Welcome to the mother of all January thaws. A midwinter meltdown. Today is the 24th day in a row with highs above 32 degrees, a new record. A January thaw is defined as at least two days in a row above freezing.

According to Kenny Blumenfeld, senior climatologist at the Minnesota State Climatology Office, 81% to 88% of Minnesota days since Dec. 1 have been warmer than average. Twelve days of 50-degree temperatures at MSP, another record. Blumenfeld calls it a "wall of warmth," a "freight train of mildness that just keeps on coming."

This historically persistent fire hose of mild, Pacific air goes well beyond previous El Niño patterns. It's El Niño on steroids. Highs in the 40s return next week and a few models hint at 50s by late February. Good grief.

But wait, there's more. It will actually snow here tonight, enough to complicate Thursday morning commutes. A narrow band of 2-4 inches may set up near or over the metro tonight. Friday will feel like February with 20s. A weekend thaw, then a little spring fever next week.