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Summer called relatively mild despite heat wave

With the end of summer on the horizon, meteorologists say that -- apart from seven sizzling 90-degree or above days in July -- the season was relatively mild.

Granted, that heat wave "was a bear," said News 12 Long Island meteorologist Bill Korbel, but the summer was pretty close to normal, skewing slightly warmer because of the July hot stretch.

Still, last month's heat wave, with humidity making it feel like 100 degrees and hotter, led to buckling roadways, air quality advisories and a strained power system as people cranked up the air conditioning. It was also one of several factors leading to the summer's overall lower beach attendance, as people stayed home in their pools and air conditioning, said George Gorman, Long Island deputy regional director for state parks.

July's mean temperature was 78 degrees, 4.1 degrees above normal, the National Weather Service said.

As for August, Long Islanders arriving for work on crisp mornings may have thought September had sneaked in early, but meteorologists say that was just an illusion.

Mornings may have been cooler than normal, with "wake-up" temperatures on two days as low as 56, but many afternoons climbed back up to the 80s, News 12 meteorologist Samantha Augeri said.

As of Wednesday, the month's average temperature was 72.2 degrees, reflecting the highs and lows -- close to 1 degree below normal, at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, according to the Weather Service. Rainfall of 2.72 inches was also close to an inch below normal.

Looking ahead, there's a 33 percent to 40 percent chance for above-average temperatures for September, October and November, with 55 degrees the norm for that time frame, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center. As for precipitation, there's an equal chance for an above-average, below-average or a normal level -- with 11.04 inches the norm.

The coming months also represent peak hurricane time for the area, with a forecast of an above-normal and possibly very active Atlantic hurricane season.

Both the Farmers' Almanac and Old Farmer's Almanac say the region can expect below-normal winter temperatures. The Farmers' Almanac predicts "possible heavy winter weather" for early February, with Super Bowl XLVIII scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Meadowlands.

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