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Forecast: Wednesday is Long Island's 'best shot' at hitting elusive 90-degree mark

If Long Island is to hit that elusive 90-degree mark perhaps Wednesday will be the day.

"It'll be tough but that's going to be the warmest day of the week," Brian Ciemnecki, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Upton office, said Tuesday. "It's our best shot."

What's so special about the thermometer reaching 90 during a Long Island summer? Well, creeping toward Labor Day weekend, there have been zero days of 90 or above this summer, the service said.

In fact, the last such day was July 20, 2013, when it was 90 on the nose at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, where Long Island's official weather data is recorded.

That period marks one of the longest stretches with no 90s in the 30 years that the weather service has maintained records at the airport.

The record is a nearly two-year 90s-free period from July 6, 2003, to June 13, 2005.

Ciemnecki said service meteorologists have no specific reason for the current lapse in 90-degree days. "We just haven't had those big heat waves this year," he said. And being surrounded by ocean waters, which often deliver cooling breezes, also can help beat the heat.

On Monday, the high at MacArthur was 87 at about 3:30 p.m., well off the record daily high of 92 set in 1998, the service said.

Highs Tuesday are expected in the mid 80s. Wednesday's forecast is a slight jump into the high 80s; the service predicts a daily high of 89 at the airport.

Then an incoming cold front drops temperatures for a slightly cooler holiday weekend.

"If we're going to hit 90, then Wednesday will be the day," Ciemnecki said.

With Patricia Kitchen

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