Central Park hit an almost record high of 66 degrees on Wednesday, sending New Yorkers into the streets in T-shirts and shorts on a day when temperatures would normally be around 40 degrees Celsius. The last time it got this hot on January 4th, it was 1950.
During the December holidays, the weather was a bit of a whiplash: on Christmas Eve, temperatures hovered in the single digits as the Arctic weather boom battered air travel across much of the country.
But on New Year’s Day, the cold drizzle had given way to clear skies and pleasant temperatures in the 50s. Swimmers from all over the city gathered on Coney Island for the annual Polar Bear Dive, which feels noticeably less arctic than a typical year. The revelers in costumes and festive outfits gleamed as the sun shone on them.
“This is very unusual,” said Bryan Ramsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “What made it so interesting was what we saw just before Christmas – it was way below average – so it was really interesting to see that swing.”
However, he added that he will soon be returning to business as usual in the Nw York area. “The temperature is expected to drop to 30 degrees in the coming days,” he said.