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Pleasant start to week to give way to cool temps, rain, possibly snow

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PREPARING THE TURF

John Westereng drags a green at Mandan Municipal Golf Course on Tuesday to prepare the turf for next year's golf season. "This is the final step of the aeration process, and it relieves compaction," he said. Greens on the course are aerated and the plugs removed and holes filled with sand, said Westereng, who is the assistant golf superintendent for Mandan Parks & Recreation. Mandan Municipal is now closed for the season, but Prairie West Golf Course will remain open until weather forces its closure, Westereng said.

Cooler temperatures, rain and possibly a bit of snow are in store later this week after a pleasant weekend and Monday.

The weekend started out on the cool side in Bismarck, with the city finally reaching a low temperature of 32 degrees late Friday and an early morning low Saturday of 31 degrees. It's the latest in the year that Bismarck has had its first 32 degree reading, one day earlier than the previous record of Oct. 14, 2008, according to the National Weather Service. It typically happens in late September.

But the mercury rose to 67 degrees later Saturday, and on Sunday, Bismarck had a sunny, balmy high of 75. Monday's forecast called for a similar above-average high temp in the capital city and the surrounding region.

"Monday will be the day of most widespread warming, where much of the High Plains through the Northern Plains will be 12-18 degrees Fahrenheit above normal," AccuWeather Meteorologist Joseph Bauer said. "This will make for excellent conditions to finish harvest work or plant winter crops or just making it to the local pumpkin patch."

But a change is coming.

"Warm temperatures for mid-October through Monday will give way to colder temperatures and the potential for rain with light snow mixed in mainly for southern North Dakota," the weather service's Bismarck office posted on its Facebook page. "Lows will range from the low 20s northwest to the mid-30s southeast early Wednesday morning, while temperatures drop down into the low to mid 20s for early Thursday morning."

The reason is a dip in the jet stream that will allow cooler air to flow in from the Rockies, "bringing temperatures back down from west to east through the end of the workweek," Bauer said.

Drier, seasonal weather is expected late in the week, with the National Weather Service state forecast calling for highs in the 40s and 50s and lows in the 20s. There's a 20% chance of rain in the Bismarck-Mandan area on Sunday.

Reach Blake Nicholson at 701-250-8266 or blake.nicholson@bismarcktribune.com.

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