Warmest winter in 40 years for much of the US

From ABC News

WASHINGTON --{} Many states in America are experiencing the warmest winter on record for over 40 years.

Blossoms in the nation's capital are blooming and snow has not been seen across the majority of the U.S this winter. Yesterday, most states were experiencing temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

In Washington, D.C., where temperatures neared 70 degrees Fahrenheit, cherry trees are budding weeks early and the scene on the National Mall looked as though it could have been early May.

Though some admit to being concerned about global warming, they admit they're enjoying it.

"I think it's fabulous. I am enjoying it so much. It's just, I don't know, part of me is like, is this real?" said Diana from Washington, D.C., who was out taking a walk on the National Mall at lunch time on Wednesday.

Callie Friesen, a tourist from California, actually thought she'd end the day with a suntan.

"It's amazing. I had a wool coat and a scarf and a sweatshirt. And now I'm in a tank top," Friesen said.

In the state of Ohio, unseasonable weather is bringing golfers and hikers out in greater numbers, attracting more visitors to zoos and allowing the operator of a Lake Erie ferry to run for the first time in six winters.

From December through January, average temperatures in Columbus, Ohio were the 10th highest on record -- a welcome change for those who want to play golf all year around.

While Mike Raby, a professional golfer, is enjoying the unseasonable winter- he admitted not everybody is happy about the warm weather.

"You know, normally, this time of year the golf course is open for cross country skiing, not golf.... So, the cross country skiers aren't a big fan of this weather but the golfers are sure enjoying it," Raby said.

For a large portion of the United States, January 2012 delivered the third least amount of snow on record for a month, which goes back to 1967, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University.

Bismarck, North Dakota, typically covered by deep snow in early February, has had one-fifth of its normal amount, Boston only a third.

This forms a great contrast with 2011, when more than half of the United States was covered in snow as a Groundhog Day blizzard moved across the country, killing 36 people and causing $1.8 billion US dollars in damage.