Suddenly spring

Temperatures as high as 55 degrees greeted Fort Dodge citizens going out into the world Friday, the warmest weather in the area in five months.

According to Kevin Skow, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Des Moines, the warm weather comes with the winds.

“We just have a lot of southerly winds out there that are pumping warmer air south from Oklahoma, Missouri, into Iowa right now,” Skow said.

The first official day of spring was March 20. It snowed three days later. With this warm weather, it will now start to feel more like spring outside.

“It is certainly an indication, although we’re looking for a cold front to move through on Sunday,” Skow said. “So temperatures will fall back to the 30s and 40s for the weekend and early next week, but this is closer to what we would consider average for this time of year.”

Even though the ground was swampy and there were still mounds of old snow in sight, people across Fort Dodge went out to enjoy the weather.

Jessica Ferry and her family was one of many to visit Oleson Park Friday.

“We’re just bringing our kids out so they can get some fresh air and exercise,” Ferry said.

Ferry said the 50-degree plus weather inspired her to take her children to a place they enjoy.

“My son likes the park,” she said. “They have all the different equipment and he likes the swings, and there’s a lot of room to run around.”

After five months of winter, the nice weather was a relief.

“I don’t think it’s been too bad, but long enough,” she said. “Kids need to get out.”

The nice weather has also been a relief for some businesses.

Jo Seltz, owner of The Dariette, saw many customers Friday desiring to exploit the warmth with a springtime treat.

“The drive-through line, I’ve been up here a few times, has been pretty much either down the alley or around the parking lot,” Seltz said. “It has been great for business.”

The Dariette opened March 15 after being closed since October for the winter, but not until Friday did teens and families, many in T-shirts, come out.

“The first day was kind of a nice day, like today, and we were busy, but it’s been slow for the last couple of weeks,” Seltz said. “The weather’s helped the last couple of days to pick up business again.”

According to Skow, storms will continue into the weekend.

“We might see some snow,” he said. “We’re going to see some widespread rain into Saturday night. You could see possibly a mixture of rain and snow Sunday night. It’ll be fairly brief, we’re not expecting anything in the way of accumulations.”

While the temperature was nice Friday, bad weather may not be behind us yet.

“It’s April and April can certainly have it’s fair share of storms and that can produce snow,” Skow said. “So we’re not out of the woods completely yet, but it’s getting less and less likely.”