The warm virus that has gripped the East this month has left some astounding departures from normal temperatures here and elsewhere.

Through Tuesday, New York was running 12.1 degrees above normal for December; Burlington, Vt., 11.5; Syracuse, 10.5, ; Boston, 9.8; Washington, 8.7, and Portland, 8.3.

Philadelphia's averaged official temperature for the first 15 days of the month stood at 51.2, that's 11. 5 above normal, and beat out the 50.7 of Dec. 1-15, 2001, No. 2 on the list.

To put that in perspective, the long-term average for the first two weeks in April in Philadelphia is 50.3.

And our flirtation with normality evidently will be short-lived.

The latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center sees above-normal temperatures for the entire East, in every area east of the Mississippi , through Dec. 29.

In all the years of following those forecasts from those normally circumspect scientists we never have seen such a level of certainty.

In the daily discussion, they noted that all the models agree on the pattern – trough in the West, favoring cold, ridge in the East, favoring more of what we've had.

White Christmas? Don't even bother dreaming.