A windy winter storm churning into our area is expected to throttle the region with a punch of slushy rain on Wednesday and then a blast of snow the following evening into Friday, threatening to cause coastal flooding, blackouts and commute problems for tri-staters.
High winds and rain arrived Wednesday afternoon and are expected to last throughout the night into Thursday. A slug of snow is expected to hit Thursday evening, and by the Friday morning commute, our area could see a few inches on the ground.
The tri-state was initially forecast to get snow starting Wednesday, but the storm is slowly pushing off the coast and is likely to deliver only rain and wind at first.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for the city, western and central Long Island, southern Connecticut and parts of northeastern New Jersey through Thursday morning.
Meteorologists expect wind gusts to reach highs of 60 mph along the coast through Thursday morning, and a high wind warning is in effect for Ocean and Monmouth counties in New Jersey through 5 a.m. Thursday. A voluntary evacuation is in effect for Brick in Ocean County.
Localized power outages were being reported amid the intense wind gusts along the coast.
In Baldwin on Long Island, winds knocked down a tree, which in turn took down several power lines, causing a small power outage. Utility crews were on the scene within two hours and were making repairs.
Significant beach erosion is also possible along the Sandy-battered coasts of New Jersey and Long Island due to the duration of intense wind and surf, forecasters say. Moderate to major coastal flooding is likely, particularly during high tide cycles in areas near Sandy Hook Wednesday into Thursday morning.
A coastal flood warning has been issued through Thursday morning for the city, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, Fairfield County in Connecticut and Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Hudson counties in New Jersey.
Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 43 degrees on Wednesday, and will drop to just around freezing overnight. The air dips a bit cooler Thursday with a high of 38 degrees before climbing back up into the low 40s on Friday.
The weather turns warmer for the weekend, with temperatures expected to crack 50 degrees on Sunday.