Wheeling residents enjoy record high temperatures

WHEELING — As the Friendly City matched records for high temperatures Thursday afternoon, residents were out and about enjoying this warm weather.

“I’m tickled with the good weather,” said Erin Bowers, of Wheeling, at H eritage Port. “I hope it stays like this and better. It can stay til Christmas for me.”

Wheeling reached a high of 78 degrees Thursday afternoon, matching a high temperature record set in 1927, according to the National Weather Service.

The average high for Wheeling on March 14 is 48 degrees, and the average temperature for the month is 40.6, said Chris Leonardi, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

Heritage Port and the Wheeling Heritage Trail were filled with walkers, cyclists and people sitting back and enjoying the warmth Thursday afternoon. Among them were Bowers and her mother, Rita Bowers, who were lounging on adirondack chairs before talking a walk.

Erin said she and her mother try to walk most days, but the warm weather was a plus Thursday. The two were joined by canine companions Hugs and Kisses, both pomeranian mixes.

“It’s such a nice day,” said Rita, who lives in Benwood.

Wheeling resident Jonathan Haley was out on the trail riding his bike due to the higher temperatures Thursday.

“The weather’s definitely a benefit,” Haley said. “It’s finally close to summer again.”

Haley said he rides his bike fairly frequently during summer. Thursday, he rode his bike from Elm Grove, around Short Creek and through Heritage Port downtown.

The upswing in temperatures Thursday was largely caused by the “bomb cyclone” that occured in Midwestern states southwest of West Virginia, Leonardi said.

“Basically we have a very strong southerly flow helping to push warm air up from the southwest,” he said.

Others enjoying the weather in Wheeling were visiting from nearby towns. Carrie Bell, from Moundsville, and Bob Jenner, from Pittsburgh, went on a walk by Heritage Port because of the warm weather.

“He came down to visit me, and I thought it’d be a nice day to take a walk,” Bell said. “We got lunch here, went to Later Alligator. I love the trail, I used to live in Wheeling and walked on the trail every day and miss it. It’s good to see people using the trail for sure.”