Temperature ties record 65 degrees at MacArthur

Possible record-breaking cold is expected to hit Long

Possible record-breaking cold is expected to hit Long Island Thursday, March 13, 2014, following a storm system that's expected to drop less than half an inch of rain Wednesday into Thursday, forecasters say. (Credit: Weather Underground)

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By this winter's standards, this one qualifies as a scorcher.

The temperature at Long Island MacArthur Airport at midafternoon Tuesday tied the record for the day of 65 degrees, set in 1986, said David Stark, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.

What's more, the last time the thermometer hit 60 or above was Dec. 23, 2013, forecasters said.

Westhampton Beach and Farmingdale hit 64 degrees, with Shirley seeing 63, he said.

Indeed, in its forecast the weather service said of Tuesday, "certainly a very nice springlike day -- but, of course this will come to an abrupt end on Thursday."

That's when possible record-breaking cold moves in, following a storm system that's expected to drop less than half an inch of rain Wednesday into Thursday, forecasters say.

There's a slight chance of rain showers early Wednesday morning, Morrin said, but much of the day will be "rain-free" until mid-to-late afternoon when a "strong and rapidly developing system" passes to the north, bringing the potential for thunderstorms and accompanying heavy rainfall.

"Quite a bit of cold air" is expected to wrap around "the back side of the storm when it exits," meaning there's a chance for a changeover to a rain-snow mix likely around midnight, though no accumulation is expected, he said.

Thursday morning, forecast to be "cold and blustery" with temperatures in the mid 20s, could bring an occasional snow shower, Morrin said. The day's low is expected to be 12 to 15 degrees, with 17 the record low at MacArthur Airport, set in 1998.

Winds of up to 31 mph are forecast for Thursday, with gusts up to 41 mph, he said.

With a low of 16 degrees forecast for Friday, the day's record low of 17 set in 1989 is also in jeopardy, Morrin said, and it's conceivable that both days' records could be broken in the time frame of just before and just after midnight Thursday.

After that, he said, temperatures are expected to rebound Friday to "not-quite-seasonal" highs of 40 to 42 degrees.

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