WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — What happened to Old Man Winter?

People are sporting shorts and short-sleeve shirts today as unseasonably warm weather takes hold across much of the U.S.

The Northeast and Southern Plains have temperatures reaching into the mid-60s while parts of Texas and Florida are seeing temps rise into the 80s.

The nation’s capital saw temps pushing 70, but there is nothing to worry about for the cherry blossom fans of an early peak.

“The warm weather will not affect the cherry blossoms at this point,” Danielle Piacente, communications manager for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, told CBSDC.

“It has to be really extreme for us to get concerned,” she said.

While people were ditching their shovels for golf clubs, a new report showed January was the third weakest month on record for snow covering the ground for the U.S. Lower 48, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. Records go back to 1967. Here in D.C., we set a new record temperature with a 66 degree high on Tuesday.

Two years ago more than two-thirds of the Lower 48 was covered in snow. Last year, it was 52 percent as a billion-dollar blizzard barreled through. This year, it’s only 19 percent.

Forget snow, for much of the country there’s not even a nip in the air. On Tuesday, all but a handful of states had temperatures hitting the 50s or higher.

But much of Alaska, Europe and Asia are being hammered by snow and cold, killing nearly 80 Europeans.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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