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Heavy rain, wind in weather forecast for Thursday

A pedestrian tries to keep dry as he

A pedestrian tries to keep dry as he walks along Portion Road in Ronkonkoma Thursday morning, Sept. 25, 2014. Credit: James Carbone

Heavy rain and gusty winds -- conditions typically associated this time of year with a nor'easter -- are in store for Long Island starting Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said.

"I don't know if you'd call it a nor'easter, because the overall strength of the storm is probably not going to be that high," said David Stark, a meteorologist at the service's Upton office. "But the storm will bring rain and potentially winds gusting up to 30 mph and maybe even stronger for the coast."

Stark said the existing high pressure that's been lingering over the area the past several days is shifting off toward the northeast; the high is being replaced by an incoming low-pressure system.

"The gradient between the two systems is going to create this rainy, windy weather," he said.

Expect rain to fall almost nonstop for 24 hours, starting as early as 2 a.m. Thursday, with the chance of precipitation dwindling to almost nothing by 2 a.m. Friday, meteorologists said.

Up to 1.5 inches of rain is expected over the 24-hour period, and morning commuters will get the brunt of the heavy to moderate rainfall, said Joe Pollina, another meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

"For a 24-hour period, that's not a huge amount," he said.

During the day, high wind will accompany the rain for the most part, and conditions could be slightly worse on the East End, particularly the South Fork, the service said.

The precipitation will become moderate and light as Thursday afternoon wears on, but there's still a good chance of getting drizzled on at 6 p.m., Pollina said.

That's an hour before Derek Jeter starts his last home game with the Yankees, when the forecast says the storm should start to weaken after about 8 p.m. Thursday.

Scattered showers and some breezy conditions could linger into Friday morning, the service said.

Another high-pressure system moves in starting late Friday, bringing with it clear, sunny weekend weather.

Daily highs Saturday and Sunday are expected to be in the mid 70s, the service said.

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