NEW YORK (PIX11) – In the middle of Bryant Park, a Zamboni circled around and around on the surface of the newly built ice skating rink in what the facility and its sponsor call the Bank of America Winter Village. Friday was the official opening date of the ice rink, and, despite the Zamboni driver’s best efforts, there were pools of water over the surface of the ice.
“We’ll see what the weather does,” said Dan Biederman, the president of the Bryant Park Corporation. “We need about five or ten degrees. …Lower.”
Biederman took in stride the fact that on Opening Day for the ice rink that’s the centerpiece of his park, the temperature was much higher than twice what it takes to freeze the ice that skaters had lined up to enjoy by the official opening time of 3:00 P.M.
Ironically, many people in line at Bank of America Winter Village were just wearing light shirts and pants. A jacket — let alone a coat — was simply not required in the mid-70-degree warmth.
No matter what the temperature, however, the skating at Winter Village is free of charge, that is, when it’s cold enough to skate, which it barely was at opening time. That changed throughout the day Friday.
Meanwhile, just three blocks away from the newly constructed Bryant Park ice center, there had been pandemonium mid morning. “Big scene, everybody was running, screaming,” said Segundo Maldonado.
He’d witnessed the collapse of a construction shed that had stretched across the front of a building on 40th Street at Seventh Avenue. The structure that was in place as part of a renovation of the ground level of 561 Seventh Avenue.
High winds apparently caused the collapse of steel supports and wood that fell onto three pedestrians. Around 10:30 Friday morning, a cold front blew in, that had packed wind gusts up to 50 miles an hour. None of the injuries in the incident was life threatening.
Even though the weather was unusually warm and windy, it wasn’t necessarily abnormal, according to meteorologist Michael Schlacter, the founder and chief meteorologist at Weather2000. It forecasts and analyzes long-term weather trends.
Schlacter said in an email, “This is… not a recent phenomenon. We have examples of both Halloween and November 1st Highs in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s on numerous occasions going back 125 years.”
He also said that while long term data generally shows our region and our planet getting warmer, a November 1st high of 70 degrees (which it was, officially, in Central Park) “is nothing rare, extreme, or especially notable.”
Friday’s temperature was still well above the average high. While the day’s warmth was unusual, it was not abnormal.
Saturday’s forecast calls for mid- to upper-60s temps — about 10-15 degrees above average — and pleasant.
The marathon forecast for Sunday is good for runners. The 49 degree high and sunshine are excellent for a race. And for skating. Sunday night’s low is forecast to be 35 degrees, just above the freezing point.