It was the hottest day on Long Island since the Friday before Labor Day weekend.

The temperature at Long Island MacArthur Airport hit a high of 88 degrees at 11:12 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

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The last time the thermometer hit or exceeded 88 degrees at the Ronkonkoma airport was on Aug. 31, when the high reached 89 degrees, according to the weather service.

Shortly before 3 p.m. the temperature reached 90 degrees at Central Park, the high for the day there, forecasters said.

The rising temperatures and sunny skies set the stage for some beautiful beach weather into the weekend, forecasters said, with highs expected to be into the 80s through Saturday and perhaps into Sunday.

Despite hitting the high 80s, the temperature remains a far cry from the record of 94.5 degrees set on this date in 1987, according to Brookhaven National Laboratory. It's also a far cry from the record low for this date -- a frigid 30.5 degrees, set in 1970.