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Record Highs Smashed Across East Coast, Midwest Saturday


Christmas Day may only be 13 days away, but it’s feeling a lot more like spring rather than the middle of December along the East Coast.

Record high temperatures were smashed from Indianapolis, Indiana to New York City to Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday as unseasonably warm temperatures overtook a huge swath of the eastern third of the country.

Memphis soared to 74° on Saturday, Indianapolis and Cleveland, Ohio reached 67°, and New York City (at LaGuardia Airport in Queens) hit 65°, placing those four cities amongst at least 28 different locations that hit unofficial record highs as of early Saturday afternoon. More records were likely to be broken as the day wore on.

For context on the warmth compared to seasonable averages, New York City’s official low was 55° on Saturday morning, a full 11° above the city’s average December 12th high temperature of 44°. Paducah, Kentucky reached its record high of 68° at midnight, an extremely rare circumstance as records are usually broken during peak heating in the middle-to-end portion of the daytime.

A warm southerly flow around an area of high pressure centered just off the East Coast is funneling the unseasonably mild air northward into the Ohio River valley and into the Northeast, a pattern that’s been in place for much of the past week.

However, a sharp cold front and associated low pressure center moving eastward are expected to drop temperatures considerably Sunday and into Monday across the region, with cooler temperatures behind the front expected by the start of the work week.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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