Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 13, 2013

SALISBURY — When she heard how warm and nice the weather was supposed to be Saturday, Ann Ellis of Salisbury got her daughter and friends together for a play date.
“I just want to see the sun!” Ellis said, smiling, as daughter Mary Margaret and friends played on the playground at Hurley Park.
According to the National Weather Service, Salisbury’s high temperature Saturday was 69, recorded at the Salisbury Airport.
That’s a bit cooler than predicted, but still a lot of fun for the Ellises and others.
Wendy Hardy, of Salisbury, led a group of six fourth-grade girls — classmates from Cannon School in Concord — on a walking tour of the city.
They had ice cream downtown at Spanky’s, Ellis said, and walked around a bunch of historic sites.
“We looked at places that were old, like that old bell tower,” Reimer said, referring to the historic First Presbyterian Church tower downtown.
The best part, Ann Ellis said, was just getting out of the house.
“Getting outside, away from the flu germs!” Ellis laughed.
Though the day started foggy, locals took advantage of the January “warm wave” to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Tonya Knox, of Salisbury, was glad to turn the furnace off.
She also headed out to the park, just to relax.
“That was the main thing. Still you’ve got to be careful though, the way you dress. It’s still flu weather,” Knox said.
Some miles away, George Hall, park manager of Village Park in Kannapolis, said his playground was “packed” with families Saturday.
“We had a lot of people on the concert lawn area, playing,” Hall said, “and we had the first shelter rental of the new year.”
Earlier, out for a run, Hall said he saw a number of people who were doing the same — taking advantage of the warm weather to exercise outside.
“Days like these help extend those New Year’s resolutions,” Hall said.
Even so, the fog that blanketed the area Saturday morning lingered in outlying areas before lunch, then rolled back in after dark, bringing its share of problems.
Just after 6 p.m., the Rowan County emergency dispatcher put through a call to fire crews after a caller reported a possible structure fire at West Rowan Middle School.
According to one onlooker who emailed a Post reporter, “about 15 firetrucks” responded, surrounding the building.
But fire crews found not smoke, but a concentrated fogbank, around the school and soon departed.
As nice as Saturday was, today may be even more springlike once the fog lifts.
Forecasters expect dense fog to give way to cloudy skies, with a high in the lower 70s.
Knox said she planned to be out in it again. “Might throw something on the grill,” she said.
But the mini-spring won’t last. Showers and cooler weather are slated to return by mid-week, with lows predicted to be back in the mid-to-lower 30s by Wednesday.

Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.