During most years, winter is literally freezing in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where visitors flock to nearby ski resorts.
But not this season.
Average temperatures in the city reached 36.8 degrees from December through February — 6.6 degrees above normal and good for the warmest winter on record.
The ski season started off promising, when a late-autumn cold snap prompted Bear Creek Mountain Resort to open its slopes Nov. 15, earlier than ever. But it was all uphill from there: Just 3 inches of snow fell on the mountain all season, compared with 2 feet last year.
“We were all sweating bullets,” said Gary Kline, Bear Creek’s marketing director. “If we didn’t have snowmaking, we wouldn’t have been able to open one day this year.”
Allentown wasn’t alone.
Worldwide temperatures were more than 2 degrees above the 20th century average this winter, making it the second warmest in 141 years of record keeping, according to the National Oceanic and…