A single storm or frontal passage is the equivalent of a free throw at a Minnesota Timberwolves game. That's weather. Climate is an analysis of ALL free throws at Wolves games since their founding in 1989. It's easy to get fixated on a single play, but keep your eye on the big picture: the long-term trends.
Crunching NOAA data, Climate Central determined that Minnesota is the fastest warming state in the nation during the winter season. MSP has warmed 1.1 degree per decade since 1970. So far this winter, record highs have outpaced record lows by a 3-2 margin in the U.S. El Niño is spiking or "juicing" the background warming already underway. That accounts for thin ice on Minnesota lakes in late February.
Don't write winter off just yet; we'll see more (fleeting) spasms of frosty air. Models bring a blustery arctic front into Minnesota on Saturday; a few subzero lows possible Sunday and Monday before we warm up the first week of March.
Winter is fading fast, but I wouldn't retire that favorite parka just yet.