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Long Island gets a dose of spring, finally

Louise Zhou, 22, visiting from Cincinnati, Ohio, strolls

Louise Zhou, 22, visiting from Cincinnati, Ohio, strolls with Thomas Sarant, 21, of Massapequa, on a sunny spring day at Old Westbury Gardens, Saturday, March 31, 2018. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Even if only for a day, it felt like spring on Long Island.

On Saturday morning, Marcos Chavez had staked out a sunny bench by the water’s edge in Copiague’s Tanner Park. Across the park and the Island, people and animals came out of hibernation as temperatures reached a high of 54 degrees, bolstered by sunny skies.

“This is therapy for me, sitting out here and seeing nature,” said Chavez, 65, of South Farmingdale.

After four nor’easters in March, many Long Islanders said it was the first time this year it actually felt like spring. And while a slight breeze chilled the air a little, it was still a seasonably warm and pleasant day, said John Murray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Upton office.

On the playground in Copiague, Elizabeth Pointing and Mary Schnaars watched as their children played on the slides and swings.

Saturday seemed like the only chance to get outside, so Pointing, 40, of Copiague, said she and her kids had put on their jackets and headed to the park.

“I thought it was going to be packed,” Schnaars, 40, of Copiague, said — especially considering the weather to come.

Sunday is expected to bring temperatures in the upper 50s but also a chance of light rain and clouds. Then a cold front would move in Sunday evening, bringing a chance of snow with it.

With overnight lows dropping to near 30 degrees Sunday night, forecasters say there’s an 80 percent chance of snow Monday morning. Totals are expected around 1 to 2 inches.

Rachel Machado, 23, of Westbury, was eager to get outside with her dog Mello, a 3-year-old pit bull mix. When she realized how pleasant it was outside, she grabbed Mello and headed for Eisenhower Dog Park in Westbury.

Mello, dressed in a red and black sweater, was happy to run around the park.

“This is the first time she’s gotten to come out since the weather changed,” Machado said. “She does better in the warmer weather.”

A few miles away at Old Westbury Gardens, Dennis Wei, 40, and Cathy Zhou, 34, both of Rego Park, Queens, were enjoying the park’s opening day with a stroll around the pond. It was a quiet weekend afternoon before they had to return to Queens and a dreary forecast.

“It’s been a long winter,” Zhou said.

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