DeKALB – Snow still lingers along the Nature Trail. But the moment the melt began, Northern Illinois University graduate student Mollie Breen got out for a run.
“I can’t afford a gym membership, so I’m happy to be out here,” Breen, 22, of DeKalb said midday Wednesday.
Here’s hoping she has time to run again Thursday, when temperatures will touch the mid-60s after months of bitter cold, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Kluber, who said a low-pressure system out of the western plains is causing the momentary “heat wave.”
There’s a caveat.
“Once this front passes through, it’s going to get cold again,” he said.
For those thinking about building garden beds and planting, pump the brakes. During the next couple of weeks, temperatures will dive into the mid-20s some nights.
“We’re not completely out of that season yet,” Kluber said. “There’s still plenty of frost on the ground.”
Highs are expected to fall shy of
40 degrees Friday and Saturday. Snow is even possible Friday, according to the NWS forecast. After that, the temperatures will rise, as high as the upper-50s by next Friday.
While it’s going to get even warmer out Thursday, beware that the wind is expected to blow out of the south and southwest at more than 20 mph most of the day.
“It warms up because the winds pick up – the wind that’s bringing in the warmer temperatures,” Kluber said.
He said another factor is that as temperatures warm up, and lower levels of the atmosphere get stirred up, we get stronger winds off the ground.
One DeKalb passage, despite or because of the weather, is impassable. The new 10-foot-wide, 2,200-foot-long trail that connects NIU’s campus, from just east of the lagoon to Prairie Park, is flooded.
This is also premier pothole season, and DeKalb Public Works crews have been out and busy – including filling holes in that Greenwood Acres neighborhood, as well as the oft-traveled North First Street corridor, where potholes were recently filled but have opened up in the past few days.
But who needs a vehicle? Breen ran cross country at Ashwaubenon High School and said she’ll keep running going forward.
“I usually run until I get tired – about five or six miles,” she said. Bear in mind, the Daily Chronicle caught up with her at more or less the midpoint of such a run.
Another drawback of the warm-up is potential flooding in the streets and, if not properly prepared, homes. NWS has issued a flooding warning that will last through 3 p.m. Thursday. The warning says after more than an inch of rain fell on the frozen ground Tuesday into Wednesday, more was expected Wednesday night into Thursday, prompting the flood watch.
Breen was one of a handful of folks who passed through the trail’s intersection with Greenwood Acres Drive just before noon Wednesday.
Laura Heylek of Sycamore said she’s taken her 4-year-old, lively Norwegian elkhound, Nikko out for
2.8-mile walks six days a week and has only elected not to when the weather has been crazy-bitter cold.
“He’s a high-energy dog, and he needs the exercise,” she said.