Christmas Eve may wrap up warm, wet weather records in U.S.

(Reuters) - Santa may want to install air conditioning and heavy-duty wiper blades on his sleigh for his Christmas Eve ride into what U.S. weather forecasters say may be record-breaking warmth and wet.

Along the East Coast, absurdly warm weather was expected to shatter records on Thursday including in Washington, D.C., where a forecasted high of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) may top the record of 69 F (21 C) set in 1933, said meteorologist Richard Bann of the National Weather Service.

Thermometers will appear out of whack in Portland, Maine, where the forecasted 59 F (15 C) could melt the previous record of 53 F (12 C) set in 1957, Bann said.

“It looks like the Eastern Seaboard, from Florida into New England, has the potential to set records for Christmas Eve,” he said. “There will be no snow on Christmas. It’s just too warm over the Eastern U.S. to have any snow.”

The same weather pattern that drives up the mercury in the East is causing torrential rains in the Pacific Northwest, he said. While late November through early December is typically the wettest time of the year in the Pacific Northwest, this season has been abnormally drenching.

In Oregon, record rains this month have caused three deaths, mudslides and evacuations.

“We just continue to get day after day of rain,” said meteorologist Colby Neuman of the National Weather Service.

December is not over yet but Oregon’s Portland International Airport has already broken a 75-year record for the most rain ever measured in a month: 13.5 inches (34 cm) so far.

In Oregon City, a Portland suburb, authorities evacuated two apartment complexes on Monday, due to dangers posed by a nearby landslide, police said.

A dry end to the week is predicted for Friday and Saturday, but another storm is forecast for next week, Neuman added.

Washington state is similarly soggy, with Seattle receiving more than 9 inches (23 cm) of rain so far this month, the National Weather Service said.

Reporting by Shelby Sebens in Portland, Eric Johnson in Seattle and Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish