Thursday’s high temperature fell short of breaking Portland’s 58-year-old record for the warmest Christmas Eve, but a forecaster at the National Weather Service predicted that temperatures on Christmas Day have the potential to surpass the all-time high for the date.

The high of 48 degrees recorded at the Portland International Jetport around 5 p.m. Thursday was five degrees short of the record of 53 degrees, set in 1957.

Meteorologist Eric Schwibs said a combination of dense fog that shrouded the coastline and a layer of cold ocean air kept the warmer air aloft and prevented the record from being broken.

However, he said Friday’s high temperature in Portland is expected to be in the low to mid-50s, putting the city’s Christmas Day record of 53 degrees – set last year – in jeopardy.

“We have a decent chance at the record on Friday,” Schwibs said. “It’s not a guarantee, but if I were a betting man, I’d say we will.”

Other parts of Maine and New England had warmer conditions than Portland on Thursday. The high in Fryeburg reached 60 degrees on Thursday night. Schwibs said the high in Berlin, New Hampshire, was 66.

The Associated Press reported that parts of Massachusetts reached 70 degrees, and Boston and Worcester set records for the date. By midafternoon, the temperature in Boston had soared to 68 degrees, breaking the previous record of 61.

In Montpelier, Vermont, the National Weather Service reported a high temperature of 68 degrees, smashing the previous record of 51.

Through Monday this week, Portland’s daily high temperature in December averaged 47.1 degrees, roughly 10 degrees above normal.

Last December averaged 40.3 degrees. Two years ago, the daily average for December was 31.5 degrees.

Schwibs said Portland has not had any measurable snow in December, but the forecast now includes snow early next week.

“The potential for plowable snow on Tuesday is definitely there,” he said.

The Portland area could have 3 or more inches on the ground by Tuesday afternoon, he said. “That is going to be a shock for some people.”

Portland has gone so long without snow this season that it’s not far from another record.

The National Weather Service says the latest date for the season’s first measurable snowfall is Jan. 16. That occurred in 2000. Measurable snow is considered to be 0.1 inch or more.

Until this year, the second-latest first snowfall in the past century came on Dec. 24 – way back in 1912.

Portland’s average for snowfall in December is 13.2 inches, according to the weather service.

Schwibs said the region will warm up quickly after Tuesday so by the end of next week, the snow will probably have melted.