The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 26, 2013

Record low temperature reached

A new record low temperature was set Friday night in Beckley, but that didn’t stop a few brave souls from venturing to New River Park Saturday to make the most of their Memorial Day weekend.

“They can count on us to be here,” said Tracey Shumate, who was sporting a bathing suit, kicked back in a lounge chair by the pool, despite the chilly temperatures.

Her friend Karrie Spurlock was right by her side, wrapped in a couple beach towels to try to stay warm.

The two said their families have been frequenting the pool for years, so often that the workers say their square of cement is reserved.   

“We’re planning on having a cookout Monday if it doesn’t snow,” Spurlock said with a laugh.

Although no one actually braved the pool itself, several sunbathers lined the edges and a handful of faithful tennis players lined the courts for the annual Memorial Day tournament.

Tennis instructor Sam White said the Beckley Open has been going on for about 10 years now.

“We have all divisions and a lot of good, local players from many area colleges,” White said.

Summer leagues, singles and doubles, are starting up in June and are sure to be met with much warmer temperatures than Saturday.

“This has been one of the coolest Memorial Day weekends I’ve seen. We’re usually burning up, getting a tan.”

He laughed and added, “Well, we’re saving on water.”

Everyone hoping for warmer temperatures will get that wish next week, according to Ray Young, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

At the Beckley airport Friday night, a new record low of 36 degrees was set. The previous low was 40 back in 1983, according to Young.

“We had an unusually cold air mass for this time of year, and it was an unusually dry air mass as well. The combination of the two allowed temperatures to get to those types of levels.”

He said the area would have experienced much colder temperatures had our area not seen the amount of rain it did.

“We’re going to see a gradual warmup as the winds start turning around. We’ll have a warm front that will be pushing through Monday or Tuesday.”

He said after that warm front, we’ll see typical summertime weather starting around Wednesday, with highs reaching 80 degrees.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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