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New Yorkers enjoy spring-like weather on first day of winter

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CONEY ISLAND (PIX11) — The first official day of winter felt more like the first day of spring, with temperatures hovering around 60 in the New York area and Sunday will be even warmer.

“It’s very unexpected, and very welcome,” said Katy Helfrich, who was in Brooklyn visiting from Baltimore.

Saturday afternoon’s 62 degree reading in Central Park is more normal for the third week of April.

Ice actually began melting at the new Prospect Park skating complex which opened on Friday.

The rides were motionless at Coney Island, but there was plenty of activity on the beach.

John Wyszniewski was playing Frisbee with one son, while his other was building a sandcastle.

“It’s an odd warm day.  But it’s a great way to start the Christmas vacation because it’s going to get cold next week,” Wyszniewski said.

Members of Coney Island’s famous Polar Bear Club will be taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday.  It won’t be much of a warm-up for their big act on New Year’s Day.  That’s when they take the plunge into
typically frigid water, and walk out into the cold air.