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Long Island weather: Another day of summerlike warmth, but rain on the horizon

Friday should be another fine day as the warmth of summer lingers, though there is a downside — the recent lack of rain is abnormal, the National Weather Service in Islip said.

Possible showers predicted for Saturday and next week should be a relief as both Nassau and Suffolk, along with other parts of the state, are "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

While Saturday and Sunday both should be at least mostly sunny, with highs in the mid- to upper 70s, there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday night, the weather service said.

"Clouds will be on the increase Saturday as high pressure departs to the east and a cold front approaches from the west," the weather service said. "The front passes Saturday night from west to east, and a few showers and thunderstorms will accompany the front as it moves through."

Monday will echo the dry conditions expected for Sunday, though the high might only reach 69 degrees.

Skies should be at least partly sunny on both Tuesday and Wednesday, though Tuesday could be almost 10 degrees cooler at 73 degrees, the weather service said. Wednesday's high is expected to be near 81 degrees.

On both Wednesday night and Thursday there is a 30 percent chance of showers.

Farmers, gardeners, and autumn-leaf admirers  — who might be disappointed if the current dry stretch means brown will be the only color they see — all might welcome that rain. 

So far, Islip has gotten 2.45 inches less rain than normal for September, said Jay Engle, a weather service meteorologist.

Both short-term and longer-term data demonstrate the lack of rain. And the shortfall recently has accelerated.

"We are anywhere from 20 to 30 percent below normal for the last 90 days," Engle said. He added, "Over the last 30 days, you're seeing a lot of places that are 50 percent or more below normal."

The culprit is a ridge of air in the Northeast that drives rain north.

"That's been forcing the storm track further north into Canada. The most significant precipitation has been going north of the region," Engle said.

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