Cold start to 2013

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The first day of 2013 counted as the coldest in nearly two years, with some Valley cities waking up below 30 degrees Tuesday morning.

It’s a far cry from the start of 2012, which saw temperatures above 80 degrees. This New Year’s Day, tank tops have been replaced with overcoats and layers.

“If it’s below 70 degrees, I’m cold,” said Kyrie McConnell, originally from Pittsburgh. “Even though it’s chilly, it’s better than shoveling snow.”

No snow, but cold enough to keep patios in Old Town Scottsdale bare.

“It threatens to shut it down,” said Wiley Arnett, a co-owner of Rehab Burger Therapy, of his outdoor patio. “We’re happy that we’re not shoveling snow, but obviously being Arizona kids, when it starts hitting low 40s, it mind as well be snowing.”

Even the East Coasters opted for an indoor table Tuesday night. The Hendis, visiting for their second New Year straight, packed for the toasty Arizona temps they remembered last year.

“I didn’t bring my down jacket this year because I thought it was going to be so warm. We were freezing. It was cold; not as cold as D.C., but much colder than we were expecting,” Jamie Hendi said.

At the next table over, the Bachelders just flew in from Oregon to cheer on the Ducks during Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl.

“They had to de-ice us, so this is lovely here,” Natalie Bachelder said. “I haven’t seen blue sky in ages!”

“It’s beautiful out,” said Bryce Hill, in town, to cheer on Kansas State. “I can’t complain.”

Even though rival fans disagree over who will win on Thursday, they do agree Arizona’s winter weather is nothing to complain about.