The Warmest December Ever Recorded - It's Looking That Way Now
Our weather memories tend to be short. It's common for someone to say: "I don't remember it being so….. (warm, cold, wet, dry, snowy, etc)" That's one of the reasons we keep official records. In Philadelphia, detailed, official records go back to the 1870s.
Through the first half of December, we are running so far above monthly records that it doesn't seem fair for the 2nd place competitor. My calculations show an average temperature of 51 degrees in Philadelphia for the first half of the month. The December record is 44.5. Normally, records like this are broken by tenths of degrees-we are now 6.5 degrees ahead of the record! And more record warmth may come next week.
And it's Even More Extreme in Other Areas
While Philadelphia is about 11 degrees above "normal" so far in December, at Mt. Pocono it's more than 13 degrees. And Monday, Allentown beat their daily record by an incredible 8 degrees! Wilmington beat their record by 6. That's simply unheard of.
And the bigger picture is even more impressive. There were more than 1000 record highs set in the U.S. in just the first 12 days of the month! Here's a map of temperatures compared to "normal" for Monday, Dec. 14th…
And below is the forecast for Christmas Eve, so you can compare how warm it has been with how warm it will be:
If anything, it looks more extreme late next week. I wouldn't be surprised to see more record warmth. The Philadelphia records are 64 for Dec. 24th and 68 for Christmas Day.
And Then After Christmas?
If you're expecting changes after Christmas, you'll have to wait some more. The overall warm pattern will continue in the Eastern U.S. Here's the forecast for the period Dec. 24-29….
And then late December until January 3rd:
There are still no signs in the upper atmosphere across the globe to suggest a dramatic reversal of this warm pattern, so it looks like January at least starts mild, too.