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Long Island weather: Heat index hits a sweltering 105

Jan Gaddist, of Bay Shore, and Rachel King,

Jan Gaddist, of Bay Shore, and Rachel King, of Jericho, keep cool on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, as they train in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, for the New York City Marathon this November. Credit: Howard Schnapp

How to describe this weekend’s swampy, sticky conditions?

“Sweltering” and “oppressive” were popular among meteorologists and weather writers, who took to Twitter to describe the heat and humidity that’s settled in over the area, making it feel like the low to mid-100s Friday in some areas of Long Island.

Then there was “insane,” “unbearable” and “I think I’m melting.”

Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist, opted for the down-and-dirty “HOT HOT HOT.”

Friday’s high in Islip of 90 degrees beat the previous record, set in 2005, by one degree, said Brian Ciemnecki, meterologist with the National Weather Service in Upton.

And Saturday’s expected high of 93 degrees would beat the previous record of 92 degrees, set in 2002, he said.

“It’s going to be close,” Ciemnecki said.

The weather service issued an excessive heat warning for Nassau and western Suffolk, with a heat advisory for eastern Suffolk, through Sunday night.

Saturday also brings expectations for heat-index values — also known as “feels like” temperatures, thanks to the humidity — to reach 105 to 110 in Nassau County and western Suffolk County, the National Weather Service said. Make that possibly just around 105 degrees for Sunday.

Look to eastern Long Island for a slightly cooler 100 degrees, with the same expected for Sunday.

Ciemnecki uses just one “HOT” to describe those weekend conditions, indicating just a slightly lesser degree for areas right on the South Shore and far out on the East End.

The highest heat indexes can be expected for the mid- to late afternoon hours, the weather service said.

Still, heat is not the only factor — there’s also the continuing chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, with the potential to bring heavy rain and gusty winds, especially for Saturday afternoon and evening, the weather service said. Those chances potentially lessen for Sunday.

So, what’s been at play this week?

A clockwise flow of air, resulting from a high pressure area stationed off the East Coast, has been bringing “tropical weather conditions northward, and the result is what we have had most of this week,” said Bill Korbel, News 12 Long Island meteorologist.

Those who are familiar with Florida and the tropics at this time of year, he says, will recognize the 90-degree temperatures with these levels of humidity.

Those suffering from the unwelcome taste of the Sunshine State took to Long Island’s beaches and pools to seek relief on Friday.

At Jones Beach State Park, lifeguard Tammy McLoughlin said she looked forward to such sweltering days.

“We actually hope for days like this because it’s fun to see the numbers (of attendees) increase and be able to do what we do best . . . protect the patrons,” said McLoughlin, who oversees some of the Jones Beach lifeguards.

Maria Dedvukaj, 50, of Yorktown, sought out Jones Beach on Friday to escape the heat of home.

“It’s a beautiful day to be out,” she said. “The summer’s almost over.”

Korbel said there will be a hint of relief with the start of the workweek.

“We have two more days of this,” Korbel said, “before a weak front drops temperatures and humidity levels just a little bit starting Monday.”

With Bailey Williams and Joan Gralla

The state Department of Health offered some recommendations to stay safe in the heat:

  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness, such as hot, dry skin, heavy sweating and muscle cramps.
  • Minimize outdoor activity, drink plenty of water and try to stay in an air-conditioned place.
  • Open shades and windows on the shady side of your residence and close them on the sunny side.
  • Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen and a ventilated hat outdoors.


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