Dry, mild conditions to grace Northeast in days leading up to Christmas

Renee Duff

Northeasterners will experience ideal weather for travel and last-minute shopping in the days leading up to Christmas.

But those hoping for wintry scenes around Dec. 25 will likely be disappointed.

Mainly dry weather is in store into the middle of this week with mild days and chilly nights.

"Much of the region will see sunshine increase and temperatures begin to rise early this week," AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert said.

The mild conditions will be a far cry from the windy, cold weather with snow squalls that the region endured during the middle of this past week.

Air originating from the Pacific Ocean is expected to thaw out the Northeast early this week after first warming up the middle the nation.

Highs will trend upward into the 40s and 50s by Monday afternoon, about 7-14 degrees Fahrenheit above average for this time of year.

Temperatures during late December typically range from the middle 20s over the northern tier to the upper 40s in the Chesapeake Bay region.

"In combination with the milder air, dry conditions will promote sunshine and even higher AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures," AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis said.

A slight press of cooler air will cause temperatures to dip closer to seasonable levels in most locations on Tuesday and Wednesday, but a repeat of last week's Arctic plunge is not in the cards over the Christmas holiday.

"On Christmas Eve, major cities in the Northeast, like Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, will still have high temperatures that are 5-10 degrees above normal for this time of year," Gilbert said.

"During the peak of last week's Arctic blast, these same cities only managed highs that were 10-15 degrees below normal," she added.

The snowpack from northern Pennsylvania to northern New England may be deep enough to survive the mild spell and last into Christmas morning.

For most residents of the Northeast, however, the idea of a white Christmas will be a dream only with little to no snow currently on the ground and no precipitation forecast into midweek.

Instead of gearing up for winter driving, the majority of motorists will simply need sunglasses for their journeys.

While a majority of the travel conditions will be uninterupted by the weather, there are some other tricky travel conditions that can develop even in mild weather patterns in the winter.

"People should use caution where fog is present during the late night and early morning hours," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"Don't assume that just because it was sunny and mild the day before that there can't be icy patches," he said. "The long nights can allow road surfaces to cool significantly so that any fog or drizzle early in the morning could create a black ice situation."

A weather-related multiple-vehicle pile-up occurred in southeastern Virginia during Sunday morning even though there were no storms with rain or snow in the vicinity.

Conditions like that which occurred in southeastern Virginia can be extremely isolated, which can add to the risk factor.

Airline passengers are unlikely to experience delays due to weather.

Beyond Christmas Day, AccuWeather meteorologists expect temperatures in the Northeast to be on a roller-coaster ride into the new year.

"This far out, it's a toss-up as to whether or not painful Arctic air blasts in by New Year's Eve or holds off a while longer," Sosnowski said.

The exact timing of a storm forecast to move into the East during the last days of December will be the key factor in determining where revelers will be bundling up or shedding layers as 2020 begins.

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