Old Man Winter is being held hostage, bound and gagged somewhere in northern Canada. The polar vortex has been frozen in place this "winter."

I can't believe I'm tracking the rain-snow line, still high above Minnesota, in late December. The maps look more like late March.

Why? El NiƱo, the Arctic Oscillation, hot air rising above the U.S. Capitol? It's probably a combination of factors, all conspiring to keep our weather tracking in from Seattle, not the Yukon. Many are just fine with Perpetual March, if not a wee bit unnerved.

December is 14-18F warmer than average, statewide. For perspective: International Falls has yet to see a subzero low.

The average high now is 26F, but highs reach 40F Tuesday and early Wednesday. Christmas Eve looks dry, but a storm may push rain into the metro Christmas Day with snow in central and northern Minnesota, maybe even plowable. Otherwise, the mild weather continues.

Old Man Winter has been kidnapped.