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Kyle Potter, Published January 12 2014

Welcome warmup: F-M gets out to enjoy 40-degree temps

FARGO - Gregory Bodensteiner took advantage of the Sunday warmth by strapping on his cross-country skis and gliding through trails in Edgewood Golf Course.

In shorts.

The people of Fargo-Moorhead came out of hibernation on Sunday, as temperatures peaked at 40 degrees, 9 degrees shy of the record high for Jan. 12 set back in 1987, according to the National Weather Service. Sunday’s high temperature capped a 64-degree temperature swing in less than a week.

After an unseasonably cold December and the bitter cold from last week, when temperatures reached as low as 24 below zero with brutal wind chills, the balmy weather was an invitation to get out on sleds, skis, skates and snowshoes.

“It’s an anomaly, but it’s beautiful,” Bodensteiner said, packing his skis into his car after a 30-minute ski through Edgewood.

Bodensteiner said he hoped Sunday’s temperatures signaled the end of the winter’s frigid cold. Peter Rogers, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Grand Forks, said it’s still too early in the season to say whether the coldest weather is gone for good.

Sunday’s high temperature was more than 20 degrees warmer than the average high for Jan. 12, according to NWS data.

Jeff Berens and Brian Chepulias dusted off their snowshoes for a jaunt around Edgewood on Sunday – right before heading back to school for the semester at North Dakota State University, where classes start today. It was their first time snowshoeing all season.

“The weather hasn’t been too cooperative,” Berens said. “It’s nice on days like today.”

Bitter cold shut down the chalet at Edgewood last weekend, but the thaw brought in a steady stream of business on Sunday for rentals and concessions, chalet employee Gabriel Ferragut said.

The rest of the week will be “a little bit of a rollercoaster,” Rogers said – down to a high of about 20 degrees today before jumping slightly on Wednesday, only to dip down into the low teens by the end of the week. He forecast some snow late today into Tuesday morning, along with some strong winds later in the week that could cause travel hazards.

“Generally speaking, we will be above zero,” Rogers said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502