It was not a White Christmas in New York City this year, but it was still one to remember as temperatures soared into the record books!
On Christmas Eve, the temperature in Central Park reached a spring-like 72°F. That is a staggering 32°F above average and shattered the old record of 63°F set in 1996. On Christmas Day, the mercury climbed to 66°F surpassing the previous record of 64°F from 1982. The city’s normal high for this time of year is 40°F and the normal low is 29°F.
The primary driver of this unseasonable warmth is El Niño. It has produced a fairly persistent ridge in the jet stream over the eastern part of the country lately that is allowing warm air from the south to flow further north than it normally would in winter.
Talking with both locals and visitors, reactions to this record warmth has been mixed. While some enjoyed being able to walk around without a coat, others said they missed the traditional chill that is associated with the Holiday Season in New York.