73 Days After Summer Started Long Island May Finally Hit 90

Long Island Beach
Lovers stroll along the seashore in Long Beach in June 2014. (Photo by Joe Abate)

Long Island could see its first 90-degree day on Tuesday—73 days after the 2014 summer solstice.

This summer hasn’t been nearly as brutal as last year, when 10 90-degree days were recorded, according to the National Weather Service.

The closest LI got to hitting the 90-degree mark this year was June 18—three days before the official start to summer—when the mercury peaked at 89.

And the Island hasn’t seen a 90-degree day since July 20 of last year, according to the weather service.

That means there’s been very little to complain about, at least weather-wise, until now.

Hot and humid weather arrived just in time for Labor Day weekend, and it has carried over to Tuesday.

As of 11 a.m., the temperature at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma was 85 degrees.

With the heat rising, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality alert for both Nassau and Suffolk counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The agency has also advised people to limit strenuous activities outdoors and said those most sensitive to the effects of elevated pollutants are the very young and those with such respiratory problems as asthma or heart disease.

Why the sustained heat all of a sudden?

“Heat has been building in southern US and is being transported up this way,” said National Weather Service meteorologist David Stark.

He noted that areas inland, such as New York City, have been hit with steamier temperatures this summer but LI has been spared by a constant sea breeze, which has helped prevent the mercury from rising. That hasn’t been the case the last several days.

“The jet stream hasn’t supported heat getting transported up this way, but it’s shifted,” he said.

The forecast through Friday calls for temperatures in the low to mid-80s, with the temperature cooling down Sunday and Monday.

That’s more like it.