Saturday starts the first weekend of autumn on Long Island with very un-fall-like weather, with temperatures averaging about 10 degrees above normal, lots of sun, barely any wind and thousands expected to even head to the beach.
“On this first fall weekend, we still have summertime across Nassau and Suffolk counties,” News 12 Long Island meteorologist Matt Hammer said. “Things are nice and dry . . . Get out and enjoy some summer weather.”
Hammer said the East End will see highs in the upper 70s, but the rest of the Island will reach the lower to middle 80s. He added that Sunday’s high could be a record-breaker.
For Saturday, Hammer predicted a high of 84 in Westbury, 82 in Northport, 82 in Coram, 77 in New Suffolk and 75 in Sag Harbor. The low at night will be 67.
The UV Index will be a high 6 — all that sun Saturday will be a perfect day to get in another tan with the right sun protection.
There is a moderate rip current risk at ocean beaches, the National Weather Service said.
The continuing summerlike weather prompted state parks officials to bring back lifeguards beginning this past Thursday at four parks. They will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend at Field 6 and the central mall at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, Fields 2 and 5 at Robert Moses State Park in Babylon, Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, and Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park.
Hammer said Jose, which had caused rip currents and rough surf in the area, will slowly be leaving the Long Island area throughout the weekend, but waters remain choppy — and Hurricane Maria might kick up some trouble.
“Jose is drifting off toward the east at a couple of miles an hour,” Hammer said. “We see dangerous conditions on the water now building because of Hurricane Maria,” which he added is currently “a major Category 3 storm.”
Hammer said Maria is likely to weaken into next week, then curve out to sea without a direct hit on Long Island. He anticipated “no major rain or winds for Long Island” but he said there could be rough surf conditions brought on by the storm.
Another warm, sunny and summery day is ahead for Sunday when Hammer said it will be “even hotter” with a high of 85 degrees that could set a record.
John Murray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Upton bureau, said the record at Islip was set in 2009 when the high was 83 degrees. He said the normal high is in the lower 70s and the normal low in the mid-50s at this time of year.
Murray said that for all of September the temperatures have been rather moderate.
“We’ve been in a pretty persistent pattern and it’s been pretty warm over the last few days at Islip,” Murray said. “For the month of September at Islip, we’ve been consistently above normal and over the past week we’ve been substantially above normal.”
Murray said that for most of September the highs were near 80 and the temperatures at night have not been falling as much as usual and were “pretty consistently in the mid-to-upper 60s.”
The warmer-than-normal weather is due to a large ridge across the eastern United States, Murray said.
“It’s causing a more warm and tropical-like environment and the type of air mass that we’ve had,” Murray said.