After a summer of cooler-than-usual temperatures and rain, the weather is surprising everyone again with a completely dry fall and an October heatwave.

The record for Oct. 2 — 85 degrees in 2002 — was tied Wednesday at Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township, the National Weather Service said, and temperatures should remain in the low to mid-80s until the end of the weekend.

Meanwhile, there has not been one drop of rain in the area since the autumnal equinox Sept. 22. The last recorded rainfall was earlier that morning, the last night of summer, leading to a dry spell lasting 10 days and counting.

“The next frontal system is not pushing through until Sunday and Monday,” said NWS meteorologist Greg Heavener.

Today’s temperatures should be slightly cooler and closer to Tuesday’s high of 81, Heavener said, but a southerly front should raise temperatures back into the mid-80s from Friday through Sunday. There is a chance of showers Sunday night.

By comparison to this hot, dry fall, June was the wettest month ever in Atlantic City, with 9.55 inches of rain. In addition, almost half the days in August never rose above 80 degrees — while October may go six for six on 80-plus-degree days in its first week.

“It’s marvelous,” said Angela Pestak, of Margate, as she walked the Ventnor Boardwalk on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a last hurrah.”

Ben Levner, of Philadelphia, brought his kids to the beach on their day off.

“We decided to celebrate with a little beach day,” Levner said. “I can’t believe it’s so hot today.”

Kira Strong, also of Philadelphia, drove all the way from Pennsylvania for a day trip.

“This is a first,” she said of her October beach day with her 4-year-old daughter, Willa, and her friend. “We came around noon, and it’s been lovely.”

Rosary and Joseph Pollara, meanwhile, had a shorter trip.

“We live in Egg Harbor Township, so it’s not too far to take advantage of it,” Rosary said. “There seem to be a lot of people out here.”

“The water’s beautiful,” said Joseph. “You should dip your toes.”

Does the warm October bode well for a mild winter?

“I hope so,” Rosary said. “I’m not a snow fan.”

Contact Steven Lemongello:

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.