Winter takes a break

January 04, 1998

Winter takes a break


Staff Writer

An occasional mound of rapidly melting snow was the only reminder of winter Sunday, a day that had the look and feel of spring and sent many people outside to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.

The mercury cracked 68 degrees, not enough to break the record high of 73 degrees set last Jan. 4, but sufficient to make people forget about winter.

"It's kind of unusual for this time of the year, really," said Smithsburg resident Chuck Jessop, who brought his family to City Park. "It probably isn't going to stay like this, though."


Jessop, 36, said his children, ages 7 and 4, enjoy the sunny weather.

"It gets the kids out of the house," he said.

Jessop's wife, Anne, brought a loaf of bread for her children to offer the ducks on the pond.

"The ducks don't seem to mind even if you're not supposed to (feed them), she said.

Anne Jessop said the warm spell has been a welcome break after a week that brought snow and cold.

"Last Thursday, it was what, 6 degrees, I think?" she said.

From folks walking their dogs to children playing on playground equipment, the park offered the perfect place for young and old to enjoy the weather.

"It's beautiful, beautiful," said Mary Acevedo, who lives nearby. "It's a beautiful day God gave us."

Acevedo, 83, said she comes to the park whenever her friend can take her.

"This is the only park I like," she said.

Area residents can expect more of the same, but with a few rain showers, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

"Break out the barbecues," said meteorologist Brian Smith. "We're figuring on mild weather, not a record, but I don't think anyone will mind that."

Forecasts call for Monday to be "at least as warm as today" with highs in the mid to upper 60s. There is also a 40 percent chance of rain, Smith said.

Tuesday calls for highs in the lower 60s and a 70 percent chance of rain.

The extended forecast calls for high temperatures and rain throughout the rest of the week, with the temperature tapering off somewhat on Friday.

For five days after that, Smith said the long-range forecast calls for continued above-normal temperatures and precipitation.

The first week of January last year brought similar conditions. Beginning Jan. 3, the Hagerstown area set records three straight days with high temperatures of 65, 73 and 70 degrees.

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