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Is summer really here?

Just when people hoped summer was really here ...

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If Coletta German of Hankinson had her way, all four seasons would be hot.

To say this has not been German’s ideal summer is an understatement.

“There is no such thing as too hot,” she said, laughing Wednesday as she worked outside St. Philip’s Catholic Church of Hankinson as she and husband Ron edged the church grounds with three young volunteers.

It was almost 90 degrees Wednesday, the first day that felt like summer all season, she said.

The cool and wet summer delayed this edging project, German said. They hoped to do the project in early summer when it was cooler. She likes the heat, but would rather spend a hot summer afternoon at her home at Lake Elsie.

It has been a summer of waiting — waiting for heat and sunshine and the humidity that makes crops like corn grow at warp speed.

German said she had been waiting for summer to start beyond the official date on the calendar. Finally Wednesday it arrived, only to see a slow-moving thunderstorm crawl through southeastern North Dakota Thursday morning, drenching already soaked farm fields. The Wild Rice River has been high since the spring melt. The river finally climbed back into its banks a few weeks ago, but after more than 5 inches of rain from a week ago combined with Thursday’s rain — and now the Wild Rice is at flood stage.

Take heart summer lovers, the National Weather Service Office in Grand Forks is predicting plenty of heat during the Fourth of July weekend.

With the exception of the northeastern and northwestern corners, much of the U.S. can expect hot and summery conditions during the weekend of the Fourth of July, said Vince Godon, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The jet stream will have a broad northward bulge over the middle of the nation with southward dips in the northwest and northeast, he said.

This pattern is forecast to bring a broad area of high temperatures of 85 degrees or more over most of the region this weekend. Of course the heat and humidity also brings the chance of thunderstorms Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Godon said.

He predicts 80-degree temps will continue into the next 10 days.

Hot temperatures draw people to Fourth of July events like the Hankinson parade that begins at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Bagg Bonanza Farm of rural Mooreton also is sponsoring its Old Fashioned Fourth of July. Look inside the News Monitor for more information on both of these events.

A hot Fourth of July suits Katelynn Rube of Selby, South Dakota, who spent a day sunbathing at Lake Elsie Wednesday. She attends school at Fargo and took a day off from her job search to enjoy a true summer day.

“I can’t believe we’ve gone this long without summer — it’s almost July,” Rube said on her first time in the sunshine this year.

Finally, finally, finally it was summer for Amanda Kimbel of Wahpeton, who also found Lake Elsie a perfect destination for a hot summer afternoon, alongside friend Dale Kendall of Fargo. Summer took a long time in coming, Kimbel said.

“I hate this. The winter is long and summer short,” Kendall said.

“No matter what, I’m glad summer is finally here. It was the perfect excuse to come here. We’re just chilling,” Kimbel said.

Wednesday was the first day Lidgerwood Pool was full. It opened June 9, but saw mostly younger children during those first few weeks. Wednesday was totally different with older kids and parents coming for the first time this summer, said lifeguard Caitlyn Illies.

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Karen Speidel is the News-Monitor Media Managing Editor

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