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Fifth driest meteorological summer at Long Island MacArthur Airport in three decades, weather experts say

A tractor travels along a farm field in

A tractor travels along a farm field in Riverhead on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 as it kicks up dust and dirt on a hot and humid day. Credit: Randee Daddona

Rainfall at Long Island MacArthur Airport came in at 7.27 inches below the norm of 11.68 for the three-month metrological summer, making it the fifth driest in the 31 years that records have been kept, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Meteorological summer runs from June 1 through Aug. 31.

The airport, which is the official measuring location for the Island's weather, has experienced a string of consecutive monthly deficits, starting with April's minus 2.68 inches.

Storms may have been in the neighborhood in June and July, but it looks like many missed Long Island, said climatologist Samantha Borisoff, with the regional center based at Cornell University in Ithaca. August brought "several stretches with high pressure dominating our weather" -- limiting rain, she said.

Indeed, a good part of the country has been experiencing ridging, with that high pressure "leading to drier weather" and warm, sunny days, said meteorologist Carlie Buccola, with the National Weather Service in Upton.

August ended 2.5 inches below the monthly rainfall norm, with 1.48 inches, the National Weather Service said.

Correspondingly, both Nassau and Suffolk were placed in the U.S. Drought Monitor's moderate drought category, its least intensive, in May, with Nassau's conditions improving enough to be moved into the abnormally dry category with last Thursday's update.

Temperature-wise, summer delivered an average 73.2 degrees for the season, with 71.7 the norm.

Looking to the coming days, Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist, said expect continuing dry weather, apart for a chance of scattered showers Thursday night. Friday through Monday bring sunny days, less humidity, with highs of 80 to 85.

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