Mother Nature has not obeyed the calendar this season.
Other than our late November snowstorm, we have not experienced much in the way of winter across the region. And that has had effects on local businesses.
In fact, we experienced a 6-day stretch of days with high temperatures at or above 50°, something that has never happened this late into the season. Through 15 December days, we have not seen a day at or below the average December high temperature of 33°.
What a difference a year makes.
Last year’s bitter cold allowed for winter activities to be held on time, including Gateway Park at Alpine Hills, which was in full operation by December 20th.
“It’s definitely very warm this year. Unseasonably warm. And it’s affected us being able to start our snow making operations. It has to be pretty cold and relatively no humidity for that,” says Brice Brzostek, an Operations Manager at Gateway Park at Alpine Hills.
Several days in a row at or below 28° are needed to make snow. But it’s not just the outdoor businesses seeing less activity with this warmer weather.
“Winterization on the automobiles this year has been a little soft. We’ve actually done more air conditioning I think in December than we had actual total winterizations, which obviously is abnormal,” says Bill Brandt, Butitta Brother’s Shop Manager at the Mill Road location.
And while some businesses are not benefiting from the warmer weather, many people are enjoying it.
“I’m loving it. When you don’t have to shovel snow and throw salt on to get out of your driveway, I am in heaven,” says local shopper, Mary Nozzi.
The pattern is expected to continue delivering warmer than average weather through the end of the year overall, but colder temperatures are looking increasingly likely after Christmas.