Warmest Christmas Eve on record breaks dozens of records across eastern US

Christmas Eve felt more like Memorial Day across much of the eastern United States as temperatures rose between 20 and 35 degrees above average and 5-15 degrees above previous record highs.

Records were broken from the Southeast to New England with some areas breaking their previous record high by more than 10 degrees F.

Some records were broken from the 1800s.

The highs that occurred on Thursday are more typical of late spring and early summer.

"One of the most impressive records on Christmas Eve occurred in Burlington, Vermont, when the city set their all-time December high temperature," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada said.

Burlington rose to 68 F on Christmas Eve, 17 degrees higher than the previous record of 51 F set in 1957. The all-time warmest day prior to Thursday in Burlington was on Dec. 7, 1998 and Dec. 5, 1941 when it reached 67 F.

Some cities broke their record high just after midnight.

The warmth caused much of the Eastern states to not have a white Christmas. The only location able to enjoy a white Christmas was across northern Maine.

"Records also fell all along the Interstate 95 corridor from Boston through Washington, D.C.," Lada said.

High temperatures rose into the 70s on Christmas Eve along the Interstate 95 corridor from New York City to Washington, D.C. Boston was 1-degree shy of reaching the 70-degree mark.

This Christmas Eve caused many people to head outside without a jacket rather than being dressed in layers of long-sleeve shirts and heavy winter coats.

Similar to the warmth across the East during the middle of December, the jet stream pushed into Canada allowing warm air from the tropics to surge across the Eastern states.

The jet stream is a fast river of air in the upper levels of the atmosphere that separate the colder air to the north and the warmer air to the south.

The lack of a snow pack also allowed temperatures to rise very quickly, especially in areas of sunshine.

This overall mild trend will lead to this December being the warmest on record across many Eastern cities.

Through Christmas Eve, temperatures are more than 10 degrees above normal for the month across much of the Ohio Valley and Northeast.

After a slight cooldown from Christmas Day into Saturday, a push of milder air will build across the East on Sunday and will cause cities to challenge records yet again.

"New York City and Baltimore are some of the cities that could break records yet again on Sunday before a cold front washes away the warmth," Lada said.

A strong cold front will erase the warmth into the new week and drop temperatures to near-average values. This will set the stage for the first winter storm to target the Northeast with ice and snow during Monday night through Tuesday.

From Wednesday to the start of 2016, mild air will dominate once again.