Dreaming of a white Christmas? Depending on where you live, you might want to keep dreaming, according to current weather reports.
If you live in the eastern or central United States, Friday could be “one of the warmest Christmas Days of your lifetime,” The Weather Channel reported Sunday. The outlet also noted that the entire Christmas week could be one of the warmest in living memory.
While this winter’s unusually warm temperatures have been dipping down to more typically cold levels this week, The Weather Channel noted that “abnormal warmth” has begun to return to the central U.S. and is expected to be back in full force in “most areas east of the Rockies” by Christmas. They do note that a cold front may make Christmas itself slightly less toasty in the Northeast.
So what’s up with this year’s warm weather? Though some have pointed fingers at climate change or tropical weather event El Nino, Mike Halpert of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center credits (or blames, depending on your point of view) the Arctic polar vortex for the high temperatures.
The polar vortexes, Halpert explained, are swirling rings of cold winds that surround the North and South Poles. Last year, high air pressure in the Arctic pushed those winds southward, away from the North Pole, causing the chilly U.S. winter many remember.
This year, the pressure is low, making the vortex stronger than usual and meaning that more cold air is staying around the Arctic, rather than traveling south.
The unusually warm temperatures have interrupted bird migration and bear hibernation patterns, and made some species — like the snowshoe hare, which counts on using its white fur to blend into the snow — more vulnerable to predators.
Right now, forecasts are predicting Christmas Eve temperatures as high as 70 degrees in New York City and 73 degrees in Washington, D.C.
On the other hand, who trusts weather reports … right? Right!?!??!
We’ll be off crying and dreaming of snow.
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