Red Christmas: December Heat Waves Keep Coming

December 21, 2021

Washington Post:

If you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, it’s probably time to throw in the towel. Most of the Lower 48 will be looking at a spike in temperatures over the coming days that could send highs some 30 degrees or more above normal. In many spots, the weather on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be more reminiscent of a typical Easter.

The upcoming warm pulse will be the fourth to take the reins of the nation’s weather this month. The first, which occurred early in December, shattered temperature records in four states. Violent weather, including deadly tornadoes in Kentucky and a record-setting derecho in the central states, accompanied the second and third, respectively.

While this upcoming shot of mildness may bring welcome springlike conditions in some spots, it reinforces the connection between human-induced climate change and the incidence of warm temperatures in the wintertime. Heat extremes have outpaced cold records at a rate greater than 2 to 1 this year, and the holidays are a time of year when that warming is especially pronounced.

Already, the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center is sounding the alarm that the warmth could brew severe weather early next week, writing, “The quality and spatial extent [of the warmth] for late December bears watching.”

For my next video, I’ll be looking at Fox’s new Weather service – recently launched. The question arises, how does Fox report on extreme weather events as we progress rapidly on the path to unfamiliar and unprecedented conditions. Below, Fox Meteorologists display deer-in-headlights affect as they discuss the recent Minnesota Derecho + Tornado with a National Weather service expert.


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