Sunday's warmth ties LI record, but cold returns

John Heymach goes for a jog with his John Heymach goes for a jog with his daughter Julia, 15, at Heckscher State Park in East Islip. The father and daughter from Texas were visiting relatives in Holbrook for the holidays. (Dec. 22, 2013) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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The first full day of winter brought unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures on Long Island matching a record set two years ago, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures at the National Weather Service's monitoring station in Islip reached a high of 59 degrees Sunday, said David Stark, meteorologist in the service's Upton bureau.

Records shattered Sunday across New York City.

The mercury hit 71 in Central Park, breaking the previous record of 63 set in 1949 and matched in 1998, Stark said.

At LaGuardia Airport, the temperature reached 69 degrees, 5 degrees above the previous record set in 1998. And Kennedy Airport reached 64 degrees, beating by 2 degrees the previous record, also set in 1998.

Stark said part of the reason Long Island stayed a bit cooler than the city was the ocean breezes.

"We've had a constant wind off the cooler ocean," Stark said. "With the clouds today, we didn't see as much warming out here as they did out farther west."

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The warm temperatures are courtesy of a changing pattern in the jet stream that brought a bubble of warm air to our region, Tim Morrin, another National Weather Service meteorologist, said.

Lows Sunday were to be around 52, with a steady rain developing in the evening.

Monday will see a high of 56, with continued rain. Cold air will return late Monday, with a low of 32. Tuesday's high will be only 34, with partly sunny skies. The low Tuesday will be a chilly 19 degrees.

Wednesday, Christmas Day, will see a high of 28 to 30 degrees, with partly cloudy skies and a low of 21 degrees.

The high Thursday will be 38, with partly sunny skies. Clouds will come in Thursday night, with a low of 29.

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Friday will be mostly sunny, with a high of 39.

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