ALPENA - Around 3 p.m. today the mercury could hit a high of 37 to 39 degrees for the first time in months, forecasters said Thursday. And after a long, dragged-out winter, even a hint of warmth is being greeted with smiles.
"Someone will see 40 degrees, whether it's in Alpena or somewhere else in the area," National Weather Service meterologist Keith Berger said Thursday. "But it's not going to be a pretty, sunny 40 degrees. Still, it's appreciably warmer than we've been."
He said the weather is going into a transitionary period, with periods of cold mixed with periods of warmth.
"It's teasing us, if you will, with periods of sunshine and warmer temperatures, but not always at the same time," Berger said.
When will it get warm?
"I have no doubt July," Berger said.
Meanwhile, some residents were making special plans for greeting the warmer temperatures. For others, not so much:
Alpena Police Officer Jason Collegnon: "I'm going to take my winter coat and put it back in my locker. It's been so cold the wind cuts right through you."
U.S. Coast Guard Machinery Technician Second Class James Kautzman: "It's just another day of preparing for the summer."
Alpena barber Jerry Newhouse: "I'll do an early toast to St. Patrick's Day."
Melissa Haken, clerk at Mid-Pointe Convenience Store: "It's been a very hard winter so bring on the warmth."
Bruce Goodrich of Goodrich Paving: "We're in the snow removal business. But it has been such a long winter, everybody here is ready for spring. We're in the process of getting equipment ready for summer and because it's a nice day we'll be doing some maintenance."
Alcona County Commissioner Kevin Boyat - I'll work on my pen for my cattle, because they're starting to calf soon.
Alcona County Road Commission District Foreman Jim Quick: "We're going try to scrape off the blacktop to save salt. We knew it was coming and it will be welcome."
Forecaster Keith Berger: "I'll be driving to Columbus, Ohio, where it's 50 degrees.
Harrisville City Treasurer Tom Keerl: I'll be disappointed. I enjoy my winter sports. One day isn't going to make it or break it. We have at least two more snow storms coming."
Curtis Township Fire Chief Jack Roberts: "I'm planning to enjoy it. Everyone who had to fight a fire this winter had a rough, rough time. In all my years this has been the roughest, sustained winter ever."
Cheryl Cousineau, president of Cousineau Plumbing & Heating: "My husband, Larry, has worked out in the cold every day since winter began. It's been hand numbing and a lot of frozen pipes and no heat, so the warmer temperature is going to be a blessing. We'll enjoy it."
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.