At a time when most hardware stores are traditionally selling snowblowers and rock salt, employees at Fiore True Value Hardware completed a few unusual transactions for December: lawn mower sales.
"I just sold two lawn mowers," store Manager Tom Irwin said Monday afternoon. "I don't remember selling two lawn mowers on Dec. 3, ever."
The mowers would not sit idly as Christmas gifts.
Mirror photo by Patrick?Waksmunski
Bruce Ross of Bruce Ross Masonry in?Williamsburg lays a course of rowlock bricks as a base for the new siding for Park Furniture in Juniata on Monday afternoon.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Penn State Altoona sophomore Jordan Swope hits infield practice to junior teammate and brother Cody Swope at Stewart Athletic Field on campus Monday afternoon.
Both customers said the mowers were destined for yard work during the week, Irwin said.
Unseasonably warm temperatures reaching into the 60s drove the thought of snowfall from many people's minds.
But the warmth will be temporary as colder temperatures more typical of winter are right around the corner, forecasters said.
A cold front moving in tonight will make Wednesday "noticeably" cooler, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist at AccuWeather.
Temperatures are expected to drop back into the 40s by Wednesday, which is "about where we should be for this time of year," Kines said. Some showers are possible moving into Wednesday.
Irwin said many customers took advantage of Monday's warmer weather by stocking up on Christmas lights and lawn decorations.
"It never fails, and this always holds true," Irwin said. "If it's nice weather in December, you'll sell more Christmas decorations."
The explanation is simple: Most people would prefer to decorate their homes in warmer weather than brave freezing temperatures and cold winds, Irwin said.
Amy Gearhart at Gearhart's Meats and Country Store said warm weather was helping to drive business; the store had already processed about 400 deer since opening day.
Warmer temperatures mean hunters need to bring in their kills for processing quicker than normal, she said.
"They need to get them in now," Gearhart said, adding that the store was "keeping steady" with orders. "It's too warm to let them laying around."
Kines said the warmer temperatures did not change forecasters' predictions of heavy winter snowfall over the course of the season.
"The weather that we're seeing right now has no effect on the upcoming winter weather," Kines added.
"For skiers, hang in there," he joked.
Officials at area ski resorts said they would gladly welcome the return of winter weather.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort hosted skiers and snowboarders as part of its "preseason" opening last weekend, spokeswoman Anna Weltz said.
The resort opened eight trails and one terrain park over the course of the weekend. But warmer temperatures prompted the staff to halt snow production, which will hopefully resume by the middle of the month, Weltz said.
"We're watching Mother Nature and seeing what decision she makes," Weltz said.
Crews at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Boalsburg installed and tested three new snow-making machines last week, spokesman Aaron Weyman said.
Weyman said the resort will open as soon as possible - hopefully before Christmas, he added.
"We're just monitoring the forecast right now," he said. "Anytime we get snow-making conditions, we're going to take advantage of it."
In Claysburg, Blue Knob All Seasons Resort is on track to hit the resort's tentative opening date of Dec. 14, General Manager Doug Houck said.
"We blew enough snow that we could have opened this past weekend, but looking at the long term forecast," Houck said, "we elected to stick with our opening weekend of Dec. 14."
Despite warmer temperatures, ski and snowboard equipment was still popular at Spokes N Skis in Hollidaysburg.
Store owner Bill Taafe said the warmer temperatures also generated a noticeable uptick in bicycle sales.
"We're still selling a lot of ski and snowboard packages, but we're selling bikes as well," Taafe said.
Bike sales tend to be year-round purchases, Taafe said. Parents will routinely buy bicycles as Christmas presents, but Taafe said a noticeable number of adults took advantage of the warmer weather by purchasing their own bikes.
"Adults are buying them for themselves because the weather has been pretty good to ride," he said.
But people should take advantage of the warm weather while they can because older temperatures are on the way, Kines said.
"It is December," Kines said. "It can't stay warm forever."
Mirror Staff Writer Zach Geiger is at 946-7535.