What comes to mind when you think of winter?  Snow and cold may be first.  Blizzards, too.  Coping with months of high heating bills is something most people dread as well.   

Depending on where you live, remember that not all winters are considered “cold.”  Specifically, some places have had temperatures that were well above normal for most of the season.  Atmospheric patterns like El Niño or La Niña may contribute to such a mild winter, though it can still be very rainy.  A warmer-than-normal winter can provide a number of reasons to literally enjoy the season, without being so depressed.

• Safer driving

Winter can be a treacherous time for driving because some roads are often covered with ice or snow.  If temperatures are warm enough to allow the precipitation to fall in the form of rain, there won’t likely be as much snow falling and sticking to the roads.  A lot of accidents happen due to drivers speeding too fast through the snow.  Although you might have to deal with hydroplaning, rain puddles won’t be as slick as ice, and if there’s less freezing days, there’ll be fewer potholes.

• More outdoor work and play

Warm weather is what most people enjoy during midwinter.  There may be a long stretch of sunshine and an unseasonably warm breeze.  That may be the kind of weather for washing cars or taking a comfortable stroll in the park.  Children can also have more exercise playing outdoors.  If you have a house project that requires outdoor work, you can go ahead and spend the day doing so.  It’s always wonderful to enjoy the warm, fresh air even during early February.  

• Less natural gas costs

A mild winter doesn’t always mean heating up your home all the time.  On extremely mild days, if you can leave the furnace off during the day, and turn it on at night, you’ll save a lot of money on natural gas.  Opening window blinds to let the sun streak through can help keep your room warm for time being. 

• More money for a city

Usually when there’s a mild winter, it’s possible that snowfall was below normal.  City crews responsible for keeping roads safe may not have to work very hard, or plow very often.  They wouldn’t need to spend so much on salt and sand to melt the snow and ice.  So the result: More money will be leftover for the city.

Winters can bring welcoming surprises, and they don’t always have to do with snow.  A long stretch of warmth can signal an early sign of spring, and have you enjoying the mild weather without complaining.