TODAY'S PAPER
Overcast 51° Good Afternoon
Overcast 51° Good Afternoon

Flooding, winds may disrupt Thursday morning commute

Traffic moves along Interstate 287, as seen from

Traffic moves along Interstate 287, as seen from the North Broadway overpass in White Plains, during the morning commute in light rain after a snowfall. (Dec. 27, 2012) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

Early-morning showers and scattered rains might add to regional flooding problems before the clouds give way to partial sunshine Thursday, forecasts predict.

The Hudson Valley will remain under flood watch through Thursday morning after steady -- and at times heavy -- rains through the night Wednesday. Along with localized flooding, commuters may have to contend with powerful wind gusts up to 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a high-wind warning Wednesday.

Such powerful wind gusts "will bring down trees, will bring down power lines and cause power outages," News12 meteorologist Joe Rao said Wednesday night.

"The heaviest band of precipitation, which even includes some embedded thunderstorms -- and you don't see that often in the month of January -- is still back over western Pennsylvania, but it's all sliding eastward," Rao said.

An additional 1-2 inches of rain were forecast for overnight, which could cause complications for the morning commute. A flash flood watch was issued for Westchester County and the rest of the Hudson Valley except for Putnam County. Urban areas with poor or overloaded drainage systems, and areas susceptible to flooding -- such as Westchester County's parkways -- are at the greatest risk from the overnight rains.

Orange and Rockland Utilities has put staff on alert because of the storm, the company said in a release.

Thursday's high is expected to reach 44 degrees, with winds of 10-20 mph, before a new front brings cooler air.

"The temperatures are just going to be down, down, down through the course of the day and setting the stage for a return to winter by Friday and the weekend," Rao said.

On Friday, high temperatures are forecast to dip to around 32 degrees and remain there through Saturday and Sunday.

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