72°F day breaks record in New York

The New York Times: Hundreds of tourists and locals packed the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center yesterday, pretending that it really was a cold, snowy day in January as they circled beneath the giant Christmas tree.

In Brooklyn, eight members of a cold-water-braving organization known as the Coney Island Polar Bear Club walked toward the waves, some wearing nothing but swim trunks.

The only thing that ruined this winter imagery was the temperature, which reached a record-breaking 72 degrees (22.2°C) in Central Park yesterday.

The warm spell shattered records around the city and the state as well as throughout New Jersey and Connecticut.

In Central Park, the high temperature at 1:37 p.m. — 72 degrees — broke the date’s previous high of 63 degrees in 1950, the National Weather Service reported.

It was the highest temperature recorded in the park in January since record-keeping began in the late 1800s, sharing that distinction with a 72-degree high on Jan. 26, 1950.

In Bridgeport, Conn., the weather service said, the high of 68 was 15 degrees above the previous record, in 1949; and in Newark, the high of 72 was 11 degrees over the old mark, from 1950.