If the holiday cheer wasn’t warming enough, Mother Nature took care of the rest Friday, when a mass of warm air brought record temperatures to Portland.

Meanwhile, Bangor tied its previous record high for Christmas Day.

The unprecedented warmth is part of an extended weather pattern that is likely to give Maine and the rest of the Eastern U.S. above-normal temperatures for weeks to come, according to meteorologists.

In Portland, Friday’s high reached 62 degrees, recorded at 2:37 p.m. at the Portland International Jetport, according to Nikki Becker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray.

That smashed the previous Christmas Day record high of 54, which was reached last year and before that in 1994.

Bangor reached a record high of 54 on Friday, tying the previous record set on Christmas Day last year. Millinocket reached a record high of 53, surpassing its previous high of 51 set in 2003.

The spring-like temperatures and clear skies will not hold, however. Rain is expected late Saturday night and into Sunday in Portland. North of the city, as temperatures drop, the precipitation could freeze in some areas. Farther north, a dusting of snow is possible, as well.

Colder weather is expected starting Sunday, when a high of 41 is forecast in the Portland area. Temperatures will drop further to a high of 33 on Monday, and they will descend below freezing to around 30 degrees into Tuesday.

Snow is expected on Tuesday, but it is unclear yet how much the Portland area will receive, Becker said.

If southern Maine does receive snow next week, there is a good chance it won’t remain on the ground for long, said meteorologist Eric Schwibs, also with the National Weather Service office in Gray. That’s because the prolonged weather pattern that has been carrying warmer-than-usual air into Maine and other East Coast states from the south and west is projected to continue into the foreseeable future.

For the first three weeks of December, Maine communities from Portland to Fort Kent experienced record high mean temperatures. So did cities in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and elsewhere.

The jet stream has been pushing warm air up through the eastern states and has prevented colder, Arctic air from reaching places such as New England, Schwibs said.

“All the cold air has been basically well to our north and west,” he said.

Schwibs noted that Portland has never experienced a winter without measurable snow, but he said the general conditions that have helped keep southern Maine so mild this winter are expected to persist.

“There are no signs in the extended models of it really changing,” he said.

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