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Afternoon sunlight sparkles on the Monterey Bay as a surfer grabs a wave off of Manresa State Beach on Monday.

SANTA CRUZ -- Though temperatures dropped down to the high 30s and low 40s Monday night, the sun was out in full force on New Year's Day.

Temperatures hovered in the low 50s throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service, but skies were clear and bright for the first day of 2013.

The dry, clear weather should continue throughout the week, though Wednesday morning could see patchy frost before 10 a.m. High temperatures are expected to reach near 58 degrees in Santa Cruz with sunny skies giving way to partial clouds in the evening. Thursday and Friday are anticipated to be much the same, with nighttime temperatures dropping to the mid-30s.

Tuesday's weather made it a perfect day to wander around downtown Santa Cruz, take a walk on West Cliff or explore any of the region's beaches.

The new year also started out with good surfing conditions that were expected to continue Wednesday. Tuesday's northwest swell is expected to ease slightly but still provide chest-head high surf at many spots, according to Surfline.com.

A surfer had to be helped out of the water at Manresa State Beach late Tuesday afternoon but was uninjured and did not need medical attention. Aptos Fire responded.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at Twitter.com/jmpasko96


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