Forget the white stuff. The day after Christmas brought the hot stuff to Charleston.
The temperature in the capital city reached 73 degrees on Monday, the highest temperature ever recorded here for that date, according to the National Weather Service. The old record was 70 degrees, set in 1940. The normal high temperature for Dec. 26 in Charleston is 43 degrees.
At least two other West Virginia cities set record highs, according to the weather service. The temperature in Huntington reached 74 degrees, breaking the old record of 69 degrees, also set in 1940. Parkersburg reached 70 degrees, breaking its Dec. 26 mark of 64 degrees, which was set just last year.
“The pattern this year kept the cold air bottled up for the most part in Canada,” said John Victory, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston. “Most of our air masses are coming right across the country straight off the Pacific Ocean.”
Victory said indications from the weather service’s Climate Prediction Center are that the warm winter weather will continue — for the most part.
“Every once in a while, we’ll have a cold air mass break loose and come down, like this Thursday and Friday, when we’re expecting some snow showers,” he said. “But we’ll be right back to rain on the weekend.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month that 2016 was on track to be the hottest year on Earth since records have been kept. The average temperature across the planet was 59.15 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA. Scientists overwhelmingly blame human-induced climate change for the planet’s warming.
The last three years — 2014, 2015 and 2016 — will be the hottest on record in some order, NOAA scientists said. Since 2000, Earth has set 42 monthly records for heat.