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Medium cool: April off to chilly, windy start

Medium cool: April off to chilly, windy start

Golf courses lament late start, as wintry weather prevails
Medium cool: April off to chilly, windy start
Aryza White, 9, and her sister Anastasia White, 11, of Schenectady, swing on the new swing set in Central Park on Friday.
Photographer: Peter Barber/Daily Gazette photographer

Repair crews from National Grid remained on the job Friday, restoring electricity to customers who lost power during Wednesday's high winds.

Late Friday afternoon, crews were working in the Lake George and Bolton areas of Warren County, and other points north. 

"That's where were seeing the most damage," said Nate Stone, a National Grid spokesman.

Stone said most of the affected customers would have their lights and heat back by late evening.

People are going to need that heat. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Albany said colder-than-normal temperatures that marked the first six days of April will continue into next week.

Stone said 44,000 people around the state lost power Wednesday into early Thursday, as winds gusted up to 60 mph and brought tree limbs down on power lines. 

Capital Region customers who lost gas and electricity service were back online by Thursday. Stone said the windy conditions were unique because they hit National Grid's entire New York service area - the Capital Region, Hudson Valley, Cobleskill, North Country, Syracuse and Buffalo.

"It wasn't just one path across the state," Stone said. "This one seemed to hit everywhere."

Cold temperatures seem to be everywhere now. Some New York Yankees wore head-covering ski masks during a Thursday night game against Baltimore; people on Capital Region streets Friday were still wearing winter coats and gloves.

Meteorologist Brian Montgomery said the normal high temperature for early April should be around 54 degrees. He said the high temperature Thursday was 39.

"So far for the month, we're 5.7 degrees below normal," Montgomery said, adding that chilly conditions would continue into the weekend and at least into the early part of next week.

"We've had cooler temperatures," Montgomery said. "Our record-low temperature for Friday is 14 degrees, set in 1943. So we have been colder."

The weather could have been worse. Montgomery said a weekend storm with the potential to drop accumulating snow on the region had pushed off to the south and east as of Friday, and the Capital Region would not be affected.

The weather has been bad for golfers, as well. Jack Madej, head professional at Stadium Golf Course in Schenectady, said the course could not open Thursday or Friday.

"Hopefully, this weekend we'll be able to get some action in," said Madej, who added that Stadium has had years in which golfers were in the swing by the middle of March.

"Mother Nature is not being to kind to us right now," he said.

Last weekend's pleasant weather attracted bunches of golfers to the course's driving range. And people were telephoning the pro shop, wondering about nicer weather and tee times.

"It will be nice to get going," Madej said. "A golf course is a lonely place when it's not open."

Western Turnpike Golf Course in Guilderland reported considerable tree damage and plenty of cleanup ahead.

"The greens look good and are showing slow but positive signs of recovery from mid-winter desiccation," read a statement on the course's website. "We are saturated right now but are looking forward to improving conditions as the grass responds to increasing soil temperatures."

Schenectady Municipal golf course has targeted Saturday, April 14 as opening day.

"The course has wintered well," said head pro Matt Daley. "We've taken the covers off the greens. It's just a matter of getting all the debris off the course, and the weather is just not cooperating."

Daley added his golfers often are teased by nature in late winter, when a couple warm days in a row will convince men and women that an early spring is on the way.

"Then March hits, and it's back to reality," Daley said.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected] 


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