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Warm weather weekend has Corridor residents stretching their legs

Saturday's 63 degree high ties a record and citizens celebrate by going outside

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By Alex Boisjolie, The Gazette

IOWA CITY— The warm weather Saturday pushed people to lace up their running shoes, jump on their bikes, bring their kids to the park and drive around with their windows down.

With Mother Nature’s early attempt to try to wash away our “winter blues,” hundreds decided to wash their cars too.

“It’s been crazy. Last Saturday when it was really nice we cleaned 981 cars,” said Andy Koch a former Westport Touchless employee who picks up the squeegee when the Iowa City car wash needs extra help on days like Saturday. “Today, we are on pace for just about that number, if not more. The first warm days in the winter are by far the busiest, everyone wants to get that salt off their cars so it doesn’t rust.”

Warm weather isn’t just good for the car wash business; it is good for those who don’t even own a car.

“This weather is awesome,” William Urbanowski, 8, of Cedar Rapids said during a lunch picnic with his mother, brother and sister on a bench in the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa City. “When I get home, I’m going to go play with my friend all day outside.”

Thermometers in the area registered at a high of 63, and that registered a record.

“For Feb. 27, the recorded high temperature was 63 degrees set back in 1976. Today we are already at that,” said David Cousins meteorologist for the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities. “It is certainly above normal temperatures for this time of year.”

With unusual spring temperatures getting pulled out, so are the golf clubs.

“It’s been really busy. All of our 160 tee times are booked today,” said Tom Hein PGA professional at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City—one of the few courses in the area open in late February.

“We decided a couple days ago to open up knowing this weather is coming. We didn’t really have a chance to get any course work done, because the grass is too wet for any equipment. But this is fantastic to allow players to get in a round of golf this early.”

Although, some people aren’t so lucky.

“Today is kind of a bummer, because I have to study,” said Nick Economos a student at the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry. “I will probably do my work in a room with a window in it, so I can at least enjoy some of this weather. There will be better days down the road though, and I look forward to them.”

Sadly, the road Nick is looking down isn’t coming next week. The National Weather Service predicts Monday night there is a 40 percent chance of snow going into Tuesday, and lows back down to the 20s.

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