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Long Islanders bid farewell to wettest March on record

Several cars are under water as flood waters

Several cars are under water as flood waters surround homes in Riverhead. (March 31, 2010) Credit: Photo by James Carbone

T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month, which has to make you wonder what's ahead of us.

Amid drizzle and fog Wednesday morning, Long Islanders were mopping up in the wake of the region's wettest March on record.

But the rain and fog were to end around noon Wednesday, and April was to begin with sunshine Thursday - which forecasters swear isn't an April Fool's joke.

Certainly, most Long Islanders will be glad to see March fade into the history books.

This month, 9.55 inches of rain fell at Long Island-MacArthur Airport, according to the weather service, smashing the old record of 8.38 inches for March set in 2001.

And MacArthur wasn't alone for record-breaking rainfall.

Meteorologists said 10.68 inches of rain have fallen so far this March in Central Park, breaking the record of 10.54 inches set in 1983, while 9.55 inches have fallen at LaGuardia, breaking the old mark of 8.73 inches set in 1953.

At Kennedy, 8.61 inches of rain ties the previous mark set in 1980.

The most recent storm dropped 8.03 inches on Baiting Hollow as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to the weather service. Five other Suffolk communities received more than six inches of rain: Orient (6.90), Upton (6.89), Shirley (6.39), Montauk (6.17) and Middle Island (6.14). Mount Sinai got 5.65 inches, Centerport 4.94 and Islip 4.83.

In Nassau County, Mill Neck led all areas with 5.74 inches of rain, while Floral Park had 4.98, Muttontown 4.80 and Wantagh 4.13.

The weather service reported that wind gusts as high as 41 mph were recorded Tuesday in Farmingdale, with gusts of 40 mph in Islip, 37 mph in Lindenhurst and 30 mph in Shirley.

On the bright side, forecasters predicted temperatures near 60 degrees along with sunny skies Thursday. And temperatures hovering near the 70-degree mark are expected Friday - with calm winds and mostly sunny skies expected all weekend.

Take that, Eliot.


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