A winter storm, expected to do most of its damage overnight, is bringing Long Island rain, high winds and coastal flooding Monday, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service.
The storm that battered the Southeast with snow and ice before heading northward started as a light coating of snow and freezing rain late Sunday, then changed to rain overnight in most places as temperatures rise into the 40s, forecasters said.
Morning commuters and residents, however, will still have to cope with strong winds and up to 2 inches of heavy rain falling until at least 8 a.m., said Jim Connolly, of the weather service.
A high wind warning is in effect for eastern Suffolk County until 10 a.m. Monday, with 30- to 40 mph winds and up to 65 mph gusts. There is a high wind advisory for the rest of Long Island for the same time period, with sustained winds of 25 mph to 35 mph and gusts up to 55 mph.
"It might wake some people up as they’re sleeping tonight," weather service meteorologist Dominic Ramunni said Sunday. "We'll be rocking and rolling tonight and cleaning up tomorrow."
Newsday meteorologist Bill Korbel said Sunday the storm will track to the west as it comes up the coast, sparing Long Island from the heavy snow that will fall upstate.
The weather service issued a warning for "widespread moderate flooding" in vulnerable areas near the ocean and shoreline from 7 a.m. Monday through 1 p.m. for northern Nassau and northwest Suffolk and particularly around high tide. Flooding is also predicted for the East End, particularly along Peconic Bay on the North Fork, and southern Nassau, including areas that don't normally experience flooding, the weather service said.
Up to 3 feet of water could rise above ground level near the waterfront and shoreline, the weather service said in an alert. Waves as tall as 13 feet will likely result in "significant" beach erosion and flooding, the alert said.
PSEG said it was preparing to respond to outages from the high winds.
"PSEG Long Island is ready for the impending bad weather, and we encourage our customers to prepare as well," said Michael Sullivan, vice president of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG Long Island.
For Long Island Rail Road riders traveling on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. He added that MTA employees will spread salt, clear platforms and stairs where ice exists, and keep signals, switches, and third rails operating.
As of Sunday evening, LaGuardia Airport had seen 71 cancellations and 71 delayed flights — the most canceled flights in the area. Newark Liberty International Airport had 58 cancellations and 68 delayed flights. At Kennedy Airport, 44 flights were canceled and 102, or 16% of flights, delayed, according to flightaware.com.
Islip Town’s MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma had only one flight canceled.
Tuesday looks sunny with a high in the lower 30s.
A short-lived warm front will arrive on Wednesday before a cold front replaces it Wednesday night. Temperatures warm up for Wednesday with a high in the mid-40s, while Thursday’s high should be just above freezing with the possibility of snow.
With Vera Chinese