MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After a February of heavy snow and temperatures persistently below average, Minnesotans are about to experience a week of sunshine and warming temperatures, with a string of 50-degree days in the forecast.

Forecaster Katie Steiner says the warming will kick in on Tuesday. Still, Monday is expected to be partly cloudy with highs just slightly below average, in the upper 30s, in the Twin Cities.

While Tuesday will begin with clouds, the afternoon sunshine will bring temperatures into the mid-40s, which is slightly above average for mid-March.

The warming will continue into Wednesday (the Spring Equinox) and by Thursday the mercury will hit 50 degrees. Friday looks to be even warmer, in the mid-50s. As for the weekend, more highs in the mid-50s are expected.

There’s a chance the mercury could even hit 60 degrees in some areas.

While there’ll likely be significant melting this week, overnight temperatures will still be below freezing, which should help lower flooding concerns. Additionally, no rain is expected until late in the weekend.

Flood Watch

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for middle fork of the Zumbro River above Pine Island in southeastern Minnesota.

Weather officials say minor flooding is possible in the area if an ice jam upstream breaks up.

The flood watch is slated to remain in effect until further notice.

Dense Fog Up North

In northwestern Minnesota, a dense fog advisory is in effect Monday until 11 a.m.

Motorists should expect low visibility, down to a quarter-mile or less, in some areas.

Weather officials advise motorists to drive slow, make sure headlights are turned on, and beware of slick spots masked by fog.