High Points: Summer blows in

Paul E. Anna
High Points

Hard to believe, but it is Memorial Day weekend. Or as we call it, “the kickoff to summer.” It feels early because it is. Monday, May 25, is the earliest that a Memorial Day can be, as it is always the final Monday of the month. Next year it jumps back to May 31st. But this year, with it coming so early we will still have a week, or at least six days, of May left after the holiday. It seems a little odd.

But that is not the only thing that seems odd. In fact everything is feeling a bit off right now. Summer’s first weekend coincides with a time when we are in the throes of “reopening” and everyone is trying to get their heads around that. No festivals. Outdoors dining only. No camping. Masks. No visitors. Six feet of separation. The do’s and don’ts are, to say the least, overwhelming.

And then there is the weather.

Did you get enough of the wind this past week? It blew hard and constantly on my hill for the best part of three days. These weren’t just occasional gusts, they were a sustained blow. It came from the southwest, they call it a “blowtorch wind,” and this week we either tied or set record high temps for the dates on three straight days. On Sunday, the first of the heated afternoons, we hit 75 degrees, tying the record for May 17 set in 2003. On Monday it was even hotter as we flirted with 80 degrees and set a date record with 79 degrees. Last year we did not hit 80 until June 26. And then on Tuesday, the 19th, the 78-degree high beat the 2006 record by 3 degrees. That’s what I call a sudden summer.

We’re back to average temps for the weekend, but we sure could use some rain. In fact, this May we have had just one day of measurable rain, back on May 11, when we had what was a real gully washer with nearly three quarters of an inch in 24 hours. However, we are still way short of average for the season. There is some potential for rain in the forecast this weekend, but we could use a Pacific pattern before June gets too far along or it will be a dry summer.

Remember last year? Ah yes, what a time it was. Last Memorial Day we celebrated “Endless Winter” with three days of après-ski season skiing on Aspen Mountain. And it was really, really good. Last May saw over 20 inches of snow fall in Aspen in one of the snowiest Mays in memory. In fact, it was the second-snowiest May since records began being kept in the mid-1930s. I remember complaining about the cold and snow.

I don’t mean to go all weatherman on you here, especially since it has been so beautiful with abundant sunshine. It’s just that right now, all things considered, I’d take Memorial 2019 over Memorial Day 2020 any time.

How about you?