Winter appears to be making a quick exit
DULUTH -- Skating rinks are toast. Snowmobile trails are turning to mud. Downhill ski runs are turning mushy.
Winter is coming to a screeching halt with April temperatures in March and no sign of a cold comeback or accumulating snow in the forecast.
Temperatures across the state are higher than normal this month.
"The snowmobile trails rapidly deteriorated and, without additional snow, the season appears to be over," Minnesota conservation officer Randy Patten of Northome said in his Monday report, echoing his cohorts from across northern Minnesota.
It's not just a recreation issue. Loggers are scrambling to get out of the woods before their equipment starts to sink as swamps thaw.
Highway departments are imposing spring weight restrictions on trucks to protect blacktop and pavement as the ground thaws fast.
The National Climate Prediction Center says long-term trends favor a warmer-than-normal March-April-May.
John Myers is a reporter at the Duluth News Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.