How Friday’s forecast compares with the record highs and lows of Christmas past

From Caribou to Portland, last Christmas was among the warmest on record. But this year, the temperatures in Portland could flirt with the record high.

Portland’s record for a high temperature on Dec. 25 was 53 degrees, which happened both last year and 20 years before, in 1994, according to Nikki Becker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Gray.

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As of Thursday morning, the NWS was forecasting Christmas Day in Portland to be sunny, with highs around 52 degrees — just shy of the record. The coldest Christmas was in 1980, when lows hit -16 degrees, according to records kept since 1940.

What about the rest of Maine? Here are some facts, according to the NWS:

  • The warmest Caribou Christmases were in 1964, 2003 and 2014 when highs hit 48 degrees. The record low was observed in 1975, when the mercury plummeted to 26 degrees below zero. Fun fact: the only time that the high temperature never got above zero was in 1983, when it only hit 1 below, according to the records, which begin in 1939. It’s usually between 6 and 23 degrees on Christmas. This year, the high is forecasted to be 40 degrees.
  • Warmest Bangor Christmas? You guessed it: 2014, with a high of 54 degrees. The coldest — since 1925, when the NWS started keeping track — was in 1980, when it hit 17 below. It’s usually between 11 and 31 degrees on Christmas in Bangor. This year, highs are forecast to hit 51 degrees.

[Temperatures warm on unusually balmy Christmas Eve]

And as for that whole, “White Christmas” thing? The NWS actually calculated the odds for both Bangor and Caribou, including the chances we would see greater than one inch of snowfall on those days .

Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the editor of BDN Portland. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.