This year may bring the warmest Beaufort County Christmas in 141 years of recorded temperatures.
With projected highs of 81 degrees, December 25 is expected be 15 to 20 degrees warmer than average with weather better for a day at the beach than gathering around a yuletide fire.
If forecasters are proven right, the heat will break the area record high from 2008 of 80 degrees.
High pressure off the East Coast is causing the unseasonable weather by funneling warm air into the area, meteorologists at the National Weather Service Charleston said.
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The unusual weather pattern is expected to continue into early next week bringing near record highs until at least Sunday, the weather service reports.
The heat streak will round out what may be the hottest December on record in South Carolina.
The Christmas temperatures are part of a wave of record-setting warmth expected up and down the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine.
Temperatures are expected to be so unusually high, this Christmas Eve runs a chance of becoming the warmest ever recorded from Georgia to Maine, according to reports from AccuWeather meteorologists.
But though many in the Northeast may be disappointed without a white Christmas this year, holiday sunshine it's nothing new for Beaufort County.
There has only been one white Christmas on record here -- in 1989 -- since the National Weather Service's recordkeeping began in 1871.
The coldest local Christmas was set a few years earlier in 1983 with a record low of 10 degrees and a high of 27 degrees. It is still the fourth coldest day in recorded South Carolina history.
This year, the heat won't be the only rarity for Christmas.
On Christmas night expect a gift in nighttime sky. For the first time since 1977 and the last until 2034, NASA reports there will be a full moon on Christmas.
Graph: Historic highs and lows for the region
Tap or click lines for details. Small-screen users: Tap and drag chart to the left to see the full extent. You also can pinch and zoom for greater precision.
Follow reporter Erin Heffernan at twitter.com/IPBG_erinh.
- Remembering Beaufort County's white Christmas of 1989, December 23, 2009
- Holiday light displays in Beaufort County and surrounding areas, December 4, 2015
- Christmas holiday closings, December 23, 2015