New York, Washington bask in warm winter weather records

People enjoy unusually warm weather in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2015 (AFP Photo/Yuri Gripas)

New York (AFP) - Shorts instead of scarves: New York City and the Washington area shattered or matched warm weather records Sunday for December 13, less than two weeks before the usually chilly Christmas holiday.

In New York City, some people headed out in light summer clothes to revel in midday temperatures in Central Park that climbed to 66 degrees F (19 degrees C), according to the National Weather Service.

On Saturday, which was also unseasonably warm, thousands participated in the city's annual "SantaCon" bar crawl, which sees revelers dress up as various holiday characters, with some Santa Clauses turning out in only a T-shirt and red trousers -- or even going bare-chested.

The mean temperature for the Big Apple on December 13 is 38 degrees F, with the highest previous recorded temperature for the day at 64 degrees F in 1923. Data records were first kept beginning in 1869.

Temperatures are expected to remain well above the seasonal average throughout the week, the National Weather Service said.

Around the US capital, two local airports hit new record highs, and the third tied its historic high.

In northern Virginia, Dulles International Airport hit 73 degrees by early afternoon, breaking the record of 71 from 1984. And Baltimore-Washington International saw a record 72 degrees, topping 69 back in 1889.

Reagan National, meanwhile, tied its record 71 degrees, also hit in 1889, NWS officials said.