It's beginning to look a lot like - summer.

Don't let the 80-degree weather fool you. Saturday marked the first day of winter and Christmas is, indeed, around the corner.

No, snow flurries didn't dance over Charleston to ring in the occasion. Unfortunately for the locals who were holding out hope, it's safe to say a white Christmas is out of the question this year.

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Rowley, warm air out of the tropics is to blame for the area's recent temperature spike.

"This part of the country looks more like July or August than it does December. This happens from time to time, but it's not your usual winter weather, that's for sure," Rowley said.

Andy Jonjevic, 64, said he didn't mind the warm weather.

The Michigan native spent his Saturday shirtless with a fishing rod in hand on the Folly Beach pier.

"Where else can you stand with your shirt off and tan right before Christmas," Jonjevic said. "I love it, goodness gracious. Compared to Michigan, we could go three months without even seeing the sun."

The Lowcountry's warm climate is just one reason why Jonjevic said he plans to retire here. He's also enamored of the charming demeanor of Charleston's locals.

In the remaining days before Christmas, Jonjevic said he hopes to attend an oyster roast and maybe visit a few gardens with his wife. Beats shoveling 20 inches of snow like his friends back home, he said.

In an outing to Marion Square, Trent Pierce, 45, of Charleston, took advantage of Saturday's sunny skies by teaching a group of boys a thing or two about tossing a football.

Pierce let the pigskin fly, raising his arms in triumph when the ball landed in one of the boy's hands.

The city's official Christmas tree stood tall in the background.

"It doesn't have to snow, but I need a nip in the air to remind me it's Christmas," Pierce said.

The group of boys, who were visiting from Virginia for the holidays, nodded in agreement.

"It feels like June," 11-year-old Matt Hardwick said.

His cousin, 16-year-old Alex Benjack said the warmer weather benefited his game.

"It's colder in Virginia so we'd have to wear jeans. You can't really run that fast in jeans," Benjack said.

Today's forecast calls for highs around 80, except in the mid 70s near the coast, according to the National Weather Service. Lows will be around 60.

A slight chance of storms is expected tonight with wind gusts up to 30 mph.

According to Rowley, temperatures are likely to drop in time for Christmas thanks to a winter storm that's headed east.

"Monday's temperatures will still be well above normal, but a cold front is in the process of moving in the area. The big change will be late Monday night, early Tuesday," Rowley said.

Christmas will bring sunny skies with 50-degree highs, the Weather Service reports. Lows will be in the upper 30s.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at