Northeast in midst of holiday heat wave

It's easy to get distracted from putting Christmas lights up when you realize that it’s 60 degrees outside and getting hotter.

The Northeast is in the middle of a holiday heat wave that may last through Christmas and beyond.

In fact, central New Jersey temperatures reached about 74 degrees Monday. 

"For the next three to four weeks it does not look like there is any cold air locking into this area of the nation," says NJ State Climatologist David Robinson. "Plus," he adds, "we're going to have to start looking pretty soon at whether December is going to be a record-setter."

On the phone at his Rutgers University office, Robinson credits a polar jet stream that has been shutting cold air out of the region while inviting warmer Southern air in.  "And when the sun comes out, there's still enough solar energy at this time of the year to bring temperatures into the '60s and '70s."

Tony Schiavone of Seasonal World in Clarksburg says his teams are still installing swimming pools, while normally they would have stopped weeks ago. 

And the weather, he says, is a huge factor in the Christmas goods business, since people’s hands aren't freezing and it's not so hard to go up on a ladder to hang wreaths and string lights when it's warmer.

There’s officially 10 days ‘til Christmas and it’s pushing 70 degree weather in NJ, it’s Florida displaced.

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