It's not uncommon for Floridians to be required to travel far to see snow on Christmas Day. This year, however, snow is almost in a different galaxy. The stars would have to align and it would be a Christmas miracle if anyone east of a line from Albuquerque to Minneapolis has snow on the ground on the 25th. Hundreds of record high temperatures have already been broken this month in the eastern half of the nation, and there's no sign that this trend will stop anytime soon.
El Niño is a certainly a contributing factor, but it's not the only reason for the warmth. Seasonal variability in other weather patterns across North America have also worked in tandem to keep the cold air bottled up over Canada. A stronger subtropical (southern) jet stream is forecast to develop during the week of Christmas, delivering quite a bit of precipitation to much of the East, but the warmer air will ensure most of it falls as rain. As explained in the video below, only a small portion of the U.S. east of the Rockies, mainly the Northern Plains and upper Great Lakes, are guaranteed a white Christmas this year. The rest of us will have to keep dreaming.