You Think New York’s Record Warm Winter Is Creepy? Try This.

A look at the Big Apple’s present—and an apparent Californian future.

byBen Keeshin|
You Think New York’s Record Warm Winter Is Creepy? Try This.

Feel that clamminess? This is bound to be New York’s warmest December on record,

the New York Times reports, at a predicted 14.1°F above average. It’s been quite a sultry deviation. While New York in December has been the set of countless Christmas-themed movies, this year, 42nd Street, 34th Street, Central Park and all the rest are looking more like pieces from a “New York City” set on the backlot at Paramount—before the fake snow rained down. As the Times notes, not a single day this month has dropped below freezing, and most days have had a “low” higher than an average December day’s “high.” The roses in Stuyvesant Square are blooming; folks are playing basketball, shirts and skins.

Is it a one-time balmy anomaly? A taste of runaway global climate change? The new normal? Regardless, a New Yorker always has to be prepared. As such, here’s a photo of what we can expect: Christmas on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles, circa-1950. Dry roads, cool air, convertibles. The December average in California, then? Fifty-seven degrees. The average in New York, now? Fifty-one point six. Jiminy Christmas. Time to retire those sweaters for good.