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Many welcome balmy weather

January 04, 2004|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

Golfers roamed the links at Whitetail Golf Resort outside Mercersburg, Pa., Saturday while next door at Whitetail Mountain Resort, the number of skiers on the slopes was down for an early January weekend.

Jennifer Hall, assistant pro shop manager at the golf course, said her shop was "busy all day."

Chris Black, marketing director at the neighboring ski resort, said business on the slopes "isn't too bad, considering the weather."

"We'll be able to make snow again starting Monday and get things spruced up," he said.

Temperatures under sunny skies reached a high of 69 degrees Saturday afternoon, according to Clear Spring weather observer Pat McCusker. The low was 37.

"The jetstream is taking a dip up north," McCusker said, listing the reason for the unseasonable temperatures. He said it's expected to head back down by Tuesday, which should send the thermometer readings down with it. "It's going to get cold," he said.

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The National Weather Service predicted temperatures in the upper 60s today with showers likely after midnight. Highs are predicted to be in the upper 30s Tuesday and the upper 20s Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

But for now, Tri-State residents are enjoying the springlike weather.

Andy Simms, parking enforcement officer for the Shepherdstown, W.Va., Police Department, was on duty Saturday morning on German Street, the town's main street.

"This is pretty nice," he said. "I don't need gloves and I took the lining out of my jacket. I'd be roasting in it if I hadn't."

Buster, a 3-year-old mixed yellow lab, was enjoying the balmy weather, too. He was reveling in his walk along Main Street in Sharpsburg with his owner Debra Clancy.

"I needed a break today from four sick little boys, and this is good walking weather," Clancy said.

Justin Clark, 13, and his buddy, Robert Brechbill, 16, both of Lappans, were pedaling along Md. 68 Saturday morning on their way to Valley Mall, a frequent weekend destination for the duo.

"It takes us about 30 minutes on our bikes," Justin said. "We ride every day when there's no snow, but it's pretty warm out here today."

Temperatures last Saturday, though still above normal at 51 degrees, were no match for those this weekend.

The warmth was welcome, too, to fishing buddies Richard Sisk, 68, and Arvin Lidie, 71, both of Hagerstown. The two said they fish all year, even when they have to bundle up against the weather.

"We can't complain today," Sisk said, as he and Lidie packed up their gear at the Cushwa Basin in Williamsport.

Their only luck of the day was a bite on Lidie's line.

Tex Miller, a salesman at Hagerstown Ford on Massey Boulevard, said the warm weather was bringing out customers Saturday.

By 2 p.m., the dealership had sold 11 vehicles, Miller said.

"The weather is most definitely a help," he said.

The ducks, geese and carp at Hagerstown City Park's lake were enjoying a feast as the balmy weather brought folks out with bread in hand.

"I didn't think I'd be out here Jan. 3 in nearly 70-degree weather," said Keldra Morningstar of Smithsburg. She was leading Dune, her 7-month old dachshund on the path around the lake.

"It's wonderful out here today. It could stay like this all year," Morningstar said.

"This is the kind of weather that brings you out," said Fran Sullivan of Saint James. She was enjoying the park with her husband, Dan, and their two dogs, Max and Dylan.

"We haven't been out here for a while, but we couldn't resist it today," Dan Sullivan said.

"This kind of day makes you appreciate the park," said Jocelyn Fay of Hagerstown.

Fay was sitting on a bench wondering why there were three swans instead of four on the lake. "I thought they always went in pairs. Maybe that one lost its mate," she said, pointing to the loner.

"Hagerstown is not a bad place to live," Fay said. "We have a gem of a museum, the Maryland Symphony and City Park."

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