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LI weather: Mostly summerlike July 4 holiday

Long Islanders can expect a summerlike Fourth of July weekend, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

There remains the off-chance of a late-afternoon shower -- which has been the pattern for more than a week now -- but the Upton-based service said clearing skies and the presence of a high-pressure system to the west will leave most of Nassau and Suffolk counties sunny and warm for the extended holiday.

Chance of precipitation through the weekend is 20 percent; for most of the past week -- when there loomed the daily threat of a heavy downpour -- the odds ranged from 40 to 60 percent.

Beginning Wednesday "there will be more sunshine during the day, with continued humidity and slightly warmer temperatures," said Peter Wichrowski, a meteorologist with the service. "Although you can't rule out the slight chance of an afternoon shower."

The warming trend is because the cloud cover is being pushed away by the high-pressure system, with mostly clear, blue skies taking over, Wichrowski said.

Most of the East Coast is still going to feel the warming effects of a Bermuda High, Wichrowski said.

This large, subtropical air mass that rests over the western North Atlantic near the islands for which it is named, traditionally leads to days of summer warmth for large portions of the East Coast.

So, the threat of a late-afternoon storm remains about 20 percent for Tuesday and Wednesday. There also is a high risk of rip currents at Atlantic beaches until Tuesday night.

Then, mostly summerlike conditions move in. Only some patchy fog, primarily in the early hours, from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., is likely between Thursday and Sunday in Suffolk, the service said.

"This range of high pressure will continue to build across the Atlantic," Wichrowski said of the extended holiday weekend. "We'll get continued high humidity and warmer temperatures, well into the 80s."

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