Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 22, 2014

River waters high and fast, 'gorgeous' weekend exepcted

TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse area residents and visitors can expect sunny skies and warm weather during the holiday weekend, but one local river expert urged paddlers and anglers to use extra caution during Memorial Day celebrations.

Steve Largent, Boardman River program coordinator for the Grand Traverse Conservation District, said river waters across northern Michigan are flowing high and fast after an extremely wet April and a nearly unprecedented snow pack.

"I just want folks to be aware they’re going to encounter high and fast water, and potentially blockages," Largent said. "That’s what they need to expect.”

Warm weather should encourage people to get out and enjoy local waters this weekend.

Patches of drizzle are possible early Friday, but by midday the sun will be shinning as temperatures climb, said Keith Berger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Gaylord post.

High temperatures should reach the upper 60s Friday, the mid 70s Saturday and the upper 70s Sunday. Exact thermometer readings will vary across the Grand Traverse region, with areas near Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay experiencing colder temperatures, but overall Berger predicted conditions will be "gorgeous."

Highs on Memorial Day also are expected to reach the upper 70s, with some showers and thunderstorms possible.

"But it doesn't look at this point like a huge washout or rain event," Berger said.

Many Traverse City residents headed outside Wednesday afternoon for an early start to enjoying the week's warm weather.

Celsey Waite, 18, and Logan Kline, 21, visited the city's Open Space to play Frisbee and enjoy a view of the bay's blue water.

Kline expects the warm weather will bring droves of tourists to the Pigs Eatin' Ribs food truck where he'll spend most of the weekend working. But he's off Sunday, and he plans to spend the day hanging out with friends, possibly at the Open Space again.

"Who knows, maybe playing a little rugby," he said.

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