December Heat

By Brandon Marcucci

There is growing confidence that the widespread warmth we’ve seen so far this December will also dominate much of Christmas week in the eastern half of the United States. Depending on how long the mild weather pattern holds on, next Friday could be the warmest Christmas Day of your lifetime, particularly if you live in one of the East Coast states.

This mild forecast means the prospect for a white Christmas is highly unlikely for many of those states. Meteorologists sometimes jokingly refer to the type of warm weather pattern we have seen recently, and the one coming next week, as a “blowtorch” in social media. The term may be a reference to weather maps showing temperatures compared to normal; these patterns tend to resemble a large red or white scorch mark surrounded by shades of orange and yellow, as if a giant blowtorch had been pointed at the Earth. Of course, the actual cause is not a blowtorch but a weather pattern that keeps typical winter chill at bay and holds air from the Pacific or the tropics over the mainland United States.

The current warm weather pattern in the East will linger for a few more days until a cool down arrives in time for the weekend. However, computer model forecast guidance is giving us a strong signal that widespread unseasonable warmth will return for much of Christmas week in most areas east of the Rockies, however this warm weather will have the possibility to bring rain next week for the northeast. This could add to the more than 1,900 daily record high temperatures that have been tied or broken across the Lower 48 in the first 14 days of the month.

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