Washingtonians, already basking in the warmth of a stunning Super Bowl victory, were further warmed yesterday by a record-setting 70 degrees.

The hottest Feb. 1 on record, surpassing the prior record high of 67 degrees set in 1877, filled downtown parks with lunchtime crowds and city sidewalks with coat-carrying strollers in suits and other coatless people in shirtsleeves and sweaters out to enjoy the day.

The temperature reached the record high at National Airport at 2:15 p.m. The record low for the date is 6 degrees, set in 1935. The average temperature last month, of 35.2 degrees, was four degrees below normal for the month.

Dulles International Airport and Baltimore reached record highs of 71 degrees.

Yesterday's balmy weather, which also made it the warmest day this year, followed bone-chilling temperatures here last week that dipped to 16 degrees on Wednesday. Forecasters predicted rain and highs of around 60 today, followed by colder weather for the rest of the week.

"It's just a nice pause in the winter weather," said weather forecaster Scott Prosise, at the National Weather Service in Camp Springs. "Enjoy today because tomorrow {Tuesday} you won't be able to. It will be rainy."

And enjoy it they did. Vendors said that sidewalk shoppers lingered longer. Homeless people looked a little less desperate. Couriers on bicycles dodged more pedestrians on their appointed rounds.

"The traffic's the same, but there are more people out," said courier Prentice Treadwell, chaining his bike to a parking meter in front of 1511 K St. NW. "The corners are a little crowded, and it's hard to see around them . . . .

"It's just like a nice spring day, except that it's not spring. It's the dead of winter. In February, I'm used to snow, 20-degree days, stuff like that. It gets me apprehensive. You know it's not going to stay."

The vendors were out in force as usual, but they, too, noticed a difference. "Today's very good for soda," said Suheil Kumkam, 27, who noted it's been colder recently in his native Jerusalem than it was yesterday in Washington.

"Cold day, people buy gloves and scarves. Warm day, they buy jewelry," said street merchant Tahir Ahmad Chaudry, explaining why earrings were big sellers.

Vendors of Super Bowl sweatshirts, T-shirts and caps said the warm weather -- combined with the decisive Redskin victory -- also boosted their business. Paul Rivera, a vendor from Connecticut selling Redskins items, said shoppers were lingering to inspect the merchandise.

"Everybody's not in a rush to go back to work from lunch today," said Rivera. "That's because of the weather."

Even the homeless were buoyed. "I think it's great," said a man with two sleeping bags stuffed in a valise. "It's kind of eerie, kind of spooky." Another homeless man who identified himself as Phillip said he looked forward to a second warm night in a row sleeping on the streets.

At Farragut Square, many of the benches were still occupied well after the lunch hour. "The weather brought us down to the park," said Senate employee Mike Blocklin, 34, watching over his daughters Jessica, 2, and Taylor, 6 weeks, while their mother visited a nearby eye doctor.

Irene and William Denton, both retired government workers who live on Massachusetts Avenue NW, sat nearby, taking a break from their afternoon errands. "It's unbelievable," she said. "It's -- what can I say? May in January. Gorgeous. It's even more gorgeous after that Redskin victory."