Mason Voudrie takes in the first day of winter at Piedmont Park Wednesday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Will this be the hottest Christmas Day on record in metro Atlanta?

Unless the forecast for metro Atlanta changes between now and Sunday, this could be one of the warmest Christmas Days on record.

The high is expected to reach 68 degrees in Atlanta, and it’s likely to be even hotter south of the city. 

So when was it this hot on Christmas Day? Well, remember 2015?

According to the National Weather Service, last year’s high of 75 degrees set the all-time record for Dec. 25, at least since 1878 when records were kept for the first time.

Since we could eclipse some records this holiday weekend, here’s a look back at what was happening in the years that produced the five warmest Christmas Days locally:

2015 (75 degrees): OK, so it was only 12 months ago, but it’s worth revisiting anyway. That heatwave, ironically, followed the historic global climate change pact in Paris and came six days before the death of singer Natalie Cole. December 2015 also featured the now-famous comment from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump about banning Muslim travel to the United States. That will probably sink his campaign, right?

1987 (72 degrees): Two months before Christmas, plenty of people on Wall Street were feeling the heat when the stock market plunged 508 points in one day. It was also the year “The Simpsons” debuted (as a short on “The Tracey Ullman Show”) and the year Margaret Thatcher continued her reign as British Prime Minister by winning her third straight election.

Jefferson Davis died in 1889, just over 20 years after the end of the Civil War. (Credit: Library of Congress)

1889 (72 degrees): Some people are still hot about Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who died in 1889, being on Stone Mountain. That same year, Benjamin Harrison became the 23rd president of the United States, succeeding Grover Cleveland. And the Kentucky Derby, still going strong these days, was already crowning its 15th champion (Spokane).

Katharine Hepburn took home an Oscar in 1982. (Credit: Associated Press)

1982 (71 degrees): The warm Christmas was likely reported by USA Today, which made its debut in September of that year. In November, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated. And the Academy Award for best actress that year went to ... Katharine Hepburn for “On Golden Pond.” One of the actresses she beat out was Meryl Streep. Hopefully that setback didn’t derail her career. 

1955 (70 degrees): A new CBS show, “Gunsmoke,” turned up the heat on TV that year, while a 42-year-old woman from Alabama named Rosa Parks turned up the heat on those who opposed civil rights. And in case you weren’t around in 1955, you can always see what it was like when TBS or TNT airs “Back to the Future” for the thousandth time during the holidays.

Rosa Parks has often been called the “first lady of civil rights.” (Credit: Associated Press)