Highs in 70s in March? Warm spell expected to last - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Highs in 70s in March? Warm spell expected to last

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Passing blooming flowers, a packed open top tourist bus drives through the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Passing blooming flowers, a packed open top tourist bus drives through the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

CHICAGO (AP) — Boaters are cruising along the river in downtown Chicago. Golfers are smacking balls in Minnesota.

And an ice-breaking mission on Maine's Kennebec River was the shortest in recent memory because the Coast Guard found no ice.

Clear skies and temperatures in the 70s graced areas from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast on Tuesday where residents are normally bundled up against cold March weather.

Forecasters say spring is early and here to stay.

Gino Izzi of the National Weather Service says the weather pattern is a random, normal fluctuation. A jet stream moving north to south on the West Coast is pushing an opposite, seesaw effect in the rest of the nation.

But the warm weather was raising concerns, including a high risk for wildfires in the Dakotas.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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