Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Happy Holidays! Hot Enough for You?

by Alex Johnson /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

It's an El Niño season, which means winter's worst usually holds off for a few weeks in the usually icy Northeast. But this is ridiculous.

It's so hot that golfers are teeing off in shorts — in Buffalo, New York.

It's so hot that a guy got famous for running without his shirt — in Chicago.

It's so hot that a guy went jet-skiing — on Lake Erie. Sure, he wore a Grinch T-shirt and a Santa hat, but still.

Related: Why's It So Warm? Thank the Polar Vortex

There's a strong polar vortex — an arctic cyclone of extremely cold air high up in the atmosphere — keeping cold air that should have swept south penned up north of the border, making for decidedly un-December-like conditions.

According to meteorologist Kathryn Prociv and our colleagues at The Weather Channel, with just 10 days till Christmas:

  • New York City (64 degrees — 22 degrees above the average for Dec. 15) was warmer Tuesday than Phoenix (54).
  • Boston (58) was warmer Tuesday than Las Vegas (50).
  • Washington, D.C. (62), was about the same temperature Tuesday as Los Angeles (60).
  • Forget lake effect snow. Syracuse and Binghamton, New York, hit 66 and 61 degrees, respectively, on Monday. It goes without saying those are records.
  • Louisville, Kentucky, recorded its third straight 70-degree-plus day Monday. That's never happened before in December.
  • International Falls, Minnesota — the synonym of choice for "Good Lord, it's cold!" — hasn't dropped below 16 degrees all month. It's December average low is usually 1 degree.
  • Providence, Rhode, Island, set a record high Monday night at 9:58 p.m. Four hours later, it set a record high for Tuesday morning.
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin, got its the second-biggest rainstorm of the year on Monday. That's because it was too warm for snow.

"We've had so many places experiencing warmer-than-average temperatures,” said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.

But cold air will finally return by the weekend — sending temperatures only to where they should have been all along, she said.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news