Warm at Last

Wind advisory in effect for Saturday; gusts could reach up to 60 mph

Winter-weary tri-staters are soaking up a day of unusually warm weather -- a brief reprieve before wind and cold come back to the area.

Temperatures are expected to climb into the low-to-mid 60s in Central Park today. New Yorkers on their lunch breaks took full advantage of the balmy break from a winter that has dumped some 5 feet of snow in the area.

"I love it -- it's the first time I've been able to sit and eat lunch in Bryant Park since October," said Kevin Fern. "I'm going to miss today, but spring will be here shortly."

In New Jersey, temperatures are expected to break into the high 60s. The above-normal temperatures could break several records around the state, the National Weather Service said.  

But enjoy the moment. Overnight lows in the city are expected in the mid 30s. Normal temperatures for mid-February are in the 40s. That cool weather is expected to return in the coming days, with snow possibly by Tuesday.

"The value of the nice weather is that it's in juxtaposition to the bad weather," said Joe Santo, a law student taking an outdoor break Friday afternoon. "If we knew it was going to be nice all the time, people would always just say 'I'll go out tomorrow.'"

The warm-up comes after the snowiest January on record in New York City. A little more than 36 inches of snow fell in the first month of 2011, burying the old mark of 27.4 inches.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued a wind advisory in effect from 3 a.m. Saturday to midnight Sunday for the city, Long Island, northeastern New Jersey, the lower Hudson Valley and southern Connecticut. The strong winds -- which could include gusts of up to 60 miles per hour tomorrow morning -- could make the chillier temperatures moving in feel even cooler.

Thus far, the average temperature for the month is 0.5 degrees below normal. The average temps in December and January were 4.5 degrees and 2.4 degrees below normal, respectively.
As always, check back with NBCNewYork.com for the latest weather forecasts, predictions, satellite images and severe weather alerts.

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