far for today,” he said. “The race is on to see if we can stay above 31 degrees before midnight. These are things that we meteorologists find fascinating. When we see unusual things in the weather, it sticks with you a little.”