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Rip currents, thunderstorms risk in Long Island forecast

Life guards search for missing swimmers in Long

Life guards search for missing swimmers in Long Beach. Four students were pulled from the water in distress. Sixth-grader Nicole Suriel, 12, was found dead (June 22, 2010)

Read more about Suriel, the Long Beach drowning and aftermath. Credit: Fred Kopf

The National Weather Service is warning Long Islanders of "high risk" of rip currents and rough surf Monday, along with a chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.

Heavy winds and strong southerly swells are expected to lead to the hazardous water conditions, with the weather service advising beachgoers to check with lifeguards before entering the water. 

LIers are also facing a 40 percent chance of rain today, with the forecast calling for the risk of thunderstorms this afternoon and temperatures near 90.

Several communities are expected to come close to heat wave status, since the weather service defines a heat wave as three days in a row with the mercury at or above 90.

We're far, however, from the highs near 100 that marked the heat wave that struck early this month.

Sunday, Upton hit 92 and Islip and Brookhaven Airport 93, logging their second consecutive days at 90 or higher. Other areas, particularly on the East End, haven't been hitting the 90-degree mark and aren't in the heat wave stakes.

Many Long Islanders sought relief at the beach. State parks spokesman George Gorman said Jones Beach State Park was "moderately busy" with 92,000 visitors, and Robert Moses State Park "very busy" with 41,000 - typical numbers for a Sunday in July. "Some people don't go out because it's just so hot, so humid out and we don't see the same kind of visitation we saw in the 1970s and '80s," before air-conditioning became more common, he said.

Weather service meteorologist Lauren Nash said the highest temperatures Monday will be closer inland toward New York City, which Sunday was under a heat advisory, unlike Long Island.

To help with the heat, the Town of Hempstead plans to operate cooling centers at its 16 senior centers Monday, spokesman Mike Deery said. Suffolk County Emergency Management Commissioner Joe Williams said he planned to meet at 9 a.m. Monday with Health Department officials to discuss opening a cooling center, probably at Islip Town's Caesar Trunzo Senior Center.

It should cool down somewhat by Tuesday, Nash said, with temperatures in the mid-80s moving toward the lower 80s on the East End and increasing clouds. Tomorrow night and into Wednesday morning, she said, there's a 40 percent chance of rain.

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