NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Forget ice skating and tobogganing. This year, outdoor grilling, golfing and children frolicking in T-shirts and shorts, skipping rope and playing soccer were far more common activities in the Northeast in December.
Temperature records were shattered across the region, according to the National Weather Service, which has released some preliminary month-end numbers.
In New York City, the average temperature in Central Park was 51, or 13.3 degrees higher than normal for the month.
The city also saw its warmest Christmas on record, with temperatures in Central Park hitting 66 degrees Christmas day. The previous record was 64 degrees in 1982.
Burlington, Vermont is running about 6 degrees above the old record for the average temperature for the month.
The average temperature in Boston for the month was 45.4 degrees, or nearly 11 degrees above normal, according to numbers through Wednesday. The previous warmest December on record was 2006 when the average was 41 degrees.
Concord, New Hampshire, bested a record of 35.4 degrees that had stood since 1891. Portland, Maine, beat a record of 34.8 from 2001. Both cities were running about 3 to 4 degrees ahead of the old records as the year drew to a close.
In Providence, Rhode Island, the temperature reached 50 degrees on 21 December days, shattering the previous record of 13 days.
“A few days of 50-degree weather in December is not unusual, what was so unusual this year is that it was such a prolonged pattern of warmer weather,” said Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Some people loved the warmth.
“Insane — it’s really insane,” Raymond Kay of Dyker Heights said earlier this month. “I’m not even wearing a jacket; nobody’s wearing a jacket.”
“Got to enjoy it,” said Mario Pedernera. “Kids are running around in the backyard, having a lot of fun — it’s much better than being out here with the snowplow, that’s for sure.”
While others, including those who rely on the cold to make a living, loathed it.
“It’s depressing,” said Tony Rinaldi of Ski Campgaw in Mahwah. “But you know what? It’s nature, and nature has a way of paying us back. And I think this year is going to be a nice, long end to the season like last year was.”
But winter enthusiasts needn’t worry, said Simpson.
“At least the first two or three weeks of January are going to be more normal,” he said.
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