LI temperatures haven't hit 90 in one year, weather service says

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Sunday -- July 20 -- marks the first anniversary of the last time Long Island MacArthur Airport had a temperature of 90 degrees or above, meteorologists say.

On that date, the thermometer registered 90 on the nose, and it hasn't risen to that level since, according to National Weather Service records.

This is the fifth-longest stretch of consecutive days with no 90s in the 30 years that the weather service has maintained records at the Ronkonkoma airport. The record for longest goes to the nearly two-year 90s-free period from July 6, 2003, to June 13, 2005.

What's more, there are no expected 90-degree days on the seven-day horizon, with Sunday and Monday forecast to be in the upper 70s, said Lauren Nash, weather service meteorologist in Upton.

No 90s in a year would be "remarkable" if we were talking about New York City, said Tim Morrin, also a meteorologist in Upton. But it's just unusual for Long Island, which receives what he says are the "cooling effects and sea breezes" of the ocean and Sound.

According to weather service data, June 16 is the average date for moving into the 90s. The year hot weather lovers got their reward the latest came in 1985, with 91 degrees on Sept. 4. This year the top temperature at the airport was 89 on June 18.

This doesn't mean temperatures are averaging any cooler than normal. July's average as of Thursday was 75.9, or 2.4 degrees above the norm. That's because daily lows are not as low as usual, Morrin said.

The farming community isn't exactly mourning the lack of hot,hot days, as temperatures in the mid- and upper 90s "can stress plants," causing many to "shut down," said Dale D. Moyer, agriculture program director, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. After a late start due to cool spring weather, so far "sweet corn, tomatoes, melons seem to be pretty much on schedule," he said.

George Gorman, deputy regional director of state parks on Long Island, says he wouldn't mind a few low-humidity days in the high 80s and low 90s, which with sun are considered A+ beach weather.

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Beach attendance has been up this year, he said, in part due to sunny days in the 80s, but especially to more of a beach mindset than last year, when people were still recovering from superstorm Sandy.

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