In late November we had some cold temperatures--mornings in the teens, with a low of 11--but after that, a high pressure system settled over the southwest, and we had the kind of weather that attracts snowbirds from all over the country. This year, they have plenty to escape from, with massive winter storms hitting all over the place and bitterly cold days and nights. So they come here in their RVs the size of small houses--sometimes large houses--and they jam the campgrounds and RV parks and highways. They come for days in the 70s and even low 80s, with plenty of sunshine. Though the nights are still cold, they can spend those in the heated luxury of their rolling homes.
On Thursday we had a much-hyped winter storm. For some parts of the region that meant heavy, extended rainfall, but not here. Here we had, at best, a few light sprinkles. The mountains aren't wearing the promised mantles of snow. Today is sunny, the clouds gone.
After a winter like this, we would normally expect more people to move to southwestern destinations. But this year that depends upon their ability to sell their houses in Michigan and Minnesota and Ohio (and everybody knows Ohioans go to Florida, despite hurricanes and humidity). Fortunately for those of us who have embraced rural life, most of the newcomers, if they come, will wind up in the cities--mostly Phoenix and Las Vegas, traditionally--where their new neighborhoods won't exactly resemble the crowded places they left behind, but will more closely approximate them than the truly rural landscape around here. Most of the country is cold right now; most of the country is packed into cities all the time.
They can have those cities, with the concrete and steel, the traffic and noise. We chose quiet and space and beauty. When we want the culture of the cities, the museums and the theaters and the bookstores, we can still go to them. And of course, when they want wide-open spaces they can come here, though few of them do.
So look at your weather, and at ours, and make your choice. If you choose to stay put, that's fine. If you choose to chase the sun, that's fine too. Phoenix has room for one more.