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Long Island weather: Severe thunderstorm watch for Nassau Friday night

There could be scattered wind gusts as high as 65 mph and isolated pingpong ball-sized hail, the National Weather Service said.

Friday's temperatures are expected to head up to

Friday's temperatures are expected to head up to the mid-80s or so, feeling warmer thanks to continuing humidity. Photo Credit: Weather Underground

With chances of some heavy rain, gusty winds and even small hail in the picture for areas of Long Island Friday evening and night, a severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect through 10 p.m. for Nassau County and areas to the north and west.

Those areas under the watch have the potential to see scattered wind gusts as high as 65 mph, isolated pingpong ball-sized hail and frequent lightning.

For the most part, showers and storms could move into Nassau by 7 or 8 p.m., Brian Ciemnecki, weather service meteorologist in Upton, said.

Any storm that develops on the Island can be expected to produce heavy rain, he said, given the tropical air mass that remains in place. That means that motorists should be prepared for ponding on roadways, and possibly also “sudden changes of visibility.”

The threat of hail and high winds is expected to diminish as storms move farther to the east, thanks to the more stable marine air, Ciemnecki said. 

While hail may seem out of place in summer, those small balls or pellets of ice actually come about during thunderstorms, high up in the atmosphere where temperatures are colder. As tiny frozen bits fall, they get caught in updrafts, keeping them in cold-air territory, where they grow larger, said Carlie Buccola, also a weather service meteorolgist. 

The Island's ocean beaches have a high risk for rip currents through 9 p.m.

Looking ahead, "most of the weekend is dry," News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman said.

Saturday could start out with some patchy fog and showers, mostly before noon. Partly sunny skies can be expected for the afternoon, Hoffman said.

Then, you can put your money on Sunday as the weekend's better beach and outdoor activities day. Look for sunny skies, highs in the mid-80s, a dip in the mugginess — and not one mention of precipitation.

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