- Associated Press - Friday, December 25, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City broke its record Friday for the warmest Christmas, continuing a trend expected to last through the holiday weekend.

The National Weather Service said temperature readings at Central Park reached 66 degrees at 12:31 a.m. Friday, edging out the previous record of 64 degrees set in 1982.

In Islip on Long Island, a record 64 degrees topped the previous record of 56 degrees, set last year.

On Thursday, temperatures across the region soared into the 70s, with Central Park’s 72-degree peak smashing the previous record of 63 degrees set in 1996.

The warmth sent people into the streets in T-shirts and shorts and allowed those driving convertibles to lower the tops before they cruised past holiday tree-selling merchants and Christmas displays.

At Rockaway Beach, winter seemed more like summer as two dozen surfers mostly went without winter hoods and gloves as they maneuvered through nearly 5-foot waves.

“It’s ungodly warm out there,” said Mike Reinhardt, owner of Locals Surf School. “I’m overheating.”

High temperatures also continued in upstate New York, where mid-afternoon temperatures Friday reached 58 degrees in Albany, 47 degrees in Buffalo and 50 degrees in Syracuse.

At the weather service bureau in Upton, meteorologist Faye Barthold said temperatures were expected to be 10 degrees cooler Saturday in the New York metropolitan area, but that’s still 10 degrees warmer than normal.

After a warmer day Sunday, cooler air was expected to bring temperatures to the seasonably normal lower 40s by Monday, with a chance of snow Tuesday north of New York City, she said.

“But that will transition to rain rather quickly,” Barthold said.

Typically, temperatures in December average just below 39 degrees. This year, they averaged over 50 degrees. Higher-than-usual temperatures were projected to continue through January.

“The warmth is obviously the big story,” she said.

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