"Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get."
- Robert A. Heinlein (quoted by the NWS)
Okay, this tickles me. From the National Weather Service Area Forecast Discussion page for Tucson:
.CLIMATE...ALTHOUGH THE FORECAST HIGH TEMPERATURES FOR TUCSON ON CHRISTMAS EVE/DAY WILL BOTH BE BELOW RECORD LEVELS...IT WILL HOWEVER MARK THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1989 THAT BOTH DAYS HAD HIGH TEMPERATURES OF 70 DEGREES OR GREATER. DEFINITELY NOT A WHITE CHRISTMAS.
And on another page:
Mostly sunny. High 74.
Much as I've been hoping to see a few snowflakes in Tucson this winter, I've known for days that it wasn't going to happen this weekend. Winter started today:
Winter began Wednesday Dec. 21 at 11:35 am
(local time, according to the NWS). A little over three hours after that, the official temperature hit today's high of 78 degrees. When I came back from lunch, I left my sweater in the car.
So there will be no evocative pictures here tonight of trees in snow. I won't even pull out my snow pictures from January 1988. Some other time, but not on this warm winter night.
I do have other pictures, though.
First off, an update on the decorating. John and I have officially decided not to put up even the aluminum tree this year. The house is too much of a mess, and we'll be out of town too much of the time to make it worth the bother. If I can get at some wrapping paper, and if John can dig out the stockings, I'll be satisfied. This is our big rut-breaker Christmas, in which nearly all my cherished traditions will go by the wayside. Having one very different Christmas from all the rest - and a trip to Disneyland! - is well worth giving up my Hallmark ornaments and my turkey-cooking, our vintage foil tree (toil free!) and my Pillsbury orange rolls for once. So, bottom line: no Christmas decorations at home.
I did decorate a little more at work. Basically all I did was stand up the Christmas cards I got at the office, but it does look somewhat festive.
Oh, and that snowman thing is a candle holder. You can almost see the eyes and mouth here. They're not especially visible even when you look at the thing in person. I like that Lilo can hula near a snowman and not get cold. Zorro's horse Tornado seems to be about to knock the snowman's hat off, but I don't think that will happen.
I took a few more neighborhood Christmas lights photos, just at dusk tonight. The first one is that same house again, but a closer look at just one part of it.
The other shot is a piece of a different house that John likes. There's much more to it than this, but I like the way the tree looks in this particular shot, and I like the wreath of lights.
And here's Mount Lemmon, as seen from St. Michael's during the earliest sunset of the year.
Speaking of sunsets, this is what was going on in the western sky, shortly after the Mount Lemmon shot.
Welcome to winter in Tucson. It looks a lot like spring and fall here, or summer elsewhere. Mind you, I'm not complaining, but after 19 years I've almost come to take Tucson winter for granted. It's pleasant, but mostly unexciting.
P.S. In honor of Carly's entry on Christmas trivia, I've just reposted 12 of my Holiday Trivia questions from a year ago in my archives here. They mostly cover Christmas and Solstice. I won't have time to repost more than this before Christmas, so if you want to see the rest of the questions, you'll need to go to Musings for now. Look in the archives for December 2004 and January 2005. - KFB