Minnesotans suffering from a case of cabin fever brought on by January’s arctic cold will have no excuses for staying indoors this weekend. A big thaw is on the way.

Temperatures in the Twin Cities will flirt with 40 degrees by Thursday and likely will top that mark on Friday as much warmer air muscles out the cold air that has been entrenched over the state for most of the month.

Optimistic bank clocks in the metro area might even flash readings in the mid-40s on Friday before conditions sour on Sunday into Monday, when a winter storm is possible.

While it is still too early to say where snow will fall or how much will accumulate, the brief warm spell is definitely on, said Joe Calderone, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

“That is definitely happening,” he said. “It will be a nice break from the arctic air we’ve had.”

The warmth comes just in time for this weekend’s Crashed Ice races Friday and Saturday in downtown St. Paul, which is usually a frigid event but still draws thousands of spectators. For those thinking spring, TwinsFest takes place at Target Field Friday through Sunday.

Temperatures in the metro area will rise to the upper 30s Thursday and possibly the low 40s Friday before cooling back into the 30s Saturday. Temperatures in the mid-40s are forecast for southwestern Minnesota Friday, with 30s in northern Minnesota, the weather service said.

Things will begin to look more winterlike again Sunday, when a snowstorm could drop several inches in some places.

“There is potential for a winter storm, which would bring a band of heavy snow on Sunday-Monday for some locations across the Upper Midwest,” the weather service said.

The recent cold snap had temperatures for January running “way below normal,” even with above-freezing temperatures from Jan. 7 to 11. The mercury hit 42 degrees on Jan. 9. It’s been as cold as minus 14 — on Jan. 1. For the month, temperatures are 6.5 degrees colder than normal, according to records from the Minnesota Climatology Office.

As for longer term, including Super Bowl week, that’s not certain either, but “we are moving from way below normal to near to slightly above normal,” Calderone said.