The eastern half of North America is definitely not dreaming of a white Christmas this season: the forecast is calling for record-breaking warm temperatures this week, with some regions to see temperatures 35º Fahrenheit (19ºC) above normal. Temperatures are expected to briefly dip over Christmas itself, but are expected to rise again for the remainder of the year.
This forecast appears almost to be a repeat of last year’s weather, of which also saw unseasonably warm temperatures. "It appears high temperatures will be in the 70s on Christmas Eve in New York City, which is about 35 degrees above normal for the date," explains AccuWeather Meteorologist Bill Deger. "It was also unusually warm last Christmas Eve in 2014, when Central Park reached 58 F for a high."
Further west, temperatures are expected to be closer to the seasonal norm, despite warming effects from El Niño in the Pacific. Warm water off of the Atlantic coast continues to contribute to a warming trend: this water would ordinarily be transferred to northern Europe, but the North Atlantic current is not operating properly, causing warming in the ocean’s west, and prompting forecasts of a cold winter with record snowfall in the United Kingdom.
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