With temperatures barely dipping below the 50-degree mark so far this winter, a cherry tree at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a serious case of seasonal confusion, spouting thousands of blossoms with spring still months away.
Although botanists say cherry trees in North America are generally early bloomers, the pinkishwhite flowers are an unusual sight in what should be the doldrums of winter. But with January temperatures usually hovering around the freezing mark, the spectacle of so many New Yorkers out and about could be considered an anomaly as well.
"Everyone is outside striking up conversation like its April," a 29-year-old account manager from the Upper West Side, Fred Weston, said.
Mr. Weston said he has been reveling in the mild temperatures since he offered to dog-sit for a friend about two weeks ago. "It's actually been pleasant to go on walks with my surrogate dog," he said, before setting out for the Museum of Natural History yesterday.
Thanks to the accommodating weather, many runners haven't been forced into the gym and onto the treadmill. Governor Spitzer began his term on Monday by taking a jog with about a 100 supporters, a showing that might have been smaller had temperatures been in the low 30s.
The tepid weather, however, has taken a toll on seasonal businesses. Even with state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, a resort about two hours north of the city, Hunter Mountain, has only about half its trails open.
If the forecasters prove correct, the city isn't likely to see a change in the mild temperatures any time soon.
The National Weather Service is predicting daytime temperatures to stay in the 40s and 50s for the next week.