Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – While sitting in the sunshine and Friday’s warmth, Dion Grace thought of summer.
“It’s so great,” she said. “It’s really great.”
Swim trunks have replaced snow pant, sleeveless shirts have replaced sweaters this month, but the warm temperatures can be deceiving. The frozen water of Lake Calhoun is a reminder of what’s normal for March in Minnesota. At this time last year, snow was falling. That contrast was not lost on the workers at Sunnyside Gardens.
“I don’t ever remember having any plants outdoors in March,” said Mike Hurley, owner of Sunnyside Gardens in Minneapolis.
Warmer weather means an early bloom for flowers that normally blossom in April. Sunnyside Gardens already put out several trays of pansies and customers can’t seem to wait for planting season.
The heat gets everyone in the mood for gardening and working outside, Hurley said.
Even restaurants are moving operations outdoors. The downtown food trucks doubled up on supplies because of demand.
“I absolutely believe it’s the weather and it’s only going to get better,” said Wesley Kaake, of the Twisted Sister food truck.
It’s the optimism that comes with an early spring, but knowing Minnesota weather, winter could still make a return.
“If there was wood, I’d knock on it,” said Manny Gutierrez. “But here’s to hoping.”
The Department of Natural Resources, however, has a reminder for anyone venturing onto the open water: Many of the lakes and rivers are still a chilly 40 degrees or cooler.
Tipping into that cold of water by accident can result in cold water shock, which quickly can lead to drowning. The DNR says if you are going canoeing or out on a boat, you should wear a life jacket and a wetsuit.