Warm Christmas Eve shatters records across eastern US

By By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist
December 28, 2015, 5:39:39 AM EST

Christmas Eve felt more like Memorial Day across much of the eastern United States as temperatures rose between 20 and 35 degrees above average and 5-15 degrees above previous record highs.

Records were broken from the Southeast to New England with some areas breaking their previous record high by more than 10 degrees F.

Some records were broken from the 1800s.

The highs that occurred on Thursday are more typical of late spring and early summer.


“One of the most impressive records on Christmas Eve occurred in Burlington, Vermont, when the city set their all-time December high temperature,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada said.

Burlington rose to 68 F on Christmas Eve, 17 degrees higher than the previous record of 51 F set in 1957. The all-time warmest day prior to Thursday in Burlington was on Dec. 7, 1998 and Dec. 5, 1941 when it reached 67 F.

Some cities broke their record high just after midnight.

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The surge of warmth left many across the Northeast without a white Christmas. The only location able to see at least an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas was across northern Maine.

“Records also fell all along the Interstate 95 corridor from Boston through Washington, D.C.,” Lada said.

High temperatures rose into the 70s on Christmas Eve along the Interstate 95 corridor from New York City to Washington, D.C. Boston was 1 degree shy of reaching the 70-degree mark.

This Christmas Eve caused many people to head outside without a jacket rather than being dressed in layers of long-sleeve shirts and heavy winter coats.


The lack of a snow pack also allowed temperatures to rise very quickly, especially in areas of sunshine.

Even more records were broken across the eastern U.S. on Christmas Day, including New York City, Portland, Maine and Augusta, Georgia.

This overall mild trend will lead to this December being the warmest on record across many Eastern cities.

Through Christmas Day, temperatures are more than 10 degrees above normal for the month across much of the Ohio Valley and Northeast.


After a slight cooldown from Christmas Day into Saturday, a push of milder air will build across the East on Sunday and will cause cities to challenge records yet again.

“New York City and Baltimore are some of the cities that could break records yet again on Sunday before a cold front washes away the warmth,” Lada said.

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