Rain, howling winds forecast as storm is expected to hit LI


The steady rain has led to puddles forming on some roads, including Horseblock Road in Medford, on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. Photo Credit: James Carbone

A “significant storm” with howling winds, torrential downpours and the possibility of power outages is expected to be in full force from about 6 to 10 p.m. on Long Island on Sunday — the fifth anniversary of superstorm Sandy.

A flash flood watch is in effect through late Sunday night, along with a high wind warning from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday.

For boaters, a small craft advisory is in effect for all of Sunday, and a storm warning will go into effect for the ocean and Long Island Sound at 6 p.m.

Wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph are expected to bring down some tree branches and limbs, potentially falling onto power lines and causing outages.

By early Sunday morning, the weather had caused flight disruptions at LaGuardia Airport. Travelers at area airports are advised to check with their airlines to determine the status of their flights.

By 11 a.m., the National Weather Service was reporting the following rain totals for some communities: 1.55 inches in Lake Grove; 1.12 in Kings Park and Farmingville; 1.06 in Smithtown and West Islip; 0.98 in Dix Hills; 0.97 in Deer Park; 0.91 in Miller Place; 0.73 in Middle Island; 0.71 in Greenlawn; 0.69 in Sunken Meadow Park; 0.68 in Copiague; 0.61 in Calverton; 0.60 in Poquott; 0.60 in East Moriches; 0.52 in Asharoken; and 0.51 in Blue Point.

PSEG Long Island had reported less than 200 power outages shortly before 12:30 p.m. — the utility’s normal amount on an average day, spokesman Jeremy Walsh said.

“There’s definitely a significant storm on the way today,” News 12 Long Island meteorologist Matt Hammer said. He said the “worst” of the storm will hit beginning early Sunday evening and that the rain will begin to taper off around midnight.

“It’s really going to be an afternoon and evening when you want to try to spend some time indoors,” Hammer added. “It’s looking like 6 o’clock to 10 o’clock for widespread torrential rain for several hours and for the wind to ramp up as well.”

Jay Engle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at Upton, said the unsettled weather is due to a “tropical disturbance that goes east of Florida today.”

Engle said the tropical moisture will interact with a strong system in the mid-Atlantic coast that will be bring heavy rain and winds into the region on Sunday.

Hammer said ponding of roadways as well as flooding will make travel on the roadways difficult, and that at least 3 inches of rain is expected for many areas on Sunday, with up to 6 inches possible when the storm finally ends on Monday.

The high for most of the Island is expected to be 67 degrees and the low 53 degrees.

Hammer said to expect a high of 68 in Babylon and Northport; 67 in Merrick, Sag Harbor, Coram and Westbury; and 66 in New Suffolk.

Engle said the normal high at Islip is 59 and the normal low is 42.

The rain is expected to end Monday morning with sunshine gradually developing, though it will continue to be windy and morning commuters should watch for downed tree branches on the roads. Highs near 58 and a low of 57 are forecast.

On Tuesday, the skies will be mostly sunny on Halloween when the high will reach a slightly warmer 59 and the overnight low will be 43.

On Wednesday, look for a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 58 and a low of 48.

Mostly cloudy skies are ahead for Thursday when the high will be 64 and the low 53.

For the start of the weekend on Friday, the forecast calls for a partly sunny day with a high of 65 and a low of 44.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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