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July on Long Island: No heat wave, not even 90-degree temps

Long Beach resident Stephen Fregosi catches a frisbee

Long Beach resident Stephen Fregosi catches a frisbee behind his back while showing off to his fiancee, Jackie Walgren from Minneapolis, MN at the beach in Long Beach on Aug. 1, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

In a month that's ordinarily associated with heat waves, this July saw not even a hint of one on Long Island.

And it still hasn't hit 90 degrees in more than a year at the Island's official weather monitoring station, meteorologists said.

Still, the average temperature at Long Island MacArthur Airport for the month, 75.2 degrees, was 1.3 degrees above the norm, thanks largely to overnight lows being higher than usual, said Tim Morrin, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton.

Based on 30 years of records for the airport, July reigns as heat-wave king, logging in 15 periods over the years of three or more consecutive days with 90 degrees or above, the Weather Service said. The next closest heat-wave months are June and August, with five each.

Around this time last year, which saw an average July temperature of 78 degrees, the Island had experienced eight days of 90 or above in the month, including a seven-day heat wave that ended July 20. And the airport hasn't seen a 90-degree day since.

On July 8 and July 9 this summer, the thermometer maxed out at 87.

As a result, Long Islanders have had less of a need this summer for air-conditioning and associated power usage.

According to PSEG, overall usage this July was about 16 percent lower than last July, a spokeswoman said. With cooler conditions this year, peak load was only 4,854 megawatts last month, compared with July 2013's 5,761 and the 5,506 expected for a typical July, she said.

The dearth of hazy, hot and humid days this year can be traced to cooler air associated with the jet stream persistently dipping to the south over the eastern United States, said David Stark, also a meteorologist in Upton. That and onshore sea breezes have kept midafternoon temperatures down.

Still, those air conditioners could get a workout after all as long-range forecasters at AccuWeather, in State College, Pennsylvania, see a stretch of warmer days ahead.

In the Aug. 14 to Aug. 24 time range, "the Northeast could have the warmest weather of the summer," said Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather meteorologist.

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