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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The afternoon high temperature in Rochester wasn't even close to the record for the date, but it was the warmest it has been this year.

The unofficial high temperature at the Rochester Airport was 44-degrees. That was the warmest it has been since December 23rd when the mercury peaked at 47-degrees. Today's high temperature in downtown Rochester at St. Mary's hospital reached 49-degrees.

The mild weather is forecast to continue through next week. The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center projects a better than 60-percent chance southeastern Minnesota will have above-normal temperatures. The odds are 50-50 for the entire eastern half of the United States.

National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center

The forecasted that warmth may finally shrink the ice still covering Lake Pepin. A team from the US Army Corps of Engineers went out on the ice today and found it was as thick, or even slightly thicker in some areas. The thickest ice was found just north of Lake City at 23 inches thick. The measurements are used by the Corps of Engineers to prepare for the upcoming commercial shipping season on the upper Mississippi River. The average date for the start of the shipping season is March 22nd.

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