Kevin VanDusen and his daughter, Harper, made the most of Tuesday's warmer weather with a trip to Civitan Park. (Photos by Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)
After two weeks of freezing or near-freezing temperatures and snowy, wintry weather, when the sun came out and temperatures warmed up, Kevin VanDusen, his wife, Shannon, and his 4-year-old daughter, Harper, decided to make the most of it.
So, the three of them went down to Civitan Park off North Broadway Street to spend Tuesday afternoon outside, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.
“It’s the first day it hasn’t snowed,” VanDusen said. “It’s the first time we’ve been outside to play at the park in about two weeks, since the weather break.”
The VanDusens, and others who chose to take advantage of the outdoors on Tuesday, may be glad they chose that day to do it. According to the National Weather Service station in Morristown, things might become a little damp as the week progresses.
Meteorologist Jerry Hevrdeys said the Johnson City/Washington County area could expect sporadic patches of rain over the coming days, though temperatures are expected to remain above freezing.
“Chances are there for (rain) on Wednesday ... Wednesday night ... Thursday, and Thursday night,” Hevrdeys said. He added that “chances were there” for rain on Friday, as well.
As the week goes on, Hevrdeys said he expects temperatures to drop, but, by the weekend, the rain should stop.
“There’s a cold front coming in,” Hevrdeys said. “It will probably be dry and cold over the weekend.”
Hevrdeys added, however, there is also a chance for the return of some winter weather.
“There’s a chance of snow showers on Monday night,” he said. When asked what sort of accumulation the region could expect, Hevrdeys responded, “it’s too far off to tell at this point in time.”
Many residents did not, however, wait to see whether the warmer weather was here to stay. Corey Kennard, manager of Wash Depot car wash at 3900 Bristol Highway, said that many drivers chose to capitalize on the break in the weather to clean up their cars.
“Business right now is great because of the salt that has been out because of the snow,” Kennard said. “This is actually our busiest time of year. It’s nothing for me to work 44 hours in a couple of days.”
While motorists took advantage of the warmer weather to clean off their cars, others, like the VanDusens, seized the opportunity to pursue more recreational outdoor activities. Johnson City resident Hamsa Hatkic decided that the weather was so nice, he would take 1-year-old Mirsad Ali, who his wife had been babysitting, to the playground at Civitan Park so they could both spend time outside, and so he could give his wife a break.
“Today is a beautiful day,” Hatkic said. “It feels a little bit like springtime. It just felt like a good day to get out, and get him out.”
Dr. Ben Altman works nights at Holston Valley Medical Center. So, when he saw a chance to head outside with his 2-year-old son, Jacob, he took it, and the two rode over to Civitan on his bicycle.
“I asked him, ‘Do you want to go for a walk?’” Altman said. “He said, ‘I want to get on the bike.’ So, we just brought a little picnic.”
As the week continues, and the weather begins to dampen, there will be fewer opportunities for people like Hatkic, Altman, VanDusen and their families to enjoy the outdoors. Those who did on Tuesday, however, may have stolen a sneak peek of spring weather that won’t be seen again for at least the next week.
“The snow is melting, the sun is out, and it’s beautiful,” VanDusen said.