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news Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Spring appears to have sprung — for now at least.

After an unseasonably warm winter — with the exception of the recent snowstorm — Minnesotans can look forward to more sunshine and warmth in the coming week. Temperatures climbed up to 59 Sunday afternoon in Brainerd, breaking the record high of 56 set in 1997, and the National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth said it’s only going to get warmer.

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“These weather temperatures are very unusual for this time of year,” said NWS Duluth’s senior meteorologist, Dean Melde. “At this time of year, we should be at an average high in the low to mid-30s and right now we are about 20-degrees above that.

“We’ve got rain coming in Monday, which will bring us back down in to the 40s but Tuesday we turn right back around in to the 50s and get up in to the sunshine and 60s by the end of the week.”

With the warm weather approaching it also means an increase in fire danger. Todd, Morrison and Mille Lacs counties were all elevated to high fire danger on Sunday, something Melde said isn’t unusual.

“A high fire danger for this time of year is not surprising,” said Melde. “Before we got this snow, we were very dry. The rain on Monday and the melting snow will help alleviate a little bit but we’re going to creep right back up in to those dry warm temperatures which will of course increase that fire danger.”

Melde said that it would take a full day’s worth of rain to help bring that level of danger down and a “third-inch of rain Monday won’t help much at all.” Aitkin, Cass and Crow Wing Counties remained in the low category of fire danger on Sunday.

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5859 or jessi.pierce@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/jessi_pierce (@jessi_pierce).

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