Local weather forecasters expect a drenching on Long Island Thursday night as showers and thunderstorms creep eastward to envelope the Island and, by mid-evening, to dump buckets of rain into the overnight hours.

Thursday night's storms "have the potential to produce strong wind gusts and some hail," said Joey Picca, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, in Upton, adding that, before the rain stops, from a quarter-inch to half an inch of rain could fall.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Most of the precipitation, which Picca charted to hit western Nassau by 8 p.m., is expected to collect on western Long Island, he said.

Temperatures should dip to about 72 degrees overnight and winds should range from 6 to 10 mph, forecasters said.