ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s a #Top10WxDay, according to WCCO’s meteorologists, and Minnesotans of all ages flocked outside Monday to bask in the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures.

Temperatures got as high as 60 degrees in the Twin Cities, even though the first day of spring on March 20 is still days away.

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At Front Skate Park in St. Paul, Aaron Skowronek and his friends spent the afternoon taking advantage of the weather to practice their tricks on their bikes and skate boards

“The warmth definitely came a couple weeks early,” Skowronek remarked. “Summer during winter.”

Nearby at Kaposia Landing, friends Sarah Kuntz and Marissa Hellzen are basking in the sun, safely back together once again.

“We’re kind of like many Minnesotans after the thaw, kind of reconnecting friendships and so just kind of catching up and getting vitamin D,” Kuntz said.

Both of them say they take the pandemic seriously and so they welcome the opportunity to spend time together safely.

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“We’re still being safe and we’re still following the guidelines, but we can actually spend time together face to face instead of over Zoom,” Hellzen said.

Sisters Roz McBride and Mary Madson also enjoyed the nice afternoon at Kaposia Landing. Walking outside together with masks on is the only way they’ve kept each other company in person in over a year.

“We’re both in the high risk group so we’re being pretty cautious,” said McBride, who is 71.

They remarked how it’s the nicest day in the Twin Cities in four months, on the heels of a bitter cold snap last month. But it’s not just the first glimpse of spring that gives the pair something to smile about.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday says fully vaccinated people can socialize together and ditch the masks — a reality within reach for the two of them as they await their second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

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“So we’re looking forward to that,” Madson said. “We were talking about, for the first time in a year, getting together in one of our homes and abandoning all caution.”

Caroline Cummings