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Forecast: Rain, wind on Christmas Eve could make for messy holiday travel

Wind and rain are expected to affect holiday travel on Christmas Eve, with the heaviest rainfall forecast later in the day, meteorologists say.

Light to moderate rain is expected to start about daybreak Wednesday, with more arriving between 6 p.m. and midnight, said Joe Pollina, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton. Wind gusts could hit 28 to 29 mph, he said.

The weather service was forecasting about 11/2 to 21/2 inches of rain for Long Island from Monday night to Thursday morning.

For Christmas Day, rain is expected to taper off by early morning, Pollina said, but with winds and gusts up to 40 mph, especially on the East End. Wednesday and Thursday will see unseasonably high temperatures, with mid-to-upper 50s Wednesday and mid-50s on Christmas Day.

Air travel on Christmas Eve may be affected, Pollina said. Driving could be slow, especially at night with heavier rain and reduced visibility, he said.

To accommodate those leaving work early on Wednesday, the Long Island Rail Road is adding 13 extra eastbound trains from Penn Station between 12:46 and 3:48 p.m., the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

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