Much warmer weather is coming, bringing the good and not so good of spring

After experiencing the latest first 50-degree day of the year in more than two decades, we're about to top at least one more major milestone in the upcoming few days.

RELATED: Minnesota weather: Here's how warm it'll get this weekend

To say it's been a long winter is an understatement. While temperatures through much of the cold season were pretty close to average, we didn't finish that way, with March coming in well below average. Not to mention, the nearly 90 inches of snow really became redundant. Well, our long-awaited warm-up is here, and it will finally start feeling like spring.

The jet stream on Thursday. (FOX 9)

The jet stream next week. (FOX 9)

Our warmth comes courtesy of a large pattern change across the U.S. with the steering current, or the jet stream, shifting much farther to the north and west. This allows warm air to build across the southern U.S. and begin to meander northward over the next few days. This will lead to the first true spring-style warmth here in Minnesota, especially in areas that have little or snow left on the ground.

For those areas that do still have a solid snow pack, the downside to the rapid warm-up is the rapid melt that will begin. The snow will quickly dwindle over the weekend and continue melting into next week. So expect all creeks, streams, and rivers to rise — many of which will likely be at or at least flirting with flood stage in a week or less.

The bright side to a rapid melt is that our spring green-up can happen quite quickly. While we're likely still several weeks away from planting, grasses and some perennials will start to green up over the next couple of weeks. Garden Guy Dale K says cool season grasses will be the first to start greening up and begin to grow, but turf grasses depend on consistent ground temperatures into the 60s, which could take a while. He says to expect the grasses to start growing again right around the time the lilacs start to bloom.

The pollen forecast for Minneapolis.

The other downside to warmer spring weather is the return of allergy season. 

Pollen levels will drastically increase over the next few days courtesy of both warmer temperatures around here, leading to a big increase in tree pollen, and more southerly winds bringing in much warmer air from the south. That warmer air from the southern U.S. also has lots of pollen in it because many areas south of Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago have already started their bloom. In fact, areas near the Gulf Coast began their spring bloom nearly two months ago, occurring two or more weeks ahead of average. The same goes for a lot of the eastern U.S., which dark red shaded colors on the map below indicating the spring bloom is occurring more than 20 days ahead of schedule. Contrast that with the Southwest, which has experienced the coolest start to the year since the late 90s, and the spring bloom has been 10 to 25 days late.

The leaf out.