February 23, 2019

Frostbite-frigid to melting-mild

Nick Graziano/contributing photographer

Joel Perfetti shovels the sidewalks in front of the Fountain House, next to the Center for the Arts of Homer, during below zero wind chill temperatures Monday afternoon.

Monday morning felt like the ending scene to “The Shining” — the one where Jack Nicholson’s character is seen freezing to death in a hedge maze.

Temperatures outside by noon were around 3 degrees, however, wind chills made it feel colder. Potentially as low as negative 20 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

It was cold enough that just after 15 minutes of walking around the cold started to bite through jeans, mittens and even four layers — a jacket, vest, long sleeve shirt and T-shirt.

Joel Perfetti was one of the people outside braving the frigid weather Monday as he shoveled the walkway of the Center for the Arts of Homer’s Fountain House of the 14 inches of snow that fell over the weekend.

Perfetti, the house manager for the Fountain House, said he was trying to keep up with the snow that had piled up in front of the building. “It’s a big safety concern,” he said.

Perfetti wasn’t phased by the storm over the weekend — he figured the weather would hit. “It was a good weekend to stay inside,” he said. “That’s what I did.”

The rest of the week is forecast to slowly climb in warmth only to give way to more snow, sleet and rain by mid week, the National Weather Service reports.

Monday’s high was 7 degrees, according to the weather service. It was also the low overnight before temperatures rose to 9 degrees this morning.

For the rest of today, expect a high near 21 degrees. Tonight brings a chance of snow between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. followed by snow, freezing rain and sleet, the weather service reports. Little to no ice accumulation is expected.

Wednesday will see more snow, sleet and freezing rain followed by rain Wednesday night with a high in the mid-30s.
Perfetti will do what he can to get snow cleared by then. “I can’t afford to worry,” he said.

As snow was blown on the wind for most of Monday afternoon, the streets and sidewalks of Cortland and Homer were almost a barren wasteland.

Ron Walsh, a Cortland lawyer and former Cortland mayor, was at the YMCA on Tompkins Street working out during his lunch break around noon. It was a way to escape the office, which was around 58 degrees.

He spent most of the day moving around and cleaning up files to keep warm.

The weather this past weekend was no surprise. “With the Weather Channel it was anticipated,” he said.

However, Walsh felt the storm was overhyped. “Cortland is used to getting 14 inches routinely,” he said.

As temperatures are expected to increase, Walsh said he always looks forward to warmer weather.

For now though, he’ll build fires in the fireplace at home and get cozy with the family.

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