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Editorial: Spring is here, but warmth still to come

Cartoon by Dave Granlund

It has been a long cold winter we agree, but it officially ended at 11:57 a.m. Thursday as spring arrived under partly cloudy skies and mid 40s.

We all enjoyed those warm 40s while it lasted Thursday as another blast of Arctic cold swept toward west central Minnesota. More cold, sleet and snow is expected to arrive today, followed by daytime temps staying in the 20s through most of next week.

That is not surprising following a winter called by many as the worst winter ever.

How bad was this winter? While it wasn’t a Paul Bunyan two-winter long one, It was a record setter in many ways.

* There were more than 3 weeks of days with wind chill warnings of minus 25 or below.

* There were more than 50 days with temperature lows below zero, compared to an average year of 21 days.

* Frozen water pipes in towns from west central Minnesota to northeastern Minnesota and in between.

* A high number of school closings across most of Minnesota.

* A high number of frostbite cases across the state, including at least 225 at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to a Star Tribune report.

* And more than 95 percent of Lake Superior froze over, enough that the ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in northern Wisconsin were open for a significant period of time.

So pat yourself on the back and know that you have survived anpassed.past.

Today is the first full day of spring. This is the hope of warmth in the air.

Everyone knows that after a couple more cold snaps and a few more snow falls, the dandelions will soon be poking up out of your lawn.

Another sign of spring is some geese were landing on Willmar Lake this week.

Spring is really here, but the spring temps are still to come.