The calendar may say it’s December, but mother nature is not playing along. The stateline area saw temperatures above-average in the month of November, and the warmth has spread into December.
Just how warm has it been?
November averages a high temperature of 48 degrees. In 2015, 19 days rose above the average. But what about December? The average high in December is 33 degrees, but temperatures this year have surpassed that number every single day.
Meteorologists are crediting a strong El Nino for the record warmth. El Nino means “little boy, or Christ child” in Spanish, and refers to a storm pattern created when waters of the Pacific Ocean warm significantly.
Rockford is expected to break some record high temperatures this weekend.
“There will be records in jeopardy. It’s possible that we could see record [highs] over the next few days. If anything, there’s going to be probably a record stretch of days above 50,” says David Beachler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chicago.
With the abnormally warm weather has come an increase in outdoor activities. Elliot Golf Course, as well as local parks, have seen an influx of people enjoying the weather.
“Everything in the Park District benefits, whether it’s golf courses, dog parks, [or] the conservatory with the beautiful lights,” says Steve Moore, Director of Instruction at the Rockford Park District.
“I feel like our activity downtown has [seen] a lot more people out and about, just with the warmer temperatures,” Bath & Body Fusion owner Jennifer Lancaster said.
The extremely mild weather is expected to last into early next week before we see a more seasonal pattern settle in.