Now that we’ve had our turkey, said our thanks, and lived through the horror that is Black Friday, we’re left to wonder when Mother Nature will step in and lift our holiday spirits.
With just 11 days until Christmas unseasonably mild temperatures have been spreading over the eastern half of the country. CNN reports about 75 percent of the U.S. population will see temperatures rise above 60 degrees by the end of the weekend.
Several record highs are predicted to be set this weekend across the states east of the Mississippi River, including major northeast metro areas such as Philadelphia and New York. In fact, New York has already set a record this Sunday for the warmest Dec. 13, with some residents strolling through the city in shorts and sandals.
According to the National Weather Service, midday temperatures in Central Park reached 66 degrees.
New Yorkers are confused to say the least and have been posting to social media with the hashtag #WheresWinter.
— A. Mitchell (@amanda12louise) December 13, 2015
— Vivienne Gucwa (@travelinglens) December 12, 2015
— Tiffany Bernhardt (@bigredbandaids) December 4, 2015
Temperatures up to 30 degrees above mid-December averages are said to stretch across the Great Lakes, with double-digit above-normal temperatures reaching Florida.
CNN predicts Buffalo, NY, will be one of the cities among many others to set a record temperature this weekend. This is the first time since Dec. 3, 1899 Buffalo has yet to see at least 1 inch of snow this late in the season.
Ordinarily, Buffalo receives its first snowfall by Nov. 8 – the city received nearly 20 inches of snow by Dec. 10 last year.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 12, 2015
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, El Niño is the primary driver for the abnormal rise in temperatures.
El Niño is a term used to describe above-average warming of the equatorial Pacific. The warmer waters created by El Niño translates into worldwide climate pattern shifts.
Researchers categorized this year’s El Nino as one of the strongest on record (measured by three month SST departures). El Niño climate records only date back to 1950.
But all hope is not lost. There’s still a chance some states may see a white Christmas, after all.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ben Noll, the “average snowcover across the U.S. on Christmas day is between 35 and 40 percent.”
“A strong Pacific jet stream could send a storm or two from California into the Southwest, boosting Sierra snowfall and bringing increased chances for a white Christmas to places like Salt Lake City, Flagstaff and Denver,” Noll said.
AccuWeather reports that some areas across the central and southern Plains may receive a blanket of snow, giving Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kansas, a better-than-usual shot at a white Christmas.
[Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images]