After hitting 56 degrees on New Year’s Eve, Michiana spiraled into a brutal stretch of winter weather. We've since endured six weeks of bone chilling temperatures, a one-day record-breaking snow fall for South Bend and don't forget that blizzard.
So Sunday’s warm-up came as a much needed sign of relief as the sun brought what feels like an early touch of spring.
South Bend saw 44 degrees while Elkhart and Warsaw hit 46 degrees, the warmest temperatures Michiana has seen in nearly 50 days.
From sun up to sun down, Drive & Shine Car Wash had a line wrapped around its building.
"How you doing today sir," one of its 12 employees asked a customer waiting in line.
"I just got off the Toll Road and came in for my car wash. I have a coupon from an oil fill here and I was saving it for today,” customer Ruby Jazayre said after going four months without washing her Toyota RAV4.
Workers cleaned 100 cars last Sunday, but by 4 pm this week, more than 700 cars had been washed, a theme the business saw at all five of its locations.
"Nice weather brings cars. It means more money for the company, but more importantly, more hours for my guys and more clean vehicles for my customers. So it's a win-win all the way around,” Drive & Shine manager Matt Fye said.
That winning feeling slid from people looking to pull a triple Lutz. Officials at the Howard Park Ice Rink closed skating Sunday, the first time this year. For hours, the facility’s Zamboni made circles soaking up all of the slush and spreading water evenly in hopes it would refreeze Sunday night.
Only three weeks ago NewsCenter 16 reported on the St. Joseph River icing over. However, it only took one 44 degree day to end weeks of solidifying, as the ice melted away.
Mixed with a Valentines Day rush, Cold Stone Creamery saw more than 500 customers Sunday, its busiest day since October!
"Everyone’s been cooped up all winter and February is basically the first break you get where you can go outside and things start to get warm,” store associate Matt Worsham said.
Other employees believe the melting snow can subconsciously trigger ideas of ice cream in the human mind. Most customers said they didn't buy the concept, but it remains food for thought nonetheless.
The Howard Park Ice Rink hopes to re-open for its regular skating hours Monday afternoon. To inquire about rink conditions, call 574-235-9451.
As for the mounds of snow, it could take days before they fully melt away. Although it may take some patience, a gradual melt will help prevent any flash floods; something people close to lakes and rivers will greatly appreciate.