HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com)  —  Four days ago, hail blanketed Huntington Beach.

Today, the beach was literally the hot place to be.

CBS2’s Michele Gile reported an increase in the temperature — 20 degrees worth of an increase — got the sun worshipers out in full force Friday.

She noted “a sharp contrast” between today, “a perfect beach day,” and “the freak storm of Monday.”

While the calendar says it’s still winter, the skin felt summer.

“And it’s awesome,” beachgoer Jared Dominic said. “I just got back from traveling. I was in New York and Spain. This is the first time I’ve worn one layer in like three months.”

Lifeguards estimated the crowd at more than 20,000.

Gile spoke to a couple from London who was happy to be in tank tops and flip-flops.

“[In London] they’re in coats; there is no sunblock,” said Harvey White.

“They’re all in scarves and hats,” said Lauren Clark.

In Santa Ana, the temperature reached the mid-80s, a record for this day.

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” said Blanca Estrada. “The temperature just fluctuates from day to day. You don’t even know what to wear sometimes. Sometimes you have to bring out the winter coat, and some days you have to bring out the summer wear.”

Todd Hart said: “It’s warm, so you should definitely be in shorts and a short shirt but I’m at work, so I have to be in my work clothes.”

Easter is still a month away. It’s still technically winter.

“It was just snowing two days ago,” said one woman frolicking in the water in a bathing suit. “Now it’s like 80 degrees out. It’s crazy.”

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