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Saturday’s springlike temperatures bring a welcome break from winter

Boston tied its 60 degree record for warmest Feb. 10, first set in 1990, then matched last year. Worcester broke its record. But a chaser is coming Tuesday, when heavy snow is expected.

With Saturday's mild temperatures, David Frank chopped up left over sidewalk snow and ice in Lexington.Joanne Rathe Strohmeyer/Globe st

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Springlike weather graced the state Saturday with temperatures exceeding 60 degrees in some areas and breaking records, according to the National Weather Service.

Boston tied its 60 degree record for warmest Feb. 10, which it reached a year ago, the weather service said. The record was first set in 1990, said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Norton office, in a phone interview.

The mercury hit 60 degrees in Boston at 3:19 p.m. Saturday, according to the weather service. Worcester broke its previous 56 degree record for Feb. 10 at 57 degrees, just before 4 p.m.

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“When you’re forecasting temperatures to get near the record, that’s pretty unusual,” Dunham said. “You don’t forecast record highs all the time.”

But winter will reappear soon enough, according to a winter storm watch issued late Saturday afternoon that predicts up to 6 inches of snow Tuesday in the Boston area.

But on Saturday, crowds of people moseyed around downtown Boston to enjoy the sun, some taking the opportunity to wear lighter clothing. College students sat on picnic blankets on Boston Common and dog owners let their pets run around and socialize.

The Frog Pond’s ice skating rink was empty, except for a glistening puddle of water.

A warm February day brought out throngs of people looking to enjoy the outdoors. Berklee College of Music students Logan Flaherty (left) and Govi Tuli rehearse on their guitars in the Boston Public Garden.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Wearing short-sleeved and sleeveless shirts, Berklee College of Music students Logan Flaherty, 20, and Govi Tuli, 22, strummed their guitars on the grass in the Boston Public Garden Saturday afternoon.

“It feels like a fluke,” said Tuli, who’s from Los Angeles. “I woke up, I checked my phone, I saw that it was 50 degrees. I thought there was an error in the weather app, but I opened my windows and it was amazing.”

Tuli immediately texted Flaherty and asked him to come outdoors with him to soak up the warmth and write some music for their band, he said.

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The last time the two played guitar outside was summer, Flaherty said.

“It’s been a while since it’s been nice, so it feels very refreshing,” Flaherty said.

Sophia Palocz sat shoeless on her blanket on the Boston Public Garden as she wrote notes in her book.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Sophia Palocz, 24, sat outside in the Public Garden for the first time in months.

Lounging on a blanket with a few books within arm’s reach, Palocz wrote in her journal while waiting to meet with a friend for a walk. She wore a light sweatshirt in the warm sun.

“I feel like we’re not going to get anything like this again until March or April, so I figured, make the most of it,” said Palocz, who grew up in Weston but lives in South Boston.“ I feel like growing up, it was way colder. I remember a lot of snow days and snowstorms around this time.”

Dunham explained that “high pressure off the southeast coast [brought] some nice, warm air from the Carolinas and Virginia area . . . up over Southern New England.”

Friends Dan Sieko, Mackenzie Calhoun, Silas Gourley, and Ewan Bourne relaxed on the lawn of the Boston Public Garden.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

On Boston Common, Emerson College students Meg Thurmeier and Harrison Putkela, both 18, struggled to find a pair of trees the precise distance apart to facilitate hanging a hammock.

Since the typically cold weather took a hiatus, Thurmeier decided to put her new hammock to use for the first time Saturday.

“I got it for Christmas,” she said. “I’m happy to use the hammock — a little earlier than I was expecting.”

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But the taste of spring won’t last long.

Temperatures will begin to drop Sunday evening and a nor’easter is expected to pummel Southern New England Tuesday, according to an announcement from the weather service late Saturday afternoon.

The Boston area expects at least 6 to 10 inches of snow Tuesday, according to Globe meteorologist Dave Epstein. Springfield, Worcester, and Fitchburg could see 8 to 12 inches.

Expected snowfall accumulation for Southern New England.Dave Epstein

Sunday’s temperatures are only expected to be in the upper 40s during the day in Greater Boston and down to 33 degrees that night as a cold front moves in.

Rain fell on parts of Greater Boston Saturday night, and more could be on the way Monday night.

“It’s a short round of above-normal temperatures that will come to an end this evening,” Dunham said Saturday. “It will be more seasonable tomorrow.”

Boston native Jenna O’Brien-Sharwood said early Saturday afternoon that she was not at all surprised by the changing weather. However, the broken records and unseasonable warmth in February was cause for concern about the environment.

“That’s how things go. It’s like all of a sudden it’s winter again. But that’s Boston,” she said, sitting on a bench on the Boston Common with her husband, Oliver Sharwood. “It’s not unusual for it to be sunny and bright one day and then have snow in two days, but it’s more the drastic range in temperatures that’s kind of concerning.”


Bailey Allen can be reached at bailey.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @baileyaallen.