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Christmas Eve temperatures in Boston hit 66 degrees Thursday, a new record for the day and only a few degrees cooler than the readings this year on the Fourth of July.

On a day more often associated with snowflakes, the region's temperatures are decidedly springlike as Christmas travelers make their way toward holiday destinations. Temperature records fell Thursday in Worcester, Providence, and Hartford as well.

Boston's previous high for Christmas Eve was 61 degrees in 1996, according to the National Weather Service. And as temperatures continue to climb Thursday, they're coming closer to the 72-degree maximum temperature reported on July 4.

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If the warm weather is a reversal for Boston, other parts of the country are facing the same phenomenon in reverse. Temperatures were at 49 degrees in Los Angeles Thursday morning.

Boston had already tied another record Thursday morning: low temperatures overnight dropped only to 48 degrees, four degrees warmer than the previous low record set in 2003.

In Providence, temperatures reached a daily record high of 65 degrees at 4:25 a.m. The previous record was 64 degrees set last year. Worcester set a new record just after 11:30 a.m. with a reading of 66. The previous high temperature for the day was 57 in 1996, weather service meteorologist Bill Simpson said.

In the Hartford area, temperatures at Bradley International Airport reached 60 degrees just after noon. The previous high for the day was 59 degrees, set in both 1990 and 1996.

Boston is also on the verge of breaking another record. So far this December, temperatures were above 50 degrees for 16 days, matching the record set in 1953, the weather service said. Worcester has tied its record having seen 12 days above 50 degrees.

Christmas Day is expected to see temperatures in the upper 50s and 60s, mostly sunny and with calm winds.

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Scattered showers are expected to blow through Friday night and sprinkle the region through Sunday.

The warm weather could be on the way out, as snowflakes are predicted to be floating in the air as early as next week.

Temperatures will drop to the upper 30s on Monday and lower 40s Tuesday, Simpson said. Some snowfall will come with the change in temperature, but any flakes that fall in Greater Boston probably won't stick.

However, some snow could stick to the ground high in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, Simpson said.


John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this article.


Sarah Roberts can be reached at sarah.roberts@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @heysarahroberts