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June weather preview: Summer finally arrives

The Montauk Lighthouse on June 14, 2019.

The Montauk Lighthouse on June 14, 2019. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The poets would seem to agree, at least when it comes to the weather in June.

“This is the year’s sweet prime!” said Rebecca Hey, a 19th century English poetess, speaking for many, at least according to anthologies.

And what is there not to like, or admire, or even to love? This is, after all, the month when summer starts.

Students are finally set free from schoolwork, and teachers are unshackled from lesson plans and classrooms no less demanding — and possibly more so — for being virtual this year.

What is summer for, if not for learning the true meaning of leisure or other lessons? From which is port and which is starboard, to why it’s advisable to dig a trench all the way around the tent when rain is forecast during the night.

This has been far from a traditional spring by any means. And even if virtual summer school and camp activities loom, it's still a time to glory in all the outdoors before the summer blazes forth. Peonies, azaleas, daisies, hydrangea, lavender, larkspur, roses, and dahlias are all poised to bloom and beckon.

For those still quarantined, poet Jessie Belle Rittenhouse more than a century ago captured that mournful feeling: “I am shut in as June goes by. And can but see one little tree / Tossing its leaves to the sky / With the old ecstasy”

This year, summer officially starts June 20, and after a chilly spring, this is what forecasters say lies ahead.

The odds of warmer-than-usual temperatures this June are 50%, the Climate Prediction Center says. But probabilities of above-normal temperatures increase for the Northeast regions, Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast states based on some models, the agency, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says on its website.

The precipitation expected in June appears just as uncertain: 

“Models are less consistent for the Northeast region June forecast where equal chances of below, near and above normal precipitation is indicated.“ the Climate Prediction Center says. 



The mean temperature in June recorded in Islip since 1963 is 68.4 — almost precisely 10 degrees above the previous month, according to the National Weather Service.

The warmest June was 71.9 degrees in 2010; the coldest was 64.5 degrees in 1982.

On the warmest day in June — in 1966 — the temperature hit 96 degrees. The record low — 42 degrees — was in in 2009, 1976 and 1972.

15 hours, 4 minutes of daylight by month's end, with sunrise at 4:24 a.m. and sunset at 7:28 p.m. 


The normal amount of rain is 4.27 inches, more than May’s 3.78 inches.

The wettest June was in 2003, with 10.80 inches of rain, the weather service said. The driest was in 1988, when there was 0.58 of an inch.


Among the items of which there can be too much of a good thing, heat certainly qualifies.

That was the case on June 22, 1988, according to this Newsday account:

Tommy Anderson sat in a pickup on his Riverhead farm at the sultry peak of the daytime heat and said the hot, dry weather wasn't really anything for East End farmers to worry about.

What it mainly means, he said, is that they have to irrigate more than usual and at all hours, getting up two or three times during the night to move sprinklers.

"There ain't no easy way," said Anderson, who has worked the farm most of his 37 years. "Irrigation's nothing but aggravation."

Another way of looking at it is that irrigation is salvation. Most East End farmers irrigate when nature doesn't provide, said William Sanok, the state's cooperative extension agent in Riverhead. So the heat has brought no emergency of the kind being fought in the Midwest.

"We haven't seen any crop damage yet," Sanok said.

So far, the underground water supply has held up well on the East End, he said, and it quickly recharges with a good rain. The last sizable rain was May 25.

On the East End, a fairly dry May has been followed by, so far, an unusually dry June. ...

What the dry heat has done so far is speed up the cycles of some crops, such as strawberries and potatoes. The result, Sanok said, will be a shorter season and lower production.

Vineyardists say the sun is no problem for grapes. Once the vines are mature, in fact, many grape growers don't even irrigate. ...

Potatoes are blossoming profusely when they ought to be working on stems and leaves, Sanok said. The result, he said, will be a shorter season and lower production.

Heat was also dominating the June weather in 2010. The scorcher on June 28 that year was just another hot day in a month that saw a string of days with above-average heat, according to a Newsday story at the time:

"Out of 27 days, 19 days have been above normal," said John Murray, an NWS meteorologist who said this has been one of the warmer Junes on record. 

At Islip so far this month, the average temperature is 3.2 degrees above normal, Murray said.

People all over Long Island found different ways to deal with the sweltering heat.

"I have two bottles of water," said Tamar Paoli, 19, of Elmont, who relaxed on a bench under a large tree in Eisenhower Park. "I am staying in the shade."

But others thrived in the heat.

"It's gorgeous out," said Chuck Rappaport, 67, who splits his year between Westbury and Boca Raton, Fla. "The weather doesn't bother me at all. I can be out all the time."

Steve Nam, 24, of Bayside, disagreed. "I'm sweating and my shirt is soaked," Nam said. "This weather is unbearable. I am just drinking a lot of fluids and am about to go into the air conditioning."

Bobbi Schiller, a senior citizen from North Babylon, enjoyed the air-conditioning at the Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas. "I am using the movies and the pool to relax and stay cool."

Brian Callahan, 39, of Nesconset, who walked around the Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park with his two boys, 3 and 8 months, said he was headed for something cool to eat. "Now, maybe we will get some ice cream and relax," he said.

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