Record temperatures. Ice off inland lakes. Outside yard raking.
This past week's weather has been nothing short of miraculous. Much of this week it has been warmer in Alpena than in most parts of the country where one usually heads this time of year to get warm.
We heard one report of the first patron showing up by boat already occurred at Burton's Last Resort on Long Lake Wednesday, while on St. Patrick's Day last Saturday another report reached us of people actually in the water at Grand Traverse Bay.
Without a doubt more people have enjoyed the outdoors this week than what normally would do this time of year.
The weather is great, but it also brings with it other issues.
In normal years recreational boater activity really wouldn't begin, for instance, until six weeks from now at the earliest. With the warm weather, some already has begun - including kayaking.
Just because the air temperature is warm, however, doesn't mean the water temperature is as well. Evidence of that discrepancy was several mornings of heavy fog this past week.
If the weather stays good, Coast Guard crews could see a lot more action this spring as outdoor enthusiasts take to the water. Should a person run into trouble, response time now will be critical because of the water's still cold temperatures.
We enjoy this weather as much as the next person. But, just to keep things in perspective we offer this last thought: Last year on April 20 we received an 8-inch snowfall.
We haven't put away the snow shovel just yet.
The Alpena News