‘Tisn’t the season.
Which is to say it has been much warmer and drier than what we usually see in the Pikes Peak region. That’s terrible if you are a skier or an ice fisherman, but not so bad if you golf, or if you hike in the mountains, or if you treat people with allergies or respiratory illnesses.
Consider: The daily highs this week have been in the 60s — about 20 degrees warmer than average for this time of year. In November, we received a whopping .02 of an inch of precipitation.
Several ski areas have not opened, but golfers have enjoyed an extended season.
“We’re 30 percent ahead of last November at Patty Jewett (golf course) and 19 percent ahead at Valley Hi,” said Dal Lockwood, manager for Colorado Springs’ municipally owned golf courses.
Patty Jewett sold about 1,500 green fees in November, with shortened days.
“The frost gets off at 9:30, the sun goes down at 4, so you’re cramming in a lot of golf,” Lockwood said.
Sandy Elliott, senior analyst for the Pikes Peak Highway, noted the number of visits were up because 2012 has been so mild.
In November 2011, Elliott said 6,600 people passed through the toll booth at the bottom of the mountain. This year, the number was more than 11,000 as of Thursday, and “that has everything to do with the weather,” Elliott said.
It’s rare for the peak to have a lot of snow in November, but walking around at 14,000 feet isn’t too pleasant when it’s, say, 18 degrees and the wind is howling. The peak’s summit hasn’t seen much of that in November in the daylight hours.
The extended summer, if that’s what you want to call it, has been tougher on those who suffer from allergies and usually have some relief by this time of year.
“I’m glad for the business, but I hope it snows, too,” said Wendy McGowan, owner of Allergy Solutions of Colorado Springs.
For people who routinely have allergies in summer, “it’s more severe and long-lasting,” McGowan said. “Some people who don’t normally have allergies are having problems. The dust is part of it.”
People might still be eating ice cream, but they’re buying fewer snow tires and snow shovels and booking fewer ski getaways because the tops of the mountains remain brown.
The forecast Sunday was for more sunny weather and temperatures in the 50s — still about 10 degrees higher than normal. Not a snowman in sight.
A white Christmas? Sleigh bells?
First we need it to get quite a bit colder, then we need precipitation.
It’s not too much to ask.
Listen to Barry Noreen on KRDO NewsRadio 105.5 FM and 1240 AM at 6:35 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at 719-636-0363 or email@example.com