NEW YORK (AP) — Merry Christmas, bro. Unseasonably warm weather drew two dozen surfers to New York City's popular Rockaway Beach early Christmas morning.
Locals say the record-setting temperatures make it easier to venture into the Atlantic with thinner-than-usual wetsuits.
Forecasters say ocean temperatures are in the low 50s while outside temperatures were nearing the 60s by mid-morning. The surfers encountered 5-foot waves along a small stretch of the Queens beach.
For surfers, the warmth made the Queens waves rival Christmastime destinations such as the tree at Rockefeller Center or the famed Macy's windows.
Locals Surf School owner Mike Reinhardt says veteran surfers have long braved snow and frigid temperatures this time of year. But he says the latest weather conditions have brought out even more novice surfers to paddle into the water.