The calendar says March, but it felt more like May in New York City today.
The temperature in Central Park soared to 77°F, setting a new record high for the date. It crushed the old record of 69°F that was set in 2000.
The last time the city saw a temperature in the 70s, oddly enough, was on Christmas Eve. But, that tells you how warm this winter has been. Last year, the first 70°F reading did not show up until April 15th. Our normal high for this time of year is 47°F.
Another record could fall on Thursday if the temperature climbs above 74°F. The forecast high is 76°F.
The primary driver of this unseasonable warmth is El Niño. Acting with global warming as a backdrop, it has produced a large ridge in the jet stream over the eastern part of the country that is allowing warm air from the south to flow further north than it normally would in early March.
Cooler conditions are expected to return by the weekend, but temperatures will still be above average for this point in the season.