Spring Fling In January

January 06, 1993|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,Staff Writer

If this were really winter, children across Maryland would hav rejoiced on awakening yesterday to nearly a foot of snow.

Instead, they saw the last drops of an inch or more of rain before skies cleared and temperatures soared for a second straight day into the springlike 60s.

In Baltimore, the confusion of the seasons seemed to be matched by an uncertainty of dress as people wavered between breaking out the shorts and lightweight jackets or going for the heavy-duty winter gear.

Regina Ferguson, waiting at the corner of Calvert and Saratoga for her bus home, was decked in a full-length winter coat, a scarf, boots and an umbrella under the arm.

"I wasn't sure how the weather was going to be," Ms. Ferguson said.

"But since this is winter time, I wanted to keep myself safe."

In contrast, Alice and Martin Marzicola, volunteers for the Bel Air Appearance and Preservation Committee, were wearing light spring jackets while removing the last of the holiday decorations on Office Street in Bel Air.

"It isn't often we get to work in sunshine; usually it's 20 degrees and our fingers are freezing," said Mrs. Marzicola.

Temperatures reached record heights at Baltimore-Washington International Airport where, by 5 a.m., the old mark of 63 degrees set in 1965 had fallen. The mercury peaked at a record of 65 degrees at 12:45 p.m.

In the city, a high of 65 was 3 degrees short of the record set in 1950.

The average temperature for the beginning of January ranged from a high of 41 to overnight lows of 25. But Jim Wagner, senior forecaster for the Climate Analysis Center in Camp Springs, cautioned that winter often proves fickle.

Even so, he said, the mildness shown by the weather to start the new year is unusual.

The center's 30-day outlook released Dec. 30, predicted a 55 percent chance of below-normal temperatures for Maryland and at least a 55 percent chance of below-median precipitation.

So far, Maryland's weather has not lived up to that prediction.

Temperatures are expected to be cooler today, with highs reaching around 50 degrees under sunny skies.

For late in the weekend, the forecasters are talking about a chance of rain, sleet and even snow.

Now that's more like it.

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