TRAVERSE CITY — People hit the streets of downtown Traverse City for the initial day of spring break, and the first day it truly seemed like spring.
“This is the first day I’ve gone out without wearing flannel underwear,” said Traverse City resident Annaka Dodd. “We’re shedding our winter clothes one piece at a time.”
Dodd wasn’t alone. Many of those who strolled downtown ditched their winter jackets for sweatshirts and exchanged winter boots for regular shoes.
Temperatures reached above 50 degrees in Traverse City on Monday, a respite from relentlessly cold temperatures that settled in during November and stubbornly stuck around throughout the winter.
“It feels really nice. I don’t want winter to come back,” said Lillian Greenman, 7, who was downtown Monday with her mother, Heather Greenman.
“I said we’re going downtown and walking and getting out,” Heather Greenman said.
But Michiganders shouldn’t become too used to the warm weather, meteorologist Dave Lawrence at the National Weather Service in Gaylord warned.
“It all comes crashing down,” Lawrence said.
Monday’s warm weather was to be followed by a cold front and a round of mixed precipitation showers today. Forecasts show temperatures that won’t rise far above 40 degrees for the next 10 days or so, Lawrence said.
The warmth precedes a storm blowing across the northern plains, Lawrence said. Its power will diminish by the time it hits the Traverse City area.
The storm is a low-pressure system that is spiraling counter-clockwise. The movement pulls warm, southerly winds ahead of the storm, accounting for Monday’s warm weather. Cold, northern winds are pulled behind it.
Such storms and temperature fluctuations are typical for spring.
“We’re getting to a time of year when basically summertime warmth is trying to work its way north, but winter is still hanging tough across the northern tier,” Lawrence said. “We call it the clash of the changing seasons.”
Monday’s showers set the table for today’s chillier temperatures.
“It will be one of those cold, windy days with temperatures falling and snow showers in the air,” Lawrence said.
He expects Wednesday and Thursday to be dry, cloudy and still cool. Thursday night through Saturday will have precipitation that could range from freezing rain to snow.