Cold, dreary November suddenly heated up under sunny skies Friday as the temperature rose to 60 degrees, just high enough to set a modern-day record in the Twin Cities.

Thermometers registered 60 degrees for only a few minutes before noon, before cooler air and clouds quickly pushed the temperature back into the upper 50s, said National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Krause.

Nobody was complaining about the unseasonable warmth.

Siblings Avi and Arielle Leavitt stripped off their sweatshirts and wore T-shirts as they walked around downtown Minneapolis on Friday afternoon. The two, who are in town from Washington, D.C., and Boca Raton, Fla., explored downtown and strolled across the Stone Arch Bridge before meeting up with family for lunch.

“It’s a great day. If it was like this year-round, I’d live here,” said Arielle Leavitt, who was happy to leave behind the heavy coat she had packed.

Even locals were basking in the warmest day of the month. It was the first time the Twin Cities temperature reached 50 degrees this November, the Weather Service said. Sun-drenched skies pushed the temperature to 60 degrees, beating the old record of 59 set in 1990 and 2011.

“We hit 50 and 60 in the same day,” Krause said.

St. Cloud also hit a record of 57 degrees.

The warmth did come at a cost — the stench of manure across the metro area re-emerged, as it had earlier in the week.

It’s the time of year when farmers fertilize fields, usually with anhydrous ammonia or plain old manure. And fall’s variable temps can unleash the beastly smells.

“What happens [is], the temperatures dip below freezing and lock in the good stuff, and then if it thaws, the odors and nitrates are released,” Daniel Dix, a meteorologist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said earlier in the week.

Warmth to return Monday

Official Twin Cities temperature records date to 1872, but there may have been a warmer Nov. 24 before then. An unofficial observation taken at Fort Snelling in 1825 said the temperature hit 70 degrees.

Either way, Friday “was a perfect day to be out and about, whether indoors shopping or outdoors hanging Christmas lights,” Krause said.

It was also beautiful for those who took advantage of the free admission offered at all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.

Readings this warm are uncommon by late November. And it’s very unusual to be 23 degrees above the normal high of 37 degrees for this late in the month, Krause said.

After a brief cool-down on Saturday and Sunday, more warmth will return Monday, he said. The temperature will rise back into the mid-50s, but it’s doubtful it will reach record territory.

The record for Monday is 64 degrees, which was set in 1998.

“That will be tough to beat,” Krause said.


Staff writer John Reinan contributed to this report.