Sunshine should prevail Thursday — with no rain expected before Sunday — but early risers may wonder where spring went as the wind chill will make it feel like 25 to 35 degrees.

They may even have encountered a few snowflakes: "It looks like there were two reports of flurries, one down near Massapequa Park, and one near Old Westbury," James Tomasini, a National Weather service meteorologist, said by telephone Thursday morning.

And Thursday will not warm up much: the daytime high will only hit 51 degrees, according to the weather service.

"This will be about 10 degrees below normal and will feel even colder with the gusty west winds," the weather service said.

Wind gusts could reach 36 mph, the weather service said. The night time low will sink to 37 degrees.

The winter-like chill is part of what the Weather Prediction Center calls "a large dome of unseasonably cold air" expanding east under a large area of high pressure sitting over the Mississippi Valley.

As a result, the prediction center, which is part of the weather service, has issued numerous freeze warnings from the central Plains to the northern mid-Atlantic and predicts record lows will be set.

By Friday, the cold air mass will moderate as it drifts east, although low temperatures will still be around 10 degrees below normal in the central United States, with lows hovering in the mid-30s to 40s, the prediction center said.

Long Islanders, meanwhile, can anticipate a sunny, breezy and warmer Friday, with a daytime high of 62 degrees predicted.

Saturday should be equally clear and a few degrees warmer, but rain looks likely after midnight, as a low pressure system arrives from the Great Lakes, the weather service said.

On Sunday, the weather service said, "After a wet start to the day, rain will taper off from west to east during the afternoon as the low moves east of the area."

Thermometers during the day are expected to rise to 60 degrees. The night time low is predicted to be 42 degrees.

From Monday to Wednesday, the skies should be at least partly sunny and the daytime temperatures will rise a few degrees every day, reaching 66 degrees by Wednesday.

"After near-normal temperatures on Sunday and Monday, temperatures return to above normal Tuesday, and by Wednesday temperatures may be as much as 10 degrees above seasonal normal," the weather service said.

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