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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Where's Winter?

Aired January 3, 2000 - 1:11 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JUANITA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: So, how do you like winter so far? It may be one of the warmest on record in parts of the United States.

CNN's Frank Buckley gives an idea just how warm and what's causing it?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At an ice skating rink in Atlanta, the ice was melting in 70 degree heat. So warm, that some skaters wore shorts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just wonderful. You know, it is sunny and warm. No other place on earth I don't think you would be in T-shirts and ice skating, and enjoying it at the same time.

BUCKLEY: No other place, but New York, the sun warming skaters in Central Park at temperatures 20 degrees above normal for this time of year, nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a little creepy, yes, I like the seasons. You know, if I want to be in L.A., then I will move to L.A.

BUCKLEY: But one didn't have to move to L.A. to find non-winter- like weather up and down the Eastern United States it was warmer than usual: 50s in Northeast, to 80s in Southeast. In Washington, a perfect day to play ball on short sleeves, to take a jog, or a ride.

(on camera): Meteorologists here at the National Weather Service say that mild weather that some are experiencing is not particularly unusual in a historical sense, it is,, they say, simply part of the current weather cycle.

SCOTT REYNOLDS, NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: Typically, people think of it as the January thaw, and then we haven't really gotten to point where we need to thaw anything out yet, but it is just one of those warm stretches.

BUCKLEY: But some experts believe the warm weather can be attributed to human influence.

THOMAS LOVEJOY, SMITHSONIAN SCIENTIST: It does look like it is going to be at least the second warmest year of the century. And, every sign we have indicates that it is driven by global warming and human activity.

BUCKLEY: And there was much human activity on this day, taking place outdoors. Few stopping to consider potential global consequences of the warmth, it was, for most, just a day in the sun.

Frank Buckley, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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