Short break from winter cold

Posted: January 14, 2013

The Winchester Star

Kyle Albright, a Shenandoah University senior trumpet performance major, took advantage of the temperatures to get outside for some practice Saturday afternoon at Sarah's Glen on the school’s campus. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
Gary Crawford (left) and Amber Basara enjoy the warmer weather by playing some basketball at the Russ Potts courts in Jim Barnett Park on Saturday. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — The weekend weather didn’t quite live up to the forecast, but people were still out and about Saturday and Sunday enjoying spring-like temperatures and bouts of sunshine.

Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, said Sunday’s high was 61 degrees and Saturday’s 54 degrees.

On Friday, he said Sunday’s high in the region could hit 70 degrees — unseasonably warm for January.

“It didn’t reach its potential, but it was warm in Winchester,” Jackson said, adding that the mercury in Stephens City and areas to the south was a few degrees higher.

He didn’t know if the high temperatures set any Winchester records, because the National Weather Service doesn’t keep temperature data for the city.

At Winchester’s Jim Barnett Park, many people were out taking advantage of the warm winter weekend.

“I’m from Alaska, so I’m not used to this weather at all this time of year,” said Kenny Simpson of Winchester. “We figured we’d get the kids out, take them to the park.”

He added that he was happy to be outside without a jacket.

Gwenyth Wobbe, 11, of Woodstock, said she was just happy to be outdoors.

“You’re always stuck inside because it’s so cold,” said Gwenyth, who was playing with her siblings and mother, Beth Wobbe, near the monkey bars Saturday afternoon. “When it’s nice and warm out, you finally have a chance to get outside and do something.”

“We like to be outside,” Beth Wobbe said. “We heard it was supposed to be 70.”

Emoree Ullery of Winchester said the “beautiful” weather Saturday only made her more anxious for spring.

She was at the park’s Christianson Familyland with her husband and children.

“We love spending time outdoors,” she said.

A the nearby Russ Potts Play Courts, a group of residents were playing a game of basketball.

“That’s the only reason we’re out here,” Gary Crawford, 20, said of the weather.

One of his fellow players, 19-year-old Amber Basara, said this was the best weather so far this winter.

“It’s actually nicer than it was for like the past month,” Basara said, adding that it was good to get outside and get some much-needed exercise.

The warm weather, though nice, is expected to be short-lived, Jackson said.

Today’s forecast calls for highs in the mid-50s with a slight chance of rain, he said. Tuesday’s high will be in the low 40s with a chance for a wintry mix Tuesday night into Wednesday.

“Maybe just a taste of winter,” Jackson said, with a bit of sleet, but no freezing rain, as temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-30s.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at