Jacob Hawran, visiting for work from Virginia, gets a look...

Jacob Hawran, visiting for work from Virginia, gets a look at the Great South Bay from the shore of Islip Beach on an unseasonably warm Thursday with temperatures in the high 60s. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Unseasonably warm temperatures have afforded Long Islanders a welcome break from winter's chill. But powerful winds overnight into mid-Friday morning with a low at night of 22 serves as a chilly reminder that spring is still a month away.

Heavy rain that started late Thursday is forecast to continue overnight, decreasing in intensity by Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for all of Long Island through 10 a.m. Friday with sustained winds of between 30 mph and 40 mph and gusts of 65 mph.

A Thursday night advisory from the weather service said there was "high confidence" that the entire tristate will see winds from 45 mph to 55 mph.

But, the weather service note: "The coverage and magnitude of damaging wind gusts (60 to 65 mph) across Long Island and southeastern CT will be dependent on how much of the intense winds from several hundred feet above the ground can mix down."

The temperature Thursday on Long Island climbed into the high 60s but by Saturday night, the low is forecast to be 15 degrees.

PSEG Long Island, which just this month completed the long-awaited rollout of a new higher-level storm outage computer system, said it’s prepared.

"PSEG Long Island is ready for the impending heavy rain, gusty winds and possible thunderstorms expected tonight and into tomorrow morning," Michael Sullivan, the company’s vice president of transmission and distribution, said in a statement. "As we watch the forecast, we have performed system and logistic checks, and have additional personnel ready to respond safely and as quickly as possible."

As of 10:30 Thursday night, the utility's website was reporting 13 outages affecting 693 customers, and commercial airliners continued in an out of area airports.

The rain will likely last through Friday morning, then gradually clear but conditions will remain windy, with up to 50 mph gusts, as a southwest wind shifts to the north, bringing in the cold air, the weather service said.

Friday night lows will drop to the 20s but winds will calm down as the cold front settles in.

There are accompanying gale and storm warnings in effect for New York Harbor, the western Long Island Sound and all Atlantic Ocean continental shelf and slope waters 20 nautical miles or more offshore. That warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Thursday through to 1 p.m. Friday, the weather service said.

For western Nassau bays a small craft advisory will be in effect, while a storm warning is in effect for eastern bays, the eastern Long Island Sound and all Atlantic Oceans waters within 20 nautical miles.

The weather service said Long Island can expect damaging winds to "bring down numerous tree limbs," as well as scattered downed trees and power lines. Power outages are also possible.

High-profile vehicles, including trucks and most SUVs, will also encounter hazardous wind conditions that could cause instability, the weather service said. Officials are advising caution for those who must drive.

There is a chance of snow flurries Saturday, temperatures in the teens Saturday night and a high of 33 degrees on what figures to be a sunny Sunday — all before moving back into the 50-degree range next week.

With Mark Harrington and John Valenti

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