By STEPHANIE HICKMAN - shickman@shawmedia.com

Residents welcome warmer weather, but cold to return

DeKALB – It’s not unusual to find Ken Doubler teeing off at River Heights Golf Course in DeKalb on a Tuesday morning. But it’s rare to see him doing so in January.

Before sunrise, Tuesday’s temperatures tied the record high of 50 degrees for Jan. 29 set in 1974. According to Northern Illinois University meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste, DeKalb unofficially reached a record-setting high of 59 degrees Tuesday.

Doubler is an avid golfer who plays at River Heights Golf Course at 1020 Sharon Drive as often as five days a week when weather permits. He couldn’t resist the idea of playing in such warm temperatures in January.

“I wanted to get a few holes in today,” he said. “Just to say I played.”

Despite Tuesday’s higher temperatures, Sebenste said the coming days will bring more familiar weather for this time of year, as he expects a major drop in temperatures.

He said the windchill was expected to drop 80 degrees by Thursday, from Tuesday’s 60 to minus 20. In addition to Tuesday’s rain freezing over, a light layer of snow is also possible within the next few days.

Dick Garvey of Sycamore was able to finish his round of golf Tuesday at River Heights before the rain began to fall. Garvey said the higher temperatures were such a rarity for this time of year that he wouldn’t be surprised to see a drastic change soon.

“I’m pushing a golf cart today, and maybe a snow blower tomorrow,” he said.

Though there may not be enough to warrant a snow blower, there may be some light snow falling in the area within the next few days.

This prediction gives little hope to Nick Piazza, a member of local snowmobiling club, the Kishwaukee Super Sledders.

Piazza said he and the other club members have been disappointed in the lack of snow in DeKalb so far this winter.

“Obviously, this year has not been the best,” he said. “We’ve had to go other places to enjoy the snow.”

DeKalb’s lack of snow has forced the Super Sledders to make trips to Wisconsin in order to ride their snowmobiles. Although the trips aren’t much of a burden, Piazza said he hopes to see snow in the area soon.

Even with a chance of light snow in the coming days, it likely won’t be enough for the Super Sledders to warm up their snowmobiles in DeKalb County.

Legally, the trails must have four inches of snow on frozen ground and six inches on unfrozen ground. The trails have yet to see this much precipitation this winter. But, Piazza is looking forward to the day the Super Sledders can ride their snowmobiles on the local trails again.

“When the snow’s out there,” he said. “We want to take every opportunity of it that we can.”

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