Sincere Barnett found out pretty quickly that if he was going to keep playing outside with friends Thursday, the long-sleeved shirt he wore that morning wasn’t going to cut it.
It was just fine for awhile when he played hide-and-seek with other neighborhood kids — brown is good camouflage when you duck into a leaf pile — but by early afternoon, it was just too warm outside for long sleeves, the 12-year-old said before starting a game of football with Antonio Kennelly, 12, and Timothy Anderson, 6, outside the Kennellys’ Elm Street home in North Toledo.
While his older brother played football, Santiago Kennelly, 9, engaged in a “sword battle” of sticks with Hailley Anderson, 7, while simultaneously dodging barrages of leaves thrown at him by Timpriss Anderson, 9.
The boys vowed to stay outside, enjoying the unseasonably pleasant Thanksgiving Day weather, until dinner was ready. The Kennellys’ mother was “cooking a big, fat turkey,” Santiago said.
Temperatures in the low 60s, more than 10 degrees above normal, and sunny skies graced northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan for Thanksgiving, inspiring kids of all ages to head outdoors for as long as they could.
But forecasters expected Thursday to be the grand finale of the region’s five-day warm spell. A cold front approaching Toledo overnight was predicted to arrive by morning, with temperatures dropping from a morning high in the mid-40s into the 30s by afternoon and rain showers changing to snow flurries.
With winds of 20 to 25 mph, “by afternoon, it’ll feel like 30,” said Martin Mullen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Cleveland.
Drew Arbaugh, 14, and her father, Brian, 48, got in some post-season volleyball practice in their driveway in West Toledo. The two get out to play often in the summer, Mr. Arbaugh said, but he was coaxed outside when Drew, who plays for St. Ursula Academy’s freshman volleyball team, said, “It’s warm out; come play with me.”
The two said they’d stay out until it was time to get ready to go to the Sylvania home of Grandma and Grandpa Wendy and Jim Floyd.
For Noelle Zeisler, 38, the mild weather was perfect for setting up Christmas decorations on the front lawn of her Kenwood Boulevard home before guests arrived for dinner. Daughter Olivia, 12, watched the baby, 14-month-old Zaylee, while their mother inflated a green sleigh carrying Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto.
Ms. Zeisler said she wanted to take advantage of the nice weather to decorate, having enjoyed a game of t-ball with her son, Rogan Walker, 6, earlier in the day.
“I’ve made the mistake of waiting [to decorate] until after Thanksgiving,” she said, adding it’s not so easy to do when fingers are numb with cold.
The warm-up that is ending was part of the air circulation ahead of the cold front expected to pass through Toledo before noon today. Forecasters expect little if any snow accumulation here, but colder weather was likely to stay for awhile.
The weather service’s forecast for Saturday in Toledo offered a high only in the mid-30s with partly sunny skies. Sunday was expected to be only slightly warmer, and another chance of rain or snow was predicted for Monday and no significant warm-up into the middle of next week.
Mr. Mullen said it’s too early to say if significant snow will come early next week. But the cold front is expected to bring the first lake-effect snow to the Snow Belt region of northeast Ohio, he said, so travelers should be careful.
Staff writer David Patch contributed to this report.