It’s 70 Degrees on Christmas Eve

It's warm today. It's going to be warm tomorrow. Start dreaming of a white-hot Christmas.

National Weather Service forecast - Christmas Eve - 75 degrees in Philadelphia

National Weather Service forecast for Christmas Eve, 2015.

Sorry, Irving Berlin. Your dreams of a White Christmas have turned into this nightmare: It’s going to be warmer than 70 degrees today in Philadelphia, and tomorrow will be approaching 70 as well. The National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly reports Philadelphia hit 70 yesterday, smashing the record of 66 set in 1990, and Philadelphia has already broken today’s record of 64 (set last year).

So why is it so warm? It’s a combination of two factors: The Arctic Oscillation is trapping cold air to the north of us, while an exceptionally strong El Niño (Spanish for “The Niño”).

The Arctic Oscillation, per the NOAA, is a “climate pattern characterized by winds circulating counterclockwise around the Arctic at around 55°N latitude.” When it’s in a positive phase, the colder air that would usually come down from Canada (the country’s chief export) is trapped up there. As a result, even southern Canada is warmer this year! El Niño is a term for unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. (The opposite is La Niña.)

So are we getting a break anytime soon? Not really. We might even get scattered thunderstorms today, like it’s the springtime instead of the day before Christmas.

It’s weird and all — and climate change could eventually do things like kill Christmas trees in the Southwest U.S. — but please take advantage of it at little at least. Wear a Santa hat with shorts!

But don’t get too comfortable: Ice is in the forecast for next week.