Wind gusts that were well over 40 mph led the National Weather Service to issue a "red flag warning" Monday in Suffolk, indicating that any fires there could spread rapidly. Meanwhile the same heavy winds in parts of Nassau resulted in downed power lines and the loss of electricity to 2,000 Long Island Power Authority customers.

The National Weather Service in Upton recorded wind gusts of up to 46 mph in Farmingdale, 46 mph in Islip, 45 mph in Shirley and 44 mph in Westhampton during the afternoon.

Peter Wichrowski, a meteorologist with the service, said Monday evening, "Typically at night, winds usually drop off, but tonight, it looks like the winds will remain strong and with occasional gusts." Gusts of between 20 and 30 mph were expected throughout the night, he said. The wind chill will only make colder an already chilly night that is a far cry from the recent unseasonable warmth.

The winds Monday brought down a tree that knocked out primary wires for many in Great Neck and Kings Point, but the Long Island Power Authority website indicated that all but a few of its customers had their electricity restored by 6 p.m.

Area airports also reported delays that were weather-related, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

There were at least three brush fires in Suffolk Monday afternoon, in Yaphank, Ridge and Mastic, in which firefighters from about 10 departments responded, officials said, but there were no reported injuries or homes damaged.

"For tomorrow, we're not expecting as strong a winds as we had today," Wichrowski said. Winds should be slightly less, he said, but "the dry conditions continue. That's why we did see some fire development today, and quite possibly we'll see some again tomorrow."Monday night's temperatures were expected to drop through the 20s in some parts of Long Island. High temperatures Tuesday are expected to be only in the upper 40s, according to the weather service.

Wednesday's weather brings a chance of showers, with the same Thursday. The weather service predicts sunny skies Friday, with high temperatures near 55 degrees.