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Long Island forecast: High winds, heavy rain expected for Monday

A high wind warning is in effect for Long Island on Monday with the forecast calling for heavy rain and strong gusts that could knock down trees and cause widespread power outages, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service has issued the warning for Long Island from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday with south winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting up to 65 mph. The Weather Service has also issued a storm warning and coastal flood advisory for the region from noon to 6 p.m.

Rain is likely to start after 4 a.m. Monday, with heavy showers and possible thunderstorms during the day, according to the National Weather Service.

The high could reach 60 degrees in some spots Monday, but the rain will be substantial, with 1 to 2 inches possible, according to the weather service. Winds of around 30 mph could increase to 45 mph by afternoon, with gusts up to 65 mph possible. The chance of precipitation is 100%, according to the weather service.

The system is part of the same one that caused severe storms in Mississippi and is moving into our region, Da'Vel Johnson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton, said Sunday.

"As this system gets closer to us, it is going to deepen and strengthen," Johnson said, adding the highest winds Monday are expected along Long Island's southern coastline. "The winds coming off the ocean are going to be quite strong."

The weather service also warned that large breaking waves of 12 to 16 feet will result in significant beach erosion and localized overwashes are possible resulting in flooded roads.

Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines, the weather service said in a message on its website, adding: “Even sturdy and well secured tent structures could be damaged. Widespread power outages are possible.”

Officials with PSEG Long Island are closely monitoring the storm and has crews at the ready to respond to any service interruptions, said John O’Connell, PSEG Long Island’s vice president of Transmission and Distribution Operations.

In addition, the utility has “adapted our storm procedures to follow public health best practices and accommodate for other potential industrywide changes,” he said.

Traditionally, PSEG Long Island is able to call on mutual aid support from crews in other parts of the country if needed. However, during the current public health crisis, PSEG Long Island does not expect the same level of mutual aid support will be available.

“While we have adjusted our emergency response plan accordingly, some customers may experience slightly longer outages as a result,” the utility said in a statement. 

In anticipation of severe weather expected for Monday, officials in Suffolk County have dismantled tents at three new mobile COVID-19 testing sites. Tests will be rescheduled, Suffolk County officials said.

Stony Brook University also announced it is closing its testing operation and field emergency room due to the weather.

Monday night will be cloudy with gradually clearing skies and a low in the mid-40s. The wind continues with 30-mph gusts possible.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny with a high in the mid-50s and a 30% chance of showers after midnight and into the following day, the weather service said.

Wednesday will be partly sunny with a 30% chance of rain and the high only reaching the upper 40s.

Thursday will be partly sunny, but with the temperature climbing a few degrees into the lower 50s. Friday’s forecast calls for mostly sun and a high in the lower 50s.

With Vera Chinese and Rachelle Blidner

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