Despite clouds and showers, Atlanta could top 70 degrees this afternoon, which would be nearly 20 degrees above average for this time of year.
With an overall typical high of 54 degrees in December, I was curious how often Atlanta tops 70 degrees this late in the year.
Two 70-degree days each December
Atlanta typically has two 70-degree days each December -- that's when the high reaches at least 70 degrees.
December has the second-fewest number of 70-degree days each year after January, which typically only has one 70-degree-day.
70-degree-days in Atlanta by month
- Jan - 1 day
- Feb - 3 days
- Mar - 9 days
- Apr - 19 days
- May - 28 days
- June - 30 days
- July - 31 days
- Aug - 31 days
- Sept - 28 days
- Oct - 21 days
- Nov - 7 days
- Dec - 2 days
So far this December, we've already seen two 70-degree-days in Atlanta, not including the 70 degrees that's possible Sunday afternoon.
It's also rare to see 70's in the last few days of the year. Over the past 20 years, Atlanta has only hit 70 degrees twice from Dec. 29 (today) through Dec. 31 -- once in 2015 and 2018.
Why so warm?
The same weather system that's producing showers for us -- and winter weather further north -- is also responsible for our warmer temperatures.
Overnight clouds prevent temperatures from cooling off much, so we started Sunday in the 60's, which is about 30 degrees above average.
In addition to our warm start, warm air is also being pumped in ahead of our approaching cold front, which will help push temperatures to around 70 degrees today.
The warm weather will be short-lived. After our cold font moves through overnight, it's back to cold weather starting Monday to end 2019.