Prolonged Winter Blues

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. -- For many, the start of baseball season and the start of spring are one in the same. Another day like the one we had Tuesday in northeastern Pennsylvania meant another day for the tarp on PNC Field.

"It was fun to watch the snow melt, dump the tarp and then see the green grass. It happens. It's northeastern Pennsylvania, but we're still excited about Friday night," said Railriders General Manager Josh Olerud.

Luckily, the April snow melted as quickly as it fell. Looking ahead to Friday's home opener for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, it's more of the same: gray, cold and even the chance for rain and snow.

"People are calling, is the game on? Rain, snow, sunshine? This is just the way it is. Last year, we got lucky. It was 85 degrees and sunny," Olerud said.

The month of April typically means finally getting out of the house and office at lunchtime, but that was not the case Tuesday at McDade and Nay Aug parks.

"Mother Nature is holding back this year. What's today? The third of April. Usually, it's a little bit better than this by now, but it's not. Typical Northeast weather," said Richard Watson of Scranton. He was walking his dog at Nay Aug Tuesday.

Because of the prolonged winter, travel agents are finding more people than average booking vacations. But they're not only booking the trips, they're booking the trips to get away now.

"They're booking it fast. They want to go within the next month. They're not booking it months out. They want to go now, and enjoy the hot temperatures," said Nina Waskevich, the Director of Marketing/Public Relations at AAA North Penn.

Travel agents at AAA say the phone has been ringing off the hook, and the callers all had the same reason.

"They're tired of the rain, cold damp weather. We just had the snow on Monday, so I think that really sparked a lot to just starting booking that warm destination and go on an early vacation as soon as possible to get away from it," Waskevich said.