By Eric Devlin, The Mercury
Pottstown >> While many listened to Bing Crosby croon his dreams of a white Christmas, the actual weather this past week felt more like the beginnings of a heat wave. With record high temperatures reported during the month of December, we began to wonder what everyone else thought of the near tropical conditions.
As folks circled the ice hockey rink during the Hill School’s open skate Monday afternoon for the annual holiday community skating program (which runs daily from 12 to 4 p.m. through Jan. 2), we asked them their thoughts on the unseasonable heat. Their answers were a bit surprising.
“You take it when you can get it,” said Chris Ford, of Perkiomenville, who was skating with his wife and two sons. “It’s far and few between when you can be out in shorts around the holidays.”
“It doesn’t feel like Christmastime at all,” said Alec Krause, a student at Pottstown High School. “It’s kind of weird. I’m thinking people are coming (to skate) because it makes it feel more like Christmas in the rink. There’s snow out there. Kids are playing in it. It just makes it seem a little more like December than the weather does right now.”
The change in temperature was hot enough to break a few records, in fact. The National Weather Service of Mount Holly reported record high temperatures Christmas Eve, including 71 degrees in both Reading and Philadelphia. In fact, according to Accuweather.com, the Philadelphia region has seen 13 days with high temperatures above 60 degrees, so far this December, and 25 days above 50 degrees. Four days have even reached highs in the 70s so far.
Like a few other ice skaters, Abigail Krause disagreed with her brother. “I don’t like the cold as much,” she said. “I’m more for a warm summer than a cold winter. (But) we haven’t skated in a really long time, so I wanted to get out our skates and skate again.”
Other families were also divided on the issue.
“I’m glad they have the rink inside,” said Don Bealer, of North Coventry, who was skating with his family. “I personally prefer the warmer weather but I like to do the ice skating.”
His family had a different opinion on the warmer temperatures.
“They’re saying it’s El Niño and it’s going to be colder next year versus this year. It was too warm for Christmas for my liking,” said Don’s wife Lisa. “I like it a little colder. He likes it hot.”
“I like the snow more during winter,” their son, David, said. “So I didn’t really like it.”
Accuweather says the new year will bring temperatures that begin to drop back down to normal conditions, with highs in the low to mid 40s throughout the first week. So while Bing Crosby’s dream didn’t come true this year, those who said they favored the cold will finally start to get what they wanted.