Warm Christmas Eve sets record

By Melanie Mizenko - mmizenko@timesleader.com | December 26th, 2015 5:17 pm

Winter officially began on Monday night, but it didn’t feel like it over the Christmas holiday.

An 83-year-old record fell Thursday when a high temperature of 68 degrees was recorded at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pittston Township, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton, New York.

The previous Christmas Eve high of 62 was set in 1933. The average temperature for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is 28, according to weather service climate data.

The jet stream is to blame (or thank depending upon your opinion) for the unseasonably warm temperatures, according to Mitch Gill, a hydro-meteorological technician for the weather service.

“The cold air is in the west and the warm air is in the north,” Gill said.

Northeastern Pennsylvania has seen nine consecutive December days where the temperature didn’t fall below 32 degrees, which ties a record from 1984.

“We’re still looking for fairly mild temperatures into next week,” Gill said.

However, the weather service has forecasted some winter weather for the coming days.

The area is expected to see a wintry mix of precipitation Monday night and Tuesday morning. The weather service predicts a 90 percent chance of snow, freezing rain and sleet before 1 a.m. Tuesday.

The best day of the week looks to be Wednesday, as the weather service expects it to be sunny with a high of 45.

Despite the forecast for Monday, Gill thinks we’re going to stay unseasonably warm with little to no periods of cold weather.

“All in all, I think we’re going to stay above average for this time of year,” he said.

By Melanie Mizenko


Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko