We’ve been talking about how warm this December has been compared to average, and that trend will hold true as we head into the Christmas holidays. While we will see temperatures closer to normal during the start of the week, we quickly warm back up over the second half of this week, and by Christmas Eve, temperatures are back to around 15° above normal. By Christmas Day, temperatures will be between 17-25° above normal!
Pretty much every model and forecasting tool we have points to a strong upper-level ridge developing across the Southeast Friday into the weekend, and another round of anomalously warm temperatures. CIPS Analog data also shows a strong signal towards abnormal warmth.
These maps are based on how ensemble forecast models are projecting the atmosphere will look several days out, and projecting based on previous times the atmosphere looked similar how temperatures behaved. All signs point toward the warmest Christmas in North Alabama since 2016, when we set the record for warmest Christmas Day in Huntsville with a high temperature of 77°.
Huntsville has only reached 70° or more on Christmas Day 6 times since good records were kept, but we’ll be very close to that mark again on Christmas Day.
Right now, we’ve got the forecast high just a degree shy of 70° (we’re forecasting we’d hit 70° or more in the Shoals), but we’ll continue to fine-tune the forecast as we head through this week.