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York's warm weather not hurting holiday spirit

Christopher Dornblaser
717-505-5436/@YDDornblaser

Yorkers got to experience an early Christmas "miracle" Sunday, with temperatures reaching a record high of 71 degrees just shy of one week before the official start of winter.

While the unseasonable weather may not conjure up images of a white Christmas, it is certainly not hurting the holiday spirit here in York County.

Weather helping holiday spirit: The warm weather wasn't stopping Amy Kauffman of York and her three sons from enjoying Nixon Park's winter-oriented hike "What animals do in the winter" Sunday afternoon.

Despite it not feeling like holiday weather, Kauffman doesn't believe the recent warm weather is hurting the spirit of the holidays.

"I think it's a lot better," she said, adding her kids have been able to go outside and play more.
"They do keep asking me if we will have a white Christmas," she said. She doesn't anticipate it happening.

Her son, Stuart, 9, said he didn't care about the warm weather as long as he gets presents.

Amy Kauffman, of York, and her three sons Stuart, Thomas and Henry, went to Nixon park for a hike to enjoy the nice weather, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015

Scott and Jackie Ray of Red Lion were heading to Nixon Park for a walk to enjoy the weather.

"We love it," Scott said. Jackie said they have been able to get in some hunting and yard work during the week's nicer weather.

Jackie said she thinks the warm weather is benefiting the Christmas spirit.

"I think it's helping," she said. "I feel like going shopping."

Scott said they were able to get some shopping done Sunday — with the convertible top down.

Scott and Jackie Day of Red Lion went on a walk at Nixon Park to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather, Sunday Dec. 13. 2015.

Warm day, cold treats: Some residents still felt some cold Sunday, through Steve and Lori Myers' Sweet Treats ice cream truck. The truck, which had stopped running for the season in late September, was back out, selling ice cream to people in some West York and York City areas.

Steve said after they went to the local neighborhoods, the leftover ice cream from the day was given out to seniors at Rest Haven, 1050 S. George St., as well as the Senior Commons at Powder Mill, 1775 Powder Mill Road.

Lori has family at Senior Commons, and Steve and Lori are legal guardians of Richard Lustgarden, who lives at Rest Haven. Steve said they really wanted to bring the truck out to them and the residents there.

Steve and Lori were both sporting Santa hats while passing out ice cream from their truck Sunday afternoon. The two were happy to get some of their leftover ice cream from the season out to the public on the warm day.

Steve said he had a lot planned for the day but abandoned all of it when he and Lori decided to take the truck out one last time for the season.

"This is better," he said.

He said the York Rescue Mission won't take the leftover ice cream, and this way he can get rid of the extra supply. They went out around 1 p.m. and ended a little after 5 p.m. Steve said they started with around 30 gallons of ice cream, and by the last customer they had around 10 gallons remaining.

Steve credited the warm weather and Christmas time as the inspiration for bringing the truck out.

"It gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling," he said, adding that there is so much bad going on, he was happy to bring some good.

"This was great," he said. He said he would like to do this every year, stopping by the senior centers and giving out some of the supply to them.

Weather anomaly: Craig Evanego, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in State College, said the high for Sunday in York was 71 degrees, which he said is about 30 degrees above normal highs for December. Evanego said it will most likely not get any warmer than Sunday this month.

"(Sunday) was probably the peak, temperature wise," he said.

Steve Myers, owner of Sweet Treats, hands Joan Williams, a resident at Senior Commons at Powder Mill, a cherry Italian Ice, Sunday Dec. 13, 2015.  Myers gave out 75 servings of ice cream and Italian Ice to residents there before heading to Rest Haven to do the same. (John A. Pavoncello - The York Dispatch)
Steve and Lori Myers, owners of Sweet Treats, sell ice cream in West York and make a stop at Senior Commons at Powder Mill,  Sunday Dec. 13, 2015.  (John A. Pavoncello - The York Dispatch)
Mary Hall, a resident at Senior Commons at Powder Mill,  enjoys some free ice cream thanks to the owners of Sweet Treats, Sunday Dec. 13, 2015. Owners Steve and Lori Myers took their truck out of winter storage to take advantage of the warm weather and stopped at the senior community to hand out treats. (John A. Pavoncello - The York Dispatch)

He said Sunday was the warmest Dec. 13 recorded since they started taking records of the weather in the area from the York Airport in Thomasville in 1997.

Shane Kearns, another meteorologist for the National Weather Service said the highest for December was 77 degrees on Dec. 5, 2001, with the next warmest day being 66 degrees on Dec. 6, 2006.

Evanego said Saturday's low was 42 degrees, which he said is typically the high for this time of year.

The warm weather is not expected to last much longer, as Evanego said the rest of the week the temperature will be cooling down. He said by the weekend, the start of winter, the temperature should be about typical for December.

White Christmas: Soon Kauffman will be able to give her children the news of whether or not the York area will be seeing a white Christmas this year — but not yet.

Evanego said it's too early to tell for certain.

"It's still a little bit early to tell," he said. "Right now it doesn't look like it."

He said based on some early data, it looks to warm up a bit during Christmas week, but not to the level experienced on Sunday.

“Some of the extended model guidance I've seen seems to want to warm us back up early the following week,” he said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com.