Temperatures in the minus 20s will be swinging a full 40 degrees warmer in a matter of days.

Welcome to late winter in Minnesota.

A long-running cold snap is on its way out, but not before getting close to a record with extremely cold weather on Monday morning.

The record of 25 below dates back 146 years to 1875.

Nick Carletta, meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Chanhassen, said the area had a good chance of breaking the record low on Monday.

"Our climate record in the Twin Cities goes back to 1872," he said, "so this is right at the start of our entire climate record in our database."

For perspective, Carletta said that the coldest day in Twin Cities history was in 1888, when the temperature dropped to 41 below.

No records were set on Sunday in the Twin Cities, even though the temperature dropped to 20 below, 6 degrees away from the record of 26 below set in 1972. In Duluth, the record low for Feb. 14 was pushed even lower Sunday morning when the temperature dropped to 26 below zero, according to the NWS.

The previous record of 24 below was set several times, most recently in 1970.

The frigid weather prompted police to take extra precautions in Minneapolis.

Officers "spent considerable time looking for people who were in need of services and protection from the brutal cold," said police spokesman John Elder. "Officers got people to shelters and area hospitals when needed."

Twin Cities area temperatures should be back above zero on Tuesday, with a high of 5 in the forecast. The mid-20s are forecast for next weekend.

If the current trend holds, Carletta said the 10-day period from Feb. 6 to Feb. 15 will be the fifth-coldest in the metro area for the month of February.

Minnesota was not the only state facing challenging weather. Carletta said winter storms span the Mexican border up to the Great Lakes region with windchill warnings across the entire Midwest.

Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas were all under winter storm warnings. Meanwhile, an ice storm slammed the East Coast, and the Rocky Mountains reported several feet of snow.

Staff writers Paul Walsh and Anthony Lonetree contributed to this report.

Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751