Does record warmth in the beginning of December mean a warm winter?
What a December day. Records not only set here in Washington but across the country from Iowa to North Carolina. Look at these afternoon temperatures. Sure more at home in October than December.
So now you might be wondering, does this record start to December mean a "mild" winter? Remember that "winter" for weather and climate records are the months December, January and February. Let's go to the records as they say. I looked at the record high temperatures set in the first 10 days of December. Today was a record 71°
Remember December 1998? We set 3 record highs in that first week of December so I only counted 1998 once. So 8 years with record highs for the first 10 days of December. Four times those record warm December days were followed by a "mild" winter. The winter of 2001-2002 following the record high 75° on December 5 was 5 degrees above average!
But there were also 4 winters, following record highs in early December than were colder than average!! The record high of 74° on December 8, 1978 was followed by a winter almost 3° colder than average.
So the answer, just looking at the record books is NO-record highs in the beginning of December DO NOT mean a mild winter will follow. You'll just have to stay tuned and to most of us, it still looks like an average to even a bit colder than average colder winter. Still many days ahead snow lovers.