Parks across New Jersey were bustling again on Saturday, and lots of people were decked out in shorts and T-shirts as temperatures climbed into the spring-like 70s on the final Saturday of February -- a month that's supposed to be bitterly cold.
Although the mercury was as much as 25 to 30 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year, except in coastal areas, no daily records were broken across the Garden State, according to the National Weather Service.
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Some places, however, came close. Trenton's high of 74 degrees on Saturday was just 2 degrees shy of the city's record high for Feb. 25, and Newark's high of 66 degrees was also 2 degrees short of matching its daily record.
Down in Atlantic City, the mercury reached 65 degrees on Saturday, which was far short of the record high of 77 degrees, set in 1930.
Among the warmest places across the state on Saturday were Sicklerville in Camden County, which hit 76 degrees, and three towns that each hit 75 degrees: Hamilton in Mercer County, Hillsborough in Somerset County and Hopewell in Mercer County. There also were many 74-degree readings reported in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Middlesex and Somerset counties.
Those warm temperatures were reached before a strong cold front pushed its way across the state, bringing thunderstorms, gusty winds and cooler air more typical of February. Cold air is expected to remain in place overnight Sunday before another winter warmup occurs.
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Forecasters say temperatures will be in the 50s on Monday and Tuesday before shooting up to the 60s on Wednesday.
New Jersey is on pace to have one of its warmest Februaries -- and possibly the warmest -- since consistent records began in 1895.
Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @LensReality or like him on Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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