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Long Island weather: Highs in the 70s, heat returns tomorrow

Savor the cool: Tuesday’s daytime temperature should top out at about 76 degrees — around 10 degrees lower than normal for mid-July, the National Weather Service said.

Any morning showers — the odds of rain are 20% — should clear out by 9 a.m. or so, though they may return after midnight, when the chances rise to 30%.

Thank the breezes blowing from the east for the temporary respite from July’s recent hot and steamy conditions, which are expected to return on Wednesday.

"More in the way of sunshine on Wednesday should allow temperatures to rise into the mid-80s across much of the area, and the upper 80s across portions of urban northeast New Jersey," the weather service said.

The continued high humidity, plus warmer temperatures, will spike heat indices, so it will feel like 95 in spots.

The odds of downpours after 2 p.m. — accompanied by potentially severe thunderstorms with strong winds — are 30%, as a front, a transitional zone between weather systems, arrives from the west, the weather service said.

"Given the timing of the frontal passage, think the best potential for any stronger storms will be for areas from New York City westward, with showers and storms diminishing in coverage as they push east after sunset," the weather service advised.

Minor flooding is anticipated, except in areas already saturated.

Long Island, and much of the country, will be sharing the same heat in between possible storms.

"The active summertime pattern of mainly afternoon/evening intense thunderstorms with heavy downpours will continue to make weather headlines through the middle of the week," the weather service’s Weather Prediction Center said.

"This especially holds true for portions of the Northeast U.S., Florida, and the Northern Plains to the Upper Midwest," it said.

At least, however, the extraordinarily intense heat dome gripping the West, where wildfires still rage, is beginning to ease though higher than average temperatures will prevail from California to the Great Basin, the prediction center said.

Back on Long Island, the front should have headed offshore by Thursday, so sunny skies should rule both that day and Friday — the only two days when no storms are expected. Temperatures officially will stick to the mid-80s, according to the weather service.

And much of the region, aside from New Jersey, may be spared the worst of the sultry weather Thursday.

"While there is the potential for some locations in urban northeast New Jersey to once again see heat index values around 95 degrees, the overall coverage of higher heat index values appears to be less on Thursday compared to Wednesday," the weather service said.

Friday, however, could be another scorcher, with the weather service predicting "about half of the tri-state area (will be) seeing max heat indices of 95-100."

A cold front nears on Saturday along with a trough, an elongated area of low pressure in which warm and rising air can condense.

So the weekend looks likely to be rather wet, though the odds of storms will slip slightly: there is a 50% chance of rain on Saturday, 40% on Sunday and 30% on Monday. Daytime highs will top out in the low 80s during that period.

Despite Tropical Storm Elsa, this July on Long Island is so far only the eleventh wettest, with a total of 4.59 inches of rain, said weather service meteorologist David Stark by telephone. The record was set in 1984, when 8.36 inches of rain were recorded.

In contrast, Central Park is closing in on a record, as 8.49 inches of rain have already fallen.

"With more than half the month to go, this is already the seventh-highest July rainfall of record for the Park," the weather service said.

The record for July is 11.89 inches, which was set in 1889 — 20 years after those records begin. All the weather service's diffferent forecast models put that record in jeopardy, it said.

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