The biting wind, the bitter cold, yes, even the ice, seemed so last week on a day when a man could rake his yard or wash his sport utility vehicle or a girl in bare feet could run alongside her dog or a father and his toddler son could throw snowballs without fear of turning into one themselves.
"It was too cold to play in the snow last week," said Jeff Kryspin, 31, of Whitehouse. He and his son, Ian, 18 months, were stationed yesterday at a fading and crunchy - and relatively clean - snowbank in Side Cut Metropark in Maumee.
"Keep practicing," Mr. Kryspin said as Ian threw a snowball at the ground. "Watch it go up," Mr. Kryspin said, sending one aloft, nearly baseball-sized.
"We're having fun," he said. "We try to play outside when it's not too cold."
The day was notable for the absence of cold. Records fell throughout Ohio as warm air arrived ahead of a cold front.
At Toledo Express Airport, the record high of 60, set in 1971, was breached just before 11 a.m. A new record high, 65, was set at 4:56 p.m.
The high was 65 at Metcalf Field and at Findlay Airport and 66 at Lima Allen County Airport. The high was 64 at Monroe's Custer Airport. Temperatures reached the upper 50s in Hillsdale and Lenawee counties.
"It's just a brief warm-up," said Henry Margusity, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc., a private forecasting service in State College, Pa.
"All that extreme cold we had, it's gone," he said. The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory through 4 p.m. today for the Toledo area. As the cold front passes through, strong southerly winds were forecast with gusts up to 50 mph. Rainfall and ice melt prompted the weather service to issue a flood watch for Hillsdale County through this morning.
By yesterday afternoon, Tom Rahman, 48, had cleaned the gutters and raked leaves and was soaping up his GMC Yukon XL in his driveway on West Broadway Street in Maumee. His wife, Doris, washed her vehicle first.
Richard Gurney, 42, of Scott Street in Maumee, put on a coat for yard work, but it was too much. "It's pretty amazing," said Mr. Gurney in his driveway, near a holiday decoration that reads, "Santa stops here."
"Especially considering last weekend with minus-20 windchill," he said.
Karen Shaw, 58, enjoyed the weather in the middle of Hugo Street in Maumee, near her home, with her granddaughter, Erica Young, 17, and friend, Barbara Robinson, 53, of Mobile, Ala.
So did the canines Ms. Shaw and her granddaughter raise, some as pets, some as show dogs - a rottweiler, a smooth collie, and two great danes.
Erica, shoeless, ran the big dogs in the street. She usually doesn't wear shoes, her grandmother said.
"I can't help it," Erica said. "I'm a hillbilly in the city."
Still, when she went outside seven days earlier, what did she wear?
"Boots," Erica said.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: