Courtney Kruk, 10, from Southold, welcomes the spring-like weather at...

Courtney Kruk, 10, from Southold, welcomes the spring-like weather at Southold Town beach. (Mar. 12, 2012) Credit: Randee Daddona

The week kicked off Monday with a record high temperature, and it looks like Long Islanders have a balmy few days ahead.

At 1:31 p.m. the temperature hit 65 degrees at Long Island's MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, well above the day's previous record high of 56 degrees set in 1990, the National Weather Service said.

Weather service records for MacArthur date to 1984. But according to Brookhaven National Laboratory's website for its Upton site, Monday's high was 66.74 degrees, coming close to the 1973 record of 68.5 degrees.

Look for "springlike weather for the rest of the week," though Monday may have been the warmest, said Bill Korbel, News 12 Long Island meteorologist. "Temperatures will average more than 10 degrees above normal," he said.

While today will be warmer than usual, the temperature won't come close to breaking Islip's record for the day, which was 82 degrees, set in 1990, said David Stark, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, based in Upton.

The mild temperatures are "just continuing the pattern we had all winter long," Korbel said. At this time of year, "the sun is up longer, and we get a little more heat each day."

And, with an extra hour of sunlight added to the end of the day, thanks to daylight saving time, plenty of Long Islanders took advantage of the sunny skies.

"I like this. It's like summertime," said Barbara Modderno, 70, a retiree from Patchogue, as she sat at a picnic table at Jones Beach State Park late Monday afternoon.

Stella Munoz, 21, sitting nearby in the concession area at Field 6, said, "I come down every day I can, even in the winter." Still, the floral designer from East Meadow said with a laugh, "I don't like it when it gets this crowded," gesturing to some 20 other people in the area, also soaking up the afternoon sun.

Howard Vetter, 60, a retired schoolteacher from Westbury, said, "It's been a great winter. . . . I just hope this is not early global warming."

Tuesday's highs are forecast to hit the low 60s, with temperatures in the high 50s expected on the eastern end of Long Island, Stark said.

Light rain was expected to roll in after midnight Monday night and end by 10 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

Another short period of showers is expected late Tuesday night, but chance of precipitation is 20 percent, the service said.

With Gary Dymski


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