Weather: Remarkable warmth could set several records
Welcome to St. Patrick's day in the north woods. Better hang up that green jacket and dig out a green t-shirt and pair of shorts.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 70 today in Bemidji. That's a mere 34 degrees warmer than the average high for March 17. Hoping for a record high? No sweat, the previous warmest St. Patrick's Day was in 1968 when the temperature skyrocketed to, wait for it, 60.
With the high temperature predicted to reach at least 57 during the upcoming week, we could see seven straight days with record highs.
Still not sinking in that this warmth is remarkable? Try this: the forecast low for Monday in Bemidji is 54, or 3 degrees warmer than the record high set March 19, 1972.
Or how about this: the previous earliest date where the temperature reached 70 in Bemidji was March 30, also in 1972.
By the way, the first day of the year in Bemidji with an average high temperature of 70 is May 21.
I thought it would be fun to correlate our upcoming stretch of warmth with a location further south. So I first tried Wichita, Kan. Too cold. Then I tried Oklahoma City. Too cold. Dallas? Nope. How about Austin, Texas? The forecast temperatures for the next few days in Bemidji area are on par with what Austin can typically expect for this same timeframe.
The downside? Our area has been experiencing moderate drought conditions for much of the winter so these warm temperatures are not helping. There is a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday morning and a better likelihood Monday and Tuesday. Long term forecasts are predicting lower than normal precipitation.
So crank open those windows, imbibe safely and remember the forecast for Dublin today is rainy with a high temperature of 48.
TOM SIEMERS is the Pioneer's circulation director.