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Tuesday brings mild temperatures, likely rain

Warmer temperatures and rain hover over Long Island for most of the next 48 hours, but colder air brings a slight chance of light snow flurries by Friday, the start of traditionally one of the busiest shopping weekends of the holiday season.

Forecasters Tuesday predicted a weekend winter storm stretching from parts of the central Midwest into the Northeast could dump enough white stuff to affect weekend driving and travel.

Although cold air should creep into Nassau and Suffolk counties starting Wednesday night and into Thursday, there's little chance of snow accumulation, the National Weather Service's Upton office said.

Ahead of the cold air, however, are warm temperatures and rain.

Daytime high temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday are likely to range between the mid 40s and low 50s, with the chance of precipitation from 50 percent Tuesday, after about 3 p.m., and up to 90 percent into Wednesday morning.

There's a slight chance rain could fall during the commutes Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. For now, the service said Wednesday's rain mostly will fall before 7 a.m.

New precipitation amounts are expected to be between one-quarter and one-half inch.

The track of the weekend winter storm on Tuesday called for most of the snow to fall north and west of New York City, so Long Island is likely to get some light flurries at the worst, the service said.

Chance of precipitation Wednesday night is 20 percent, and with temperatures dropping into the low 30s with windchill values in the 20s, scattered flurries could develop overnight into Thursday morning.

Conditions clear Thursday and Friday, with daily highs in the low 40s, but an upper-level low exiting the region starting late Friday could bring in some weekend precipitation.

So far, that could be in the form of snow showers for Saturday and Sunday, a light coating at most, the service said.

The service also said there's a "a lot of uncertainty" related to low pressure moving in from the Gulf and that it "still cannot rule out there being more widespread significant precipitation."

But temperatures in the 40s should again generate rain instead of snow.

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