Warm burst of springlike temperatures lingering in region

 A few skaters at the Rothman Rink in Philadelphia's Dilworth Park wear shorts, illustrating the incongruity of springlike temperatures in December. (Kimberly Paynter/News Works)

A few skaters at the Rothman Rink in Philadelphia's Dilworth Park wear shorts, illustrating the incongruity of springlike temperatures in December. (Kimberly Paynter/News Works)

This December is expected to rate as one of the warmest in the region.

Temperatures in the region were 10 degrees above normal in the first half of the month, said New Jersey state climatologist Dave Robinson. And he expects the warm weather trend to persist for the rest of the year.

“It looks highly unlikely that we’ll have a white Christmas in New Jersey or most of the eastern United States,” he said. “This is a pattern that is locked in. and it’s not relinquishing its grip anytime soon.”

If you want snow for the Christmas holiday, Robinson said you’ll have to head out West.

“Some cold air is beginning to make it out of the Arctic down into the middle latitudes,” he said. “So it may be a matter of time until some of that cold air will shift over here to the East and give us some below-average temperatures, but we do not see that any time within the next several weeks.”

The jet stream is blocking cold air from moving into the mid-Atlantic region, while a flow of mild air has been coming up from the South.

While some might worry that we’ll have to pay later for the unusually warm weather now, Robinson said that isn’t likely.

“We’re not going to be getting into patterns later this winter where we lock in cold air for weeks on end,” he said. “It’s not to say that we’re not going to have some cold weeks. It’s not to say that we’re going to see some flakes flying at some points.”

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