Heat in December is a relative thing, but a record high temperature was tied in Baltimore today at 71°F. That is 25 degrees our average high for this date of 46°F. If this were July, that would be a typical morning temperature. If this were Florida, my grandmother (and many others) would be wearing a sweater. But for Maryland and the Mid Atlantic in mid December, it represents a build up in an El Nino charged pattern. This mark was last set on December 12 in Baltimore in 1979. It should be noted that year experienced two record high temperatures in a row, with the day prior reaching 69°F.
The heat has been building with a large blocking pattern in the atmosphere sending storms to our west while surging warm air into the eastern US. While this might seem like a warm December, temperatures have only been slightly above average to start the month. The average high has dropped form 50F on the 1st to 46F on the 12th, but the daily highs have jumped above 60°F for the third day in a row.
With warmer temperatures expected on Sunday, we can expect another record compared to 69°F for December 13th. While cooler, it is more impressive since that was set in 1889, 126 years ago. Perhaps close to another record on Monday 71°F set in 1929) ? Then we will return back to colder air by the end of the week. See more in the forecast I posted this morning.
That is a typical El Nino December pattern, and does NOT promise a snow free winter, as I wrote about in this earlier report. However for a straight comparison to that 1979 year we just tied, that winter ended with 14.5 inches of snow. That is below average, but the snow was evenly spread between January through March that winter. So basically, don’t give up on winter. Odds are payback is waiting around the corner for us.
Faith In The Flakes: It Will Snow… Eventually
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This year, we were expected to reach 70F all week, but that was meant to occur on Sunday. So with a warmer day expected tomorrow, we shall likely have another two-for record setting warm mark in the record books. Doubling of warm records is actually somewhat common. I will expand on that in my next post.