Thursday brings 'pretty clear' weather -- and beach advisories -- to Long Island

Clear weather is forecast for the next few Clear weather is forecast for the next few days, starting on Aug. 14, 2014, according to the National Weather Service. Photo Credit: Wunderground

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Except for the slight chance of a shower or two later Thursday, the traces of Long Island's epic rain event have all but vanished, the National Weather Service said.

And the outlook for the next 3 to 4 days is pretty darn nice, according to the forecast from the service's Upton office.

From Thursday through Saturday, daily highs are expected to be in the low to mid 80s, with clear, sunny skies and mild winds, mostly from the west and southwest.

Meteorologist Matthew Tauber of the Upton office said there's about a 20 percent chance of showers or scattered thunderstorms before midnight Thursday.

"Other than that, it looks to be pretty clear," he said.

The sunshine will be welcome as Long Island tries to dry out after a record rain event Tuesday into Wednesday.

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The service said in a preliminary report a New York State 24-hour precipitation record was set at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, where 13.57 inches of rain fell between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 11 p.m. Wednesday.

That shattered the previous mark of 11.6 inches on Aug. 27 to 28, 2011, in upstate Tannersville during Tropical Storm Irene. The Northeast Regional Climate Center said "rainfall of this magnitude is only expected to occur once in a 200-year period."

The incoming clear weather is a result of a high-pressure system emerging from the south and west and building into the region, the service said. The clear weather remains through Saturday night, when the high pressure pushes away and a slight chance for showers creeps into the forecast.

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On Sunday, there's a 40 percent chance of rain for most of Long Island, the service said.

The stretch of clear, sunny skies suggests great days at beaches in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.

But beachgoers should check the status of many beaches before making for the shore.

Nassau County's Department of Health reopened several beaches Thursday morning after closing 18 on Wednesday as a precautionary measure, citing the heavy rain. Storm water runoff can sweep bacteria and pathogens into local streams and bays, causing bacterial levels to spike, according to health officials.

Nassau reopened all but Philip Healey Beach in Massapequa, Hewlett Point Beach in Hempstead and Island Park Beach, a health department spokeswoman said.

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Suffolk County Department of Health Services on Wednesday advised against swimming at 66 beaches also because of the potential elevated bacteria levels.

The advisory in Suffolk was expected to be lifted at 7 p.m. Thursday, "unless sampling conducted by the department finds elevated bacterial numbers persisting beyond the 24-hour period."

For recorded information on beach conditions in Nassau, call 516-227-9700. Health department representatives are available weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., at 516-227-9717.

In Suffolk, information on beach closings is available by calling the health department's Bathing Beach hotline, 631-852-5822, or by calling the department's Office of Ecology, 631-852-5760.

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