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66 degrees sets a record high for Christmas Eve

Buffalo broke another weather record Thursday when the temperature reached 66 degrees shortly after midnight, eclipsing the old mark of 59 degrees set Dec. 24, 1964.

And that followed yet another record set Wednesday, when the high reached 65.

And you want a white Christmas?

Don’t plan on it.

In fact, you have to go back a few years to find a Christmas one would expect for Buffalo.

Last Christmas, there was no snow on the ground – at least at the airport – and there were severe thunderstorm warnings and temperatures that rose to a high of 43 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Only 2 inches of snow was on the ground for the Christmas of 2013, and just 1 inch had fallen on Dec. 25, 2012.


GALLERY: The snowstorm of December 2001


In 2011, there was no snow on the ground Christmas morning and only a trace fell throughout the day, said meteorologist Steve Welch.

The record for Dec. 25. came in 2001, when there was 19 inches of snow on the ground, Welch said.

And remember Christmas 2002? That’s when 8.4 inches of snow fell, the highest snowfall total recorded on Christmas Day in Buffalo.

This Christmas, it’s rain in the forecast, with a high in the upper 40s.

“It is going to cool down, because we do have a cold front that’s approaching our area,” Welch said Thursday. “Throughout this morning, we’re going to see a drop in temperatures. There’s a chance of showers today with that front going through.”

“It’s going to get sunnier as today goes on and as well as tomorrow, too,” he said.

As much as a half-inch of rain is forecasted for the area from mid-day Saturday through Sunday.

“Monday is going to be a cool day with a high right around freezing,” Welch said. “There’s a chance of snow showers Monday night, but it’s not looking like anything major.”

There will be one unusual occurrence this Christmas: A full moon, which will be at its fullest at 6:11 a.m.