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Weather Whiplash Warnings: Air Quality Alerts, Ice Safety Concerns

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tuesday will be another unseasonably warm day throughout the Tri-State Area.

After days of bundling for below-freezing temperatures, you can leave the layers at home.

While many welcome the more-than-50-degree temperature swing, weather whiplash can come with some dangerous side effects.

Watch: CBS2's John Elliott With The Latest Weather Forecast 

Air quality alerts warn the air may be unhealthy for sensitive groups, like the very young and the elderly.

Dr. Len Horovitz, a lung specialist doctor, told CBS2's Jessica Layton road salt and other chemicals triggered the alerts and may be part of what's causing your cough.

"That's exactly why people are saying they had a dry or scratchy throat," he said. "This can be dangerous if it goes on, if you're asthmatic, if you have pulmonary disease. This can be an exacerbation that can lead to hospitalization."

Watch: CBS2's Lonnie Quinn Talks Unseasonably Warm Temps 

CBS2's Lonnie Quinn helped clarify.

"The chemicals become an issue, because they were put down when it was really cold. Now, we have all this warmth that's been released by Mother Nature. What does warm air want to do? It wants to rise," he said. "So now, those chemicals - which were never able to be sucked into the ground because it almost developed like a permafrost, everything froze so quickly – now, they get suspended as the air is rising."

The extreme temperature swing also prompted warnings to stay off the ice at Central Park.

"Assuming that the water is frozen solid can be extremely dangerous," said New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. "We've now instructed our parks enforcement patrol - because we're now seeing more and more people step out on the ice - to now come by more often."

MORE: CBS New York's Winter Survival Guide

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis spoke with people in the park Tuesday. Paul Desa, of Hell's Kitchen, was running in shorts.

"It's amazing," he said. "I was in 20 layers a week ago."

Daniel Sabino, of Astoria, said his dog was happy to shed the layers, too.

"She's much better now. She hates to put the boots and the jacket," he said. "Even the dogs, they feel a difference."

Even commuters were more comfortable.

"It's great to wait for the bus and not be shaking, I guess," said Anne Hart, of the Upper West Side.

Echoed by those who have to work outside year-round.

"No heater today," newsstand worker Robi Saha said.

Some said the weather whirlwind is the norm for the northeast.

"Thanksgiving was wicked cold and that was unusual. I remember a blizzard on Halloween a few years ago. So it happens, the weather's not constant," said Vivien Tartter, of the Upper East Side.

We know it won't last. Rain and cold return later this week.

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