March 22, 2012
Warm weather, sunny disposition
Spring starts out feeling more like summer as temps hit 80s
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
The Wednesday morning sun was perfect for Danielle Morgan to work on refinishing a table in her front yard as her dog, Cano, lies nearby along Lincoln Avenue in Cortland.
From the feeling of a well struck golf shot to the sweet taste of an ice cream cone, Cortland residents are reveling in the glory of this week’s record temperatures.
Wednesday’s high reached the upper 80s in Cortland, breaking the region’s record established two years ago, which was 66 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
But it remains to be seen whether the record-breaking will last.
The Weather Service reported a record high of 82 degrees in 1998, during the final two days of March.
Even though this week marked the official start of spring, most people around Cortland County and elsewhere are in the summer mood.
Some local ice cream stands are open for business earlier this year.
Shops like Super Cream in Homer and Footie’s Freez in Cortland have seen a steady stream of customers all week.
Wednesday was the first ice cream outing of the year for Josh and Nate Hardesty, ages 8 and 6, respectively, of Cortland. Their mom, Mary Beth, bought the boys ice cream sundaes Wednesday afternoon at Footie’s Freez on the way home from school.
The boys said they never thought they would be able to stop for ice cream in March, and were happy to do it.
“It’s hot, so you can play outside and have a lot of fun,” Nate added.
“We usually have our winter coats on in March,” their mother said.
For local golf courses, the weather has been great news. Elm Tree Golf Course on Route 13 opened on March 7, about three weeks earlier than usual.
Course owner Bruce Martins says the warm weather has meant brisk business. He estimated there were about 60 cars in the golf course parking lot, which is extremely unusual for this time of year.
“It’s May weather,” Martins said. “It’s just perfect. You couldn’t write it down on paper and ask for something better.”
Martins said he will have to mow the fairways a lot earlier this year. He usually doesn’t have to worry about that until the end of April.
As they exited the course, Clem Savage and Mike Dean, of Endicott, said they were thrilled to get an early start on their golf season.
“I’ve been to Florida and the weather isn’t this nice,” Dean said. “Short-sleeved shirts and pants in March? This is perfect.”
Jim Turner, a 70-year-old retiree from Freeville, said he didn’t break 100 on the golf course Wednesday but said he was happy just to be playing in 70-degree temperatures.
“You don’t expect this this time of year,” he said.
SUNY Cortland students have taken to lawns and rooftops to bask in the sun, saying that getting their schoolwork done has been difficult this week.
They also have been playing soccer and throwing footballs, disks and baseballs in the streets near to campus.
“We went to Cancun for spring break (two weeks ago) and came back to this,” said senior Mike Didomizio, sprawled on a plush chair on his Pleasant Street porch with several housemates Wednesday. “It’s so nice.”
Students have also been barbecuing on front porches or in front of their houses the past week, saying this weather is usually something that would hit Cortland in late April or early May.
Staff Reporters Anthony Borrelli, Scott Conroe and Matt Nojiri contributed to this article.
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