Warm weather across the U.S. kicks off winter

Warm kickoff to winter across the U.S. 00:55

CHICAGO -- Winter begins on Monday night, but you wouldn't know it.

In the Eastern half of the country, temperatures soared into the 50s and 60s.

CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz is in Chicago, which on Monday night is the "Balmy City."

There may only be four days until Christmas, but it feels like early fall.

Temperatures around the U.S. CBS News

On Monday, the high in Chicago was 54 degrees. On this day last year, the high was 36 degrees.

The warm winter has kept a non-refrigerated ice rink in Chicago closed, and even tricked some flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden to bloom early.

In cities like St. Louis, New York, and Boston, temperatures all topped 50 degrees on Monday. It was around 20 degrees higher than this time last year.

The warm weather has cooled demand for hats, scarves and coats. Retail analysts tell CBS News the apparel industry lost more than $400 million so far this season.

A woman walks dogs during an unusually warm winter day in the Brooklyn borough of New York December 15, 2015. REUTERS

Eric Fisher, the chief meteorologist at our CBS Station in Boston, WBZ, says dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of weather records, will be set this week.

Fisher has the Christmas week forecast here:

How long will the warm weather stick around? 01:01