BOSTON – Record warm temperatures had residents in southern New England ditching winter coats in favor of shirt sleeves and heading to beaches and parks instead of ski slopes.

Temperatures in Boston reached 68 degrees Thursday afternoon. That beat the previous record of 65, which was set in 1990.

The mercury climbed to 66 degrees in Providence, Rhode Island, and Bradley International Airport, just north of Hartford, Connecticut. That is 6 degrees above Providence’s previous high from 1943 and 1990 and 2 degrees shy of the previous record at Bradley, also set 27 years ago.

James Johnson, 46, took advantage of the warm temperatures to throw horseshoes with a friend at Keney Park in Hartford’s north end.

“Get it in when you can,” he said. “It could be 15 tomorrow.”

Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts, said that’s not exactly true.

A jet stream that is much farther north than normal will keep the temperatures near or above 60 degrees through Saturday, and warmer than normal temperatures around for a few days longer than that.

But, he said the pattern will eventually change. Normal highs for this time of year in the region are at just about 40 degrees.

“Winter isn’t over yet,” he said.

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