People living on the East Coast should stop dreaming of a white Christmas: capping off an unusually warm December, meteorologists say the Northeast is about to experience the warmest Christmas Eve on record.
According to Accuweather.com, Christmas Eve “will feel more like an early autumn or spring day” in many places, with highs possibly in the 50s Fahrenheit in Maine up to the 70s in the mid-Atlantic and the lower 80s down in the Southeast. This would be 15 to 30 degrees above average for each of these locations.
“There is a high probability for record-setting warmth up and down the entire Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine [on Christmas Eve],” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Englund.
The warm weather recently has come from two strong concurrent climate phenomena: the Arctic Oscillation trapping cold air in the North and an exceptionally strong occurrence of El Niño, TIME’s Justin Worland reports. “Either one of these patterns would warm temperatures on its own. Together, they make for an especially warm winter,” he writes.
“You’re not eclipsing these records by a degree or two as you normally break records,” said Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central. “These are very large breaks in the records.”