December to Open With Mild Temperatures

By Brian Thompson, Meteorologist
November 30, 2012; 5:17 AM ET
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Recent waves of Canadian air will take a break during the first weekend of December over much of the United States.

Warmer weather will soon surge northward.

The core of the warmth will be centered over the Plains states and Ohio Valley, where some places have even seen some snowflakes over the past several days.

For many, the warm-up will provide great weather to complete outdoor holiday decorating without needing a pair of gloves.

Temperatures will be closing in on record high territory by Sunday from Nebraska down through Texas. Highs Sunday will be near 70 degrees from St. Louis down to Oklahoma City. Afternoon temperatures will flirt with the 80 degree-mark from Dallas to Houston.

Highs in these areas will average 10 to 20 degrees above normal for this time of year.

According to Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "The peak of the warmth will be Sunday and Monday, although it should stay mild through the first week of December."

Aside from a few spotty showers along the Mississippi River, much of the time next weekend will be dry over the middle third of the nation with no significant storm systems.

While that is great news for those with holiday shopping or outdoor activities, the majority of this area is experiencing drought conditions and is in need of rain.

Anderson says that the main driver for the warm-up is the jet stream retreating well to the north back across southern Canada.

The jet stream is a belt of strong winds high in the atmosphere that not only often marks the path for storms, but also usually separates warm air to the south from cold air to the north.

The warmth will not be as pronounced farther to the east, but temperatures early next week could still climb up to near 60 degrees from New York down through Philadelphia and Washington.

In these areas farther east, Anderson says that "the warm-up will be gradual, but it will feel a lot better by early next week."

For those of you that like the warmer weather, enjoy it while it lasts. Anderson hints that a colder weather pattern could move in for the second week of December, just in time for skiing interests before the holidays.


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