Early warm-up

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

Lugene Blue walks her neighborhood almost everyday, but the recent unseasonably warmspell embracing eastern New Mexico has ensured her walks are pleasant.

Temperatures in New Mexico have been average 33 percent warmer than normal in December and January, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Blue, who has lived in Portales since attending Eastern New Mexico University in 1974, said the nice weather has given her family more time to be outside. Blue, her son Ben, her daughter Andrea Swinney and her grandchildren Riley and Zachary walked Blue’s dogs down Main street in Portales on Friday.

“This makes it very much more pleasant,” she said. “Ben plays basketball all the time and it’s just great.”

Swinney, who was visiting her mother from Rio Rancho, said it is warmer in Portales than Rio Rancho, and her sons love it.

“It’s great just to be out,” she said.

Ron Caviness, 61, has lived in Portales his whole life, and he said he doesn’t remember a winter as warm as this year.

“It’s nice to be outside. I don’t have to wear gloves to mow the lawn,” he said. “The good weather makes everything easier to do.”

For Carla DuBois, the good weather means more time on her motorcycle.

“It’s great riding weather. When the weather warms up, the bikes will be on the road,” she said.

DuBois has lived in Clovis for 8 years and has ridden motorcycles for 15.

“It’s more fun when you can ride,” DuBois said.

Larry Gomez of Clovis thanked God for the pleasant weather as he finished nine holes at the Clovis Municipal Golf Course.

“It’s a blessing from the Lord. It is letting people do what they enjoy,” Gomez said.

Gomez said he remembered two winters ago when the golf course had to close due to the cold and snow.

“Normally, you wouldn’t have older people playing golf this time of year either. But seniors can play now,” he said.

But hold on. The word from weather forecasters is change and it’s going to happen soon.

A cold front means temperatures will return to normal 50s on Monday and will remain that way throughout the week, according to NOAA meteorologist Deirdre Kann.

“High pressure is associated with dry and clear weather, and warmer than normal temperatures,” she said. “With a cold front going through, we won’t see the 70s again for quite a while.”