Forecast: Possible 1-3 inches of rain Thursday
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Even as scattered showers and occasional thunderstorms moved through Long Island Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service has its eye on the next batch of rain -- a possible 1 to 3 inches Thursday into Friday, when forecasters say "an unusually strong low pressure system" moves through.
Severe weather is not expected with Tuesday's "broken line of showers," which might include a "brief, heavy downpour" in some spots and possible wind gusts of up to 30 mph, said David Wally, weather service meteorologist based in Upton.
As for Thursday, saturated ground from recent heavy rains could mean 1 to 3 inches -- and possible higher in isolated areas -- "would lead to widespread urban and small stream flooding issues," the service said in a hazardous weather outlook.
Wednesday looks to offer a respite from precipitation, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s, the weather service said.
The first 10 days in June alone at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma is rivaling June 2003, when 10.8 inches of rain was recorded, for the wettest on record.
With Tuesday's showers and isolated thunderstorms -- and more rain predicted for Thursday and Friday -- Long Island is expected to add to an already soaking monthly total of 6.4 inches of rain.
Rainfall at MacArthur since the beginning of June -- 6.40 inches -- makes this "the wettest first 10 days on record" for the month since records started being kept in 1985, said Tim Morrin, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton. That drowns the 5.95 inches that fell in the same time frame in 2003.
In the past several days alone, two daily records have not just been broken, but "obliterated," he said.
Monday's 1.48 inches in Islip breaks the previous record of 0.33 inches set in 1989, the weather service said.
And the 4.15 inches that fell in Islip on Friday "smashed" the previous record of 1.27 inches that fell on that day in 2006, he said.
What's more, compared to previous years' rainfall for the entire month, this year's first 10 days would make it the seventh wettest June on record, he said, and that's with 20 days still to go.
The average temperature for the month is 66.6 degrees compared to the record low average of 65.4 degrees, set in 1985.
Stormy weather certainly has made life difficult, and the rain Monday night into Tuesday led to air travel delays. Arrivals Tuesday into Kennedy Airport were averaging weather-related delays of just over an hour, with LaGuardia's arrivals delayed an average of just over 30 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.
Some departures at those and MacArthur Airport were also facing delays, and the FAA advises travelers to check with their airlines.
In addition, for those on Suffolk's South Shore, a "high rip current risk" is in effect until 9 p.m. Tuesday, the weather service said. That means conditions are right for "very strong rip currents" that "will be life-threatening to anyone who enters the surf." There's also a moderate risk for lightning, as thunderstorms are in the forecast, the service said.
The overnight storms, which dropped an unofficial 3.38 inches of rain in Southampton and 1.82 inches in Plainview, also knocked down some trees, including one blocking Gildare Drive in East Northport, Suffolk County police said.
A lane of East Lake Drive in Montauk collapsed into a culvert just as an East Hampton Town police officer drove over it at 3:52 a.m. Tuesday, said Chief Edward V. Ecker. The officer was not injured, but the car's back tires blew out, and it took a police wrecker to pull the car out, he said. While the cause is not known for sure, it's likely the roadbed was weakened by the rain, he said.
With John Valenti