Rain and wind could snarl Tuesday morning's commute, but the worst is expected after sunset, when gusts approaching 50 mph could sweep through the Hudson Valley, downing tree limbs, power lines and whatever else isn't tied down, meteorologists are predicting.

"It's certainly going to be a change from what we've been seeing over the past week," said David Stark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

On Monday, the NWS issued a high-wind watch -- for winds that could produce gusts of up to 60 mph -- from noon Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Sustained winds will be some 20 mph slower than the gusts, quick bursts of air of shorter duration that typically produce the most damage.

A warm front from the south is expected to produce showers and severe thunderstorms during the morning hours Tuesday, Stark said. The heaviest winds -- possibily as high as 40 mph -- are expected to hit late morning and early afternoon Tuesday, Stark said.

After sunset, a cold front out of the Ohio Valley is expected to move through the region, delivering even heavier winds and rain.

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"They could bring winds of 40 miles per hour, possibly as high as 58 miles per hour," Stark said.

Rainfall of 1.5 to as much as 3 inches is expected, with temperatures in the 70s before dipping down as the cold front moves in.

In addition, Stark said, there's a good chance of high winds and scattered thunderstorms throughout the day as the fronts -- one warm, one cold -- move in and out of the Lower Hudson Valley.

The second storm is expected to move out of the area at about midnight Tuesday.

"Once the front passes, we should see winds start to diminish," Stark said. "It will take the strong winds with it."