New Yorkers Bask in Record High Winter Temperatures

2007 may be the year without winter in the Big Apple. Record warm temperatures in the Northeast have marked an unusual beginning to January, allowing New Yorkers to ditch their winter coats and hats and bask in the balmy weather.

By noon Saturday, temperatures were already on the cusp of 70 degrees in New York City, WCBS reported.

"The stretch of unseasonably warm weather is unprecedented and will be above normal for almost 30 days in a row now. Our normal is 38 and we're going for some places as high as 70 on Saturday," said CBS 2 Meteorologist John Bolaris.

While the weather was good news for joggers and other outdoor enthusiasts, not everyone was celebrating. Ski resorts and winter-related businesses have taken a significant hit due to the warm temperatures.

Michael Pratt, general manager of Gore Mountain Ski Resort in North Creek, N.Y., said the warm weather has meant an extremely slow start for the ski season.

"Certainly we would expect to have probably 40 of our trails open now, instead we have 22 trails, so we’re off considerably," Pratt said.

They've seen slow seasons before but this year has been exceptionally odd, he told

"Certainly in late '80s, early '90s there were three Christmases that the ski industry had a hard time with but to be dragging on this long, being this warm, is a first," he said.

But, he added, it's the nature of the business.

"When you're in the outdoor recreation industry you have to play the hand you're dealt. Mother nature is the boss and you have to roll with the punches."

Kelly Belli, 34, a secretary at Aero Snow Removal's Newark office, said the unseasonable winter, which has had no measurable snow so far, was bad for business. But worrying wasn't going to solve anything, she said.

"You can't change the weather. It is what it is," Belli said.

Elsewhere in the U.S., severe weather has hammered Colorado, Southern California, and Louisiana.

After the third wintry storm in as many weeks barreled into Colorado, a massive avalanche buried several cars and sent others over the edge on a highway near Denver on Saturday.

Crews have rescued at least eight people, and were probing the area for other survivors.

Friday's storm blanketed the Denver area with up to 8 inches of new snow and brought winds to the hard-hit southeast corner of the state, where ranchers were still digging out from a weekend blizzard that killed hundreds of livestock.

• Massive Avalanche Covers Highway in Colorado

Crews worked around the clock to clear roads so snowbound residents could get to stores for food and medicine. National Guard troops trucked in hay and smashed ice on watering holes for livestock trapped and weakened by the previous blizzard.

In Southern California, a major windstorm is blamed for the deaths of two people.

A minivan hit a tour bus in a dust storm Friday, killing a 56-year-old woman and her 13-year-old grandson, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Arnswald, who responded to the accident. Several others were injured in the multi-car crash.

The wind downed scores of trees and utility lines and left over 100,000 homes without power.

• Santa Ana Winds Blamed for 2 Deaths in Southern California

Louisiana also reported two dead after tornadoes touched down during an intense cluster of storms in the southern part of the state.

The storm front moved into Mississippi and Alabama, but the storm-free period will be brief, meteorologists said.

• Sheriff: 2 Killed After Storms, Tornadoes Rip Southern Lousiana

New Jersey, and much of the East, has seen a warmer-than-average winter so far, with the polar jet stream, and the cold air it brings, staying mostly along the Canadian border, said Robinson, the state climatologist.

But forecasters predict these conditions won't last forever. A cold front will approach the Northeast on Sunday, bringing cooler temperatures, reported.

Some will welcome the return of Old Man Winter with open arms.

"It's a cyclic time right now," Pratt said. "We haven’t had natural snow or cold temperatures but we know it will come around and well have them again soon. We're looking for a strong end of January, February, March and April for skiers."'s Hannah Sentenac and the Associated Press contributed to this report.