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The calendar shows it’s late December, but on Friday it felt more like early April as Lawrence set a new record high temperature for Dec. 26.
Downtown Lawrence was swarming with after-Christmas shoppers as the official temperature at Lawrence Municipal Airport reached 67 degrees. It was well above the old record of 61 degrees set on that date just three years ago.
“It’s not out of the ordinary, but obviously it’s on the high side for this time of year,” 6News Chief Meteorologist Matt Elwell said.
Temperatures will drop today and next week into the 40s and 50s, but that’s a far cry from the frigid teens and single-digit readings in the days before Christmas. There also is a chance for a rain-and-snow mix today, but no accumulation is expected, Elwell said.
“What’s eye-opening to me is we’re seeing these very large shifts from extreme cold to record highs,” Elwell said. “I think we’re getting into average or above-average weather, basically into New Year’s Day. It’s a pretty interesting setup.”
So far this December, the lowest temperature was 2 below zero on Dec. 17.
Elwell said the average high temperature in Lawrence for December is 40 degrees and the average low is 22 degrees. Those are the kinds of temperatures that are in the forecast for New Year’s Eve. Elwell said Wednesday calls for a partly cloudy skies with a high of 42 degrees and an overnight low of 23.