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Forecast: Warm-up brings relief to the region this week

Artie Hickey, left, and Rich Brass, both of

Artie Hickey, left, and Rich Brass, both of Islip Terrace, clear snow in East Islip on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, so neighborhood kids can ice skate. Forecasters are predicting a warmup for Long Island this week. Credit: James Carbone

Thirty degrees never sounded so good.

Monday’s predicted high of 36 degrees — with a low of 30 degrees – are considered seasonable temperatures for this time of year, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Carlie Buccola in Upton.

But after a frigid streak that began around Christmas – and ended Sunday with two record-shattering, teeth-chattering cold readings – it’ll be some welcome weather for Long Island, despite a possible wintry mix for the evening commute.

“This [warming trend] is from high pressure pushing off the East Coast that allows temperatures to warm up slightly — that happens more so on Monday when temperatures will be above 30 degrees on most of the Island,” said Joe Pollina, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Upton bureau.

According to the service, the temperature at Islip was 2 degrees shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday — smashing the record of 6 degrees set in 1968 — and Kennedy Airport dipped to 4 degrees about an hour later, breaking the 2014 record, which was also 6 degrees.

Sunday’s record-setting readings followed more of the same Saturday on Long Island. The high Saturday at Long Island MacArthur Airport topped out at 12 degrees, toppling the old mark of 17 set in 1996.

The freezing temperatures froze water mains and residential pipes, keeping workers busy fixing icy leaks.

“Everybody’s working around the clock. We’re swamped,” John Levine, co-owner of Plumbing Emergency Rescue, said Sunday. For the last week, he said, call volume’s “been through the roof” and comparable to the 2013 to 2014 Long Island winter when the region was hit by a “polar vortex.” The company has offices in Central Islip and Hicksville.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is dealing with “significantly more water breaks” than normal and will expect to see more as frozen pipes thaw with warmer temperatures, James Gaughran, chairman of Suffolk County Water Authorty, said.

“This has been one of the most taxing times on our men and women, our crews, since I’ve been on the board,” said Gaughran, who was appointed in 2008. “It’s just an unprecedented extreme cold, it’s very tough for us to deal with.”

On Thursday, he had declared an emergency due to the cold, authorizing the Suffolk County Water Authority to approve more overtime and allow outside contractors to be hired.

The rest of the week’s forecast includes a cloudy Tuesday morning before sun increases in the afternoon and highs inch up to near 49 and lows drop between 20 and 25.

Much more seasonable weather arrives on Wednesday, when it will be partly sunny with highs in the upper 30s and lows remain near 35.

Thursday will bring a mix of sun and clouds with showers possible in the evening and a high expected to hit 45. The low is forecast to be 40.

Mostly cloudy skies start off the weekend on Friday but so do those warmer temperatures. Highs will inch up to near 50, with lows near 40.

With Lisa Irizarry

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