As far as weather stories go, pea-sized hail isn't particularly notable. But gosh, if it isn't a sure sign of spring.

As thunder and lightning rumbled across the Northland this morning, pea-sized hail was reported in Duluth's Piedmont neighborhood and in Canal Park, according to Josh Sandstrom, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth.

Cloquet, Poplar and Hawthorne also reported hail. Thunder and lightning were reported in Two Harbors as well.

The storms moved off to the northeast by mid-morning, brushing the Bayfield Peninsula before heading out onto open water, Sandstrom said.

Thunder and lightning isn't uncommon in the Northland in late March, but it is on the early side, Sandstrom said, with our first occurrences more often in April or May.

Today will be on the milder side, with a high of 52, before cooler air moves in for the weekend. Expect highs in the mid-40s for the rest of the week, and down to 34 on Saturday. Next week should be in the low to mid-40s, Sandstrom said.

The relatively warm weather of late also has drastically reduced the snow depth in Duluth, Sandstrom said. The snow was about 9 inches deep at the Weather Service office on Thursday morning, down from about 28 inches on March 10.

Duluth often sees snow in April, and it's a bit too early to rule that out, Sandstrom said. The three-month climate forecast calls for a chance of below-average temperatures, Sandstrom said.