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Scattered showers remain in LI forecast

A slow-moving cold front is pushing rain toward the East Coast, but the heaviest precipitation is expected only to flirt with Long Island, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

Starting as early as noon Thursday and through late Friday, storms -- some drenching -- are forecast from Raleigh, N.C., to Baltimore to Washington, D.C.

As of midafternoon Thursday, Long Island's chance of seeing scattered showers and thunderstorms into the evening had dropped to about 20 percent to 30 percent, said Joey Picca, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, based in Upton.

With "a cold front making steady progress into the region," the chance of showers dropped back, he said, with a "very low end chance" for precipitation overnight.

"That front pushes through tonight and then mainly stalls south of us," said Ashley Sears, a meteorologist with the Upton-based service. "So an isolated thunderstorm, a heavy one, is not out of the question."

Some area flights were being disrupted Thursday, with LaGuardia Airport reporting weather-related arrival delays averaging about 25 minutes -- with average half-hour arrival delays at Kennedy Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

With the possibility of departures affected at those airports, as well as Long Island MacArthur, the FAA advises travelers to check with their airlines.

Showers are forecast for Friday, "more geared to the afternoon," Picca said, with a 50 percent chance for late afternoon and early evening.

Friday's temperatures are expected to be in the mid-to-upper 70s across Long Island, he said.

By the weekend, sunny skies and daytime temperatures in the high 80s will return, according to Sears.

Because of high humidity and daytime heating, there is the small chance of an isolated storm in the forecast over the weekend. "We're trying to provide nice weather here, doing what we can," Sears said.

With Patricia Kitchen

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