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Long Island weather: Sun, then rain for Memorial Day weekend

Above-normal temperatures and sunshine will blanket Long Island for the better part of Memorial Day weekend before showers and thunderstorms move into the area Sunday night, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said.

This means favorable skies, happily, are expected for the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

But Matt Hammer, a meteorologist with News 12 Long Island, warns that the UV index for Saturday is at a 9, which he said “is very high.”

“In as little as 20 minutes, you can get a sunburn on unprotected skin,” Hammer said.

A high pressure system that moved over the Island a few days ago — bringing with it clear skies and warm air — is here to stay Saturday with the thermometer hitting around 80 degrees inland and the mid-70s along the coast, said meteorologist Pat Meloit, of the service’s Upton office.

As far as any winds, there’s “nothing appreciable” in the forecast for the day, with some southwest winds in the morning less than 10 mph fading to a sea breeze for the afternoon, Meloit said.

For a weekend boating forecast, Hammer said this weekend — marking the first most will hit the water with their vessels this season — the weather on the water “looks great” with 2- to 4-foot waves on the ocean and about 1-foot waves on the Long Island Sound.

Temperatures will drop into the mid-60s overnight into Sunday, when temperatures will go back up into the 75- to 80-degree range, Meloit said, with minimal cloud cover.

A cold front coming from the west is expected to move across the Island on Memorial Day, bringing some showers and thunderstorms after midnight, into Monday morning, Meloit said. Some areas may see about three-quarters to an inch-and-a-quarter of rain, with the possibility of higher local amounts, according to Meloit.

“Unfortunately, the outdoor activities and early barbecues may have to be put on hold for Memorial Day Monday,” Hammer said. “So, enjoy the nice and definitely drier weather today and tomorrow if you can!”

Temperatures Monday will hover around normal, about 70 to 75 degrees Islandwide. The rain is expected to stop in the early evening, Meloit said.

Monday evening, the Island will start to dry out with dry weather returning in the middle of the week with highs still running above normal levels, Hammer said.

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