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Long Island weather: Above-normal temperatures expected this week

Look for mostly sunny skies in the morning

Look for mostly sunny skies in the morning Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, which goes on to see highs around the mid 40s, slightly above normal, forecasters said. Credit: News 12 Long Island

Above-normal temperatures — delighting many on Long Island — are expected to last at least through the end of the week, forecasters said.

Tuesday reached 44 degrees at Long Island MacArthur Airport, which is still warmer than the average for this time of year, which is 42 degrees, said Jay Engle, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton.

The rest of the week is looking at possible highs in the low to mid-50s, perhaps a bit higher, with a little uncertainty given the potential for more low clouds coming in Wednesday night into Thursday, he said, as well as winds coming more from due south off the ocean, as opposed to from the southwest.

However, don’t necessarily count on a string of mild and sunny days. Each day brings the potential for a little drizzle and light rain, with chances increasing toward Saturday, according to the weather service’s late Tuesday afternoon forecast.

Certainly, “the month of February will go down with above-normal temperatures,” said Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist. As of day’s end on Monday, the month was already three degrees above the average monthly temperature of 35.1 degrees at Long Island MacArthur Airport, he added.

That’s not so surprising, especially with this recent earlier string of two days in the 50s, and Sunday’s record-breaking 65 degrees, according to weather service data.

Daily lows have played a role as well, said Jessica Spaccio, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center based at Cornell. Several daily lows have been well above normal this month, with two days cooling down to a mild 39 degrees. Most of this week’s overnight lows are looking to be around 40 degrees, according to the weather service’s site.

These warmer temperatures are thanks to the jet stream’s staying well to the west and to the north over Canada, Engle said, as opposed to dipping down over the Eastern U.S. along with more winterlike air.

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