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Record dry May on Long Island gives way to soggy first day of June

A man tries to keep dry on Waverly

A man tries to keep dry on Waverly Avenue in Patchogue on Monday, June 1, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

The first day of June on Long Island was wetter than the whole month of May.

Last month, 0.42 inches of rain fell at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, the driest May since records started being kept there in 1984, according to the National Weather Service.

By early Monday night, .46 inches had fallen at the airport since 12:01 a.m., a dent in the "moderate drought" that the Island has been experiencing, the service said.

"It's very unusual," said meteorologist Jay Engle at the weather service in Upton. "It doesn't mean we're out of the woods, but it helps."

Some eastern parts of Suffolk got only 3/10 of an inch of rain, he said, but another 1.5 to 2 inches is expected to fall through Tuesday night and help quench the Island's thirst.

The service issued a flash flood watch, effective through Tuesday night, for Nassau and western Suffolk.

Rainfall rates as high as 2 inches per hour are possible, the service said.

But Monday's drenching hasn't been a "Long Island special," Engle said. The storm's brunt hit New York City and points west and north, he said.

The system, which started Sunday, flooded major roadways in New York City, including parts of the Long Island Expressway in Queens.

The weather service said the Island could see another three-quarters to 1 inch Tuesday.

Some time after noon Tuesday, sunshine should start to appear with breaks in the clouds, Hoffman said. Daily highs in the mid- to upper 60s again are expected.

By Wednesday, it's mostly sunny skies with highs in the low to mid-70s.

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