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Updated 22 hours ago
Record high temperatures in the mid 70s brought area residents out in droves Friday to soak up sunshine and scenery that were more reminiscent of early summer than late February.
Greensburg residents Keith Reesman, 28, and Heather Wagner, 27, were among many on the walkways at Westmoreland County's Twin Lakes Park, east of Greensburg.
The pair frequently walk at the park, but Reesman wore a tank top and shorts — uncharacteristic attire for the calendar date.
“How can you beat 75-degree weather in February?” he asked.
That was the high recorded Friday by the National Weather Service at nearby Latrobe. According to the service, the average temperature for that location and date is 33 degrees, with a normal high of 42. The previous record high was 70 — set in 1906.
AccuWeather recorded a high of 76 at New Kensington, the same peak reached at Pittsburgh, according to the National Weather Service.
The nice weather prompted Andrew Sikora, 26, and his wife, Brea, 24, to travel from their Irwin home to Twin Lakes for the first time with their 7-week-old daughter, Avery, and their mixed-breed puppy, Jenga.
Because of the unseasonably warm, sunny weather, the couple brought plenty of liquids to stay hydrated and sunblock for their daughter.
“It's good to get the extra rays, a little exercise, burn off the winter hibernation,” Andrew Sikora said.
Chelsey McMahon of Harrison brought her daughters, 7 and 4, to the playground at Tarentum's Riverview Memorial Park.
“It's great for the kids. They're loving it,” she said. “It's nice to be outside like this. It breaks up the winter.”
Along with her mother-in-law, visiting from Buffalo, McMahon said they had considered seeing a movie.
“It's too nice to be inside,” McMahon said. “We'll do that another day.”
Tania Johnson, 50, is used to temperatures in the 70s this time of year — at her home in Jacksonville, N.C. On Friday, she visited relatives in Latrobe and joined friend Jaylene Rosenburg, 46, of Greensburg to enjoy bratwurst and other picnic fare using a pavilion grill at Twin Lakes.
“It's too nice,” Johnson said. “We just decided, ‘Let's do it. Let's grill out.' ”
The friends took a break to walk off their meal while waiting for other family members to join them for a second helping.
“We've got to keep the coals hot,” Rosenburg said.
Tribune-Review staff writer Brian C. Rittmeyer contributed to this report. Reach staff writer Jeff Himler at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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