Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Wind, flood, fog warnings in Saturday's forecast

The basketball and tennis courts at Laurel Drive

The basketball and tennis courts at Laurel Drive Park in Smithtown are covered in puddles after today's rain. (Jan. 11, 2014) Credit: Brittany Wait

Motorists are advised to use extra caution Saturday afternoon as strong wind gusts could bring down tree limbs and heavy rain could cause flooding across the region, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service reissued a hazardous weather outlook Saturday morning that includes a flood watch, wind advisory and patchy fog in the forecast.

Areas along the shores of Suffolk and Nassau counties could experience flooding from 11 a.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 1½ to 2 inches are expected, "with locally higher amounts of up to 2½ inches" possible.

"We'll see light rain becoming steadier and heavier. This afternoon and into this evening is when we'll see the bulk of the rain move through," said Joe Pollina, a meteorologist with the weather service in Upton.

High winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 to 50 mph are expected between noon and 11 p.m., the weather service said.

The winds also have the ability to take down power lines, the weather service said.

In a special weather statement, the service advised the fog will continue through the afternoon with visibility at many locations at a mile or less and areas of locally dense fog.

Late Saturday morning, power authority PSEG Long Island had reported more than 7,100 customers without power, but most of the outages were resolved by early afternoon, according to the utility's website.

The weather was also causing delays of up to nearly two hours at Kennedy Airport on Saturday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's website. Travelers are advised to check with their airlines to see whether their flights are affected.

Pollina said the forecast is due to a strong cold front moving into the area.

The Jan. 11 precipitation record of 0.62 inches, set in 2008, is in jeopardy, as is the daily high temperature of 54 degrees, also set in 2008. Highs in the mid 50s are expected Saturday.

"It looks like we would be breaking that record today," Pollina said.

The weather service is predicting about 0.78 inches of rain to fall between 1 and 7 p.m. in Islip on Saturday. That doesn't include rain that comes before or after, Pollina said.

So far, January has been a month for the weather record books. Within the first eight days of January, eight records were broken related to temperature and precipitation.

Five had to do with the cold, including a record low of zero degrees recorded on Jan. 4. Of the others, one had to do with rain and two were for snowfall, including a record high of 6½ inches on Jan. 3.

Saturday's flood watch and wind advisories are also in effect for parts of New York City, southern Westchester, coastal Connecticut and areas of New Jersey along the Hudson River.

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