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Warm weather has local residents in a sunny mood

April 23, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - Predicting the weather can be a thankless job.

If the weather is good, National Weather Service forecaster Jim DeCarufel said, he "rarely" hears about it.

And though he has put away his snowblower for the season, he was reluctant Sunday to proclaim the end of snow and cold.

On behalf of people who crave the sun, Funkstown resident Stephanie Stone had a few good words about the much-maligned craft of weather prediction.

Soaking up what she called "Vitamin D therapy" during her sons' soccer game Sunday at Fairgrounds Park, Stone said she was enjoying the recuperative effects of the sun.

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"Absolutely. I've been in a better mood all weekend. I woke Friday in a better mood, and you can thank the weatherman for being right," Stone said.

A Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer showed Sunday's high temperature was 79.9 degrees, more than 13 degrees warmer than the average high for the date. The skies were nearly cloudless all weekend.

DeCarufel and AccuWeather forecaster Jon Pacheco said today and Tuesday could be slightly cooler, with highs in the 70s, before a storm front arrives Wednesday, bringing with it chances for rain and highs in the 60s.

At Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park's BMX track, Brae Peck celebrated the good weather and his ninth birthday Sunday by taking part in some of the first races of the season.

His father, Gregory Peck, 37, of Greencastle, Pa., already was sporting an injury - he sat with his leg propped on a chair, covered by ice.

"Yeah, I ride, too. I'm the old man in the house," said Peck, who hurt his ankle in his first practice ride of the season at Hagerstown Fairgrounds' BMX track.

"It's just a diversion ... Makes you feel young again," said 34-year-old participant Scott Dillard, who was outside with his family. Dillard's 2-year-old son Tyler rode a fire-engine red bike with training wheels.

"It was a long winter," Dillard said.

Stone said she had been looking forward to the sunshine.

"My boys play soccer and baseball, and I have been freezing for weeks," Stone said.

Along the soccer field, some people shaded themselves from the sun under umbrellas.

DeCarufel said he would not rule out a return of less-popular weather.

"Are you getting any more snow? The probabilities probably are pretty low," DeCarufel said.

"I put my snowblower away, if that's any help," DeCarufel added.

Pacheco was more definitive. From here on out, the nights might be chilly, but the wintry weather is over, he said.

"As far as cold daytime temperatures, those are going to be a distant memory," Pacheco said.

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