Memorial Day weekend got off to a dismal start, but looks set to get better

The bank holiday weekend got off to a gloomy start in Rockaway Beach on Saturday, where gray skies kept sunbathers away.

Despite the reported shortage of lifeguards, all eight of New York City’s beaches were open on Saturday, albeit a little empty at the Queens hotspot.

The gloomy clouds made for a dramatic backdrop as a lone pedestrian strolled across the sand, but forecasters say things should pick up for Sunday and Monday.

The weather is expected to improve on Sunday and Memorial Day.
The weather is expected to improve on Sunday and Memorial Day.
Daniel William McKnight

“If you’re looking for some of that summer vibe to unofficially kick off summer, then I’d look for a beach day to be Memorial Day itself,” said Marissa Lautenbacher, Fox Weather meteorologist.

“If you’re someone who likes maybe more temperate days, Sunday is the best day at the beach,” she said. “It’s going to be sunny, bright and high in the mid 70’s, so it won’t be that hot.”

As for throwing burgers and hot dogs on the grill, she said, “Sunday is definitely the day for it.”

Beachgoers evacuate Jones Beach on the first day of Memorial Day weekend 2022 due to an upcoming storm.
Beachgoers evacuate Jones Beach due to a May 28 storm.
Stephen Yang for the New York Post

And for those with more patriotic plans, she said: “Sunday is going to be a really good night for fireworks simply because it’s going to feel a lot better, not as muggy. Overnight low is expected to be only 65 and it will be clear skies.”

Saturday’s patchy weather didn’t deter Coney Island lovers.

“…It’s not even crowded, it’s beautiful outside, so I’m just glad to be here,” said actress Katherine Stinnett, 26, who was tanning on Brooklyn Beach with boyfriend Jack Villalobos.

Jones Beach weather
A Rangers fan meets at Jones Beach on Saturday before the team’s competitive game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Stephen Yang for the New York Post
Jones Beach Air Show
Beachgoers watch an air show at Jones Beach on Saturday.
Stephen Yang for the New York Post

“I’ve been waiting for beach weather like it’s all year round. I love coming here,” said the Manhattan resident. “I thought it was going to be so busy and raining so I was so nervous but I was going to come anyway.”

Villalobos, who also plans to visit Rockaway Beach on Monday, couldn’t wait.

“For months all I’ve wanted to do is sit on the sand and stare at the water, so I’m pretty excited about it,” he said. “It’s a double sun weekend.”

However, skies were initially sunny on Long Island, prompting people to flock to Jones Beach for the first day of the annual Bethpage Air Show.

But the crowd fled when storms ripped through later in the day, forcing the cancellation of the show, which is being helmed by the US Navy Blue Angels this year. Memorial Day weekend got off to a dismal start, but looks set to get better


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