For a few minutes Sunday morning it looked like we might really be in for a snowstorm. But the flurry of flakes lasted only a short time and, by afternoon, the skiff on the ground was gone.

Back in the day, as my granddaddy used to say, it snowed around here. It snowed a lot. We had white stuff on the ground from late October to early March.  We had blizzards. We had six inches or more in a "typical" snowfall. We used to put snow tires on our cars for the winter.

No more. Call it global warming or just climate change for some other reason, the winters around here have become non-events. Yes, it gets cold, but even that is not the bone-chilling below zero temperatures that would grip the region for days and sometimes even weeks. The thermometer at Chateau Thompson has not sunk below 2 degrees in three winters now and it doesn’t look like we will have a sub-zero "winter event" before March and the first taste of Spring arrives.

So far this year, Mother Nature has also spared us from the annual ice storm, the branch-breaking, power outage causing, fall and bust your butt coating of frozen water that has replaced snow as the number one winter hazard.

Yes, it’s been colder this winter than in the past couple of years but we’ve also had days where the temperature climbed into the 50s. Yes, the wind howls more than it used to but winter in the mountains sure ain’t what it used to be.