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Winter wanderland: Many wondering where winter went

Teri Vance
tvance@nevadaappeal.com
Photos by Shannon Litz / Nevada Appeal
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Olivia Rupert put on a sweatshirt before leaving her Washoe Street home Wednesday morning. By the end of her walk with her German shepherd mix, Scrubby, she was down to a T-shirt.

“It’s pretty toasty,” she said.

The 17-year-old senior, on winter break from Carson High School, said she is not used to 60-degree December days in her hometown.

“This is kind of ridiculous,” she said. “But it’s nice not to be freezing.”

Although unusual for this time of year, Wednesday’s 64 degrees did not set a record, said Mark Faucette, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Our records are right around the mid- and upper 60s,” he said.

The unseasonably warm days have some trading in skis and snowboards for bikes and running shoes.

In a blog entry titled “Winter Wonder(ing where it went) Land,” local mountain bike enthusiast Jeff Moser updated his followers on trail conditions.

“It’s definitely strange weather for December,” he wrote on Bikecarson.com. “The trails are sandy, the switchbacks are silty and the edges are soft. Watching the dust clouds rise off the back wheels this time of year just doesn’t seem right.”

It’s been welcome weather, as well, for those depending on bikes for transportation, he said.

“What is typically one of the hardest months for bicycle commuting has been a snap,” Moser said.

In recent years, Donna Inversin has changed the site of her annual New Year’s Day hike, from Prison Hill to the Mexican Ditch Trail.

“Prison Hill just gets too icy,” she explained. “Of course, this year I could have done it.”

The Sierra Club hike Sunday will begin at Riverview Park and end at Mexican Dam, 8.5 miles round trip. Participants may walk the whole way or just do part of it.

Inversin said she’s hoping the mild weather will encourage families to join in.

“Last year, I got blizzarded out,” she recalled. “I’m hoping for a big turnout this year. It’s a good way to start the year off right.”

While a break from the cold has been nice, Rupert said, she’s ready for some snow.

“I hike up that mountain all the time,” she said, motioning alongside C Hill. “I want to sled down it so bad.”

And she may still be able too, forecaster Faucette said.

“As far as being able to gauge a whole winter by what’s happened in one month, I wouldn’t even begin to do that,” he said. “We’ve still got through the month of March at least.”

He said cooler weather with some precipitation may be in store as early as Jan. 13 or 14.

Until then, Moser said, it’s a good idea to get out and have fun.

“It lifts the spirits to get some sunshine and get active,” he said.