The period known by weather aficionados as meteorological fall was Long Island’s warmest since records started being kept more than five decades ago.
The stretch from September through November came in at an average of 58.7 degrees, 3.7 degrees above normal, at Long Island MacArthur Airport, according to the National Weather Service.
Now in second place for warmest fall is that of 2015, which registered 58.6, the weather service said in a tweet. Records for the airport go back to 1963.
This year’s warmth came about, in part, as high pressure during September and October “kept the jet stream to our north and warm air flowing into the northeast,” said Jessica Spaccio, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center based at Cornell University in upstate Ithaca.
What’s more, those unseasonable temperatures are reaching into early December.
Already, Friday was registering in the low 50s, said Tim Morrin, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton, with Saturday looking to rise to the vicinity of normal, which is 48 degrees.
Sunday and Monday, though, are looking at highs in the upper 40s, with a jump Tuesday and Wednesday into the upper to mid-50s, respectively, he said, all based on information as of Friday afternoon. Normal highs for the period range from 46 up to 48 degrees, with 31 to 32 the lows.
That’s as Tuesday into Wednesday also looks to be bringing rainfall to the area.
And now, here it comes — News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman says to keep an eye out for a changing pattern “to colder weather starting next Thursday.”
Indeed, the Climate Prediction Center was indicating a slight tilt toward temperatures averaging below normal for the area including Long Island from Dec. 8 to 14. That’s as much of the eastern United States, particularly the Tennessee and Ohio Valley areas, were seeing an even higher likelihood. “A sustained chilly period” starting Thursday was forecast to be on tap, Morrin said, with “a tendency for at or below normal temperatures,” thanks to the arrival of a modified Arctic air mass.
In other words, welcome to winter, meteorologically speaking.