Weather NYC: Christmas is the warmest on record

This Christmas was officially the warmest on record for New York City.

Just past midnight Friday, a temperature of 66 degrees broke a record of 64 degrees set in 1982, the National Weather Service said. 

While it certainly wasn’t as warm as Christmas Eve — the high was 71, breaking the previous record of 63 set in 1996 — it was still warm enough for people to skip heavy coats and crack windows open.

While a white Christmas did not happen, New Yorkers woke to a foggy Christmas instead. There was a 30-50% chance of rain throughout Christmas afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service said.

Temperatures are predicted to drop slightly on Saturday, with highs in the mid 50s. 

Overall, this December may be one of the warmest on record, the National Weather Service’s David Stark said earlier in the week, with the average temperature at 50 degrees. That’s far above one of the warmest Decembers on record, in 2001, when the average was 44 degrees.

But he said the warm weather doesn’t portend mild temperatures until spring.

“It has been very warm,” Stark said, but “just because December is warm, doesn’t mean the rest of winter is going to play that way.”

He said a storm developing across the plains is pushing winds around, down to the southern United States and Gulf of Mexico, where a mass of warm air is making its way up to the Northeast. That, combined with a strong El Niño, are all factors in the unusually mild seasonal weather.

But he said a mild December is not surprising for the city, though when temperatures start to get into the 70s that is unusual. “Everything is lining up for that to happen,” he said.

New Yorkers were embracing the mild temperatures and looking forward to the possible record-setting high on Thursday.

“I’m praying it’s also going to be sunny,” said Kelly Germany, 46, of the Bronx, who said the warm spell had made her alter her Christmas shopping and doesn’t plan on buying snowboots or other frozen tundra gear for her 14-year-old son. “The gift I’m getting my son is a jacket instead of a heavy coat — more like a thin parka.”

Chrissy Riollano, a full-time Harlem mother of four children ages 1 to 16, said her kids will want to get out of the house.

“This is beautiful to me because it’s so comfortable,” she said, noting she feels better physically, too. “Look! My skin isn’t dry! I’m not chapped! To have this weather is a beautiful thing.”

Additional reporting by Sheila Anne Feeney, Jamie Reysen and Melissa Kravitz.