What a start to the month of February.
The record high of 64 degrees set Monday was reminiscent, of December’s shake-your-head warmth.
With a bit of snow still on the ground from a powerful blizzard, Long Island MacArthur Airport saw 64 degrees at about 12:30 p.m., said Jay Engle, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton. That topped the record of 63, set in 2012.
Forecasters expecting unseasonably mild temperatures for much of this week were expecting highs to be in the mid-50s for Monday, but “a little extra sunshine” in the morning led to the jump into the 60s, said Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist.
Flashback to a year ago Feb. 1, he said, when we saw the record low for the day tied — and that was a nippy 6 degrees. The high that day was 37. “I’m sure most of you prefer the warmth,” he told his followers on Twitter.
Another flashback to last year shows daily highs for Feb. 2 — Tuesday — and the following two days of 34, 24 and 40, respectively, at the airport, according to weather service data. Compare that to this year’s forecast of around 46 for Tuesday, 57 for Wednesday and 47 for Thursday, Engle said, with 38 degrees considered the norm.
So far, meteorological winter — December through February — has been right on target, with expectations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center for a mild, wet winter, as indicated in November in its updated winter weather outlook.
Looking at all of February, the prediction center said the area that includes Long Island is tilting slightly — 33 percent to 40 percent — in favor of above normal temperatures, with a similar tilt toward above normal precipitation.