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Posted on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Golf anyone? Warm days close Ann Arbor's Buhr Park ice rink 3 weeks early

By Cindy Heflin

In yet another sign that this is the year without a winter, Ann Arbor’s outdoor ice skating rink at Buhr Park closed Monday for the season, three weeks early.

In a message posted on its Facebook page and on its website Monday, the city said warm temperatures have made the ice unstable.


Skyline High School students Sarah Hiltner, left, Debbie Park, center, and Maddi Byle hang out on a ledge of a railroad bridge at Argo Park after school during a warm day last week.

Chris Asadian |

With high temperatures for the rest of the week expected to be in the 60s and 70s, city officials decided they could not maintain it.

Jeff Straw, deputy manager for parks and recreation services, said the Buhr Park rink has a subfloor with a cooling system, installed a couple of years ago, that allows the rink to operate longer than it otherwise would, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the long stretch of unseasonably warm temperatures.

The city, which had planned to keep the Buhr rink open until April 1, will try to accommodate any groups that had rented ice time at Veterans Memorial Park indoor arena, which will be open until May 6, Straw said. Anyone with questions or concerns can call 734-794-6234, the city said.

Sunday’s high hit 66 degrees in Ann Arbor, three degrees shy of the record for March 11, set in 1969, said University of Michigan weather observer Dennis Kahlbaum.

But some records were set in other areas of the state, including, Alpena, Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie, Mlive reported.

Temperatures this week in Ann Arbor are unlikely to break any single-day records, Kahlbaum said. Wednesday is expected to be the warmest day, with a high of 71 expected. The record high for that day is 75, set in 1990.

Records aside, the temperature is still far above normal. The normal high for March 11 is 41 degrees, Kahlbaum said. At 5:30 p.m. Monday, the temperature was 61 degrees.

The warm days continue the trend of above normal temperatures we’ve been experiencing all winter. This winter, considered by meteorologists to be December, January and February, was the fifth warmest in Ann Arbor on record, Kahlbaum’s figures show.

Meanwhile, folks disappointed by the closing of the ice rink might want to exchange their skates for golf clubs. The city opened its Huron Hills golf course last Tuesday, about a week earlier than normal, Straw said, and hopes to have the Leslie Park course open this week.

For conditions and forecasts any time, visit's weather page.



Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

hard to make ice and keep it solid when temperature is 65 degrees.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Good news on the golf courses, lets get this season started!


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

A frog was sitting on the edge of my backyard pond yesterday, which is highly unusual. They usually don't come up from the bottom until mid April or early May. It must be warm. I recall only one morning below 10 degrees; it's been rather warm all winter, without enough snow to snow blow or to even shovel.