It had already reached 70 degrees and then some across much of the Northland this spring but it wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon that it officially hit the 70-degree mark at Duluth International Airport.

Persistent east winds off the cold waters of Lake Superior had kept the Head of the Lakes cooler, but those winds subsided enough to let warmer air move in and hit 71 by 3 p.m., the first time since Oct. 9 when Duluth hit 72 — more than seven months ago.

Temperatures soared well into the 70s and even 80s across much of the region under sunny skies Wednesday afternoon, including 81 at Hayward, Solon Springs and Moose Lake and even 80 degrees in International Falls. But it was just 46 degrees at Sky Harbor Airport in Duluth near the shores of Lake Superior. Conditions should be much the same on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth, with a chance of rain on both Friday and Saturday.

Much of the area remains unusually dry, especially from Duluth north. Duluth is 1.4 inches below normal for May rainfall and is more than 2.5 inches below normal for 2020 so far.