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At 91 degrees Saturday, LI hits day record

Boaters in sailboats keep cool during a regatta

Boaters in sailboats keep cool during a regatta exercise on Oyster Bay, near Mill Neck. (June 29, 2012) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Record heat baked Long Island Saturday, with temperatures expected near 90 again Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

The mercury hit 91 degrees Saturday afternoon at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, beating a record high of 89 for the day set in 2001, meteorologist Matthew Tauber said.

An air quality alert ended, however, after a slight cold front moved through the region overnight Friday into Saturday.

At Jones Beach, Alan Melgarejo kept plenty of Gatorade and watermelon on hand for his youth soccer team, in addition to a healthy slathering of sunscreen.

"We're going to get through it -- that's for sure," he said.

Melgarejo, 44, of Franklin Square, was coaching FC Porto, a squad of children from Mineola playing in a beach soccer tournament with about 35 other teams. By 12:30 p.m., FC Porto had won its first game 4-1, but had at least two more matches to go.

"Hot sand; miss hits," the coach said.

Farther down the beach, Frank Ferrara, 13, of Bayside, had chosen soothing water over sand.

"The water's cold, but I can take it," he said, dripping wet in green-and-white swim trunks.

His father, Tony, 51, watching nearby, said sizzling temperatures don't bother him.

"I'm a heat guy," he said. "I'd rather be sweating."

The blazing temperatures are expected to return Sunday with highs near 90 and a slight chance of thunderstorms, Tauber said. Temperatures should drop into the mid-80s starting Monday.

The Weather Service issued a "moderate" rip current alert Saturday for Nassau and Suffolk ocean beaches.

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