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Powerful storm slams tri-state area with heavy rain, damaging winds

NEW YORK — A major coastal system developed off the coast Thursday night bringing drenching rain, strong winds and even some snow mixing for parts of the region for Friday morning's commute

Coastal flooding will also be an issue as the winds from the intensifying storm blow onshore piling up against the shore at high tide. Along with the flooding issues, dangerous wind gusts of 60 mph will be possible along the coast easily picking up loose items and perhaps result in power outages as the gusty winds and a rain-soaked ground could topple trees.

Numerous weather advisories have been issued from High Wind Warnings along the coast, Winter Storm Warnings well north and west and Flood Watches across the entire region.

A High Wind Warning is in effect through 6 a.m. Saturday for much of the tri-state area with sustained winds of 25-35 mph and gusts of 55-60 mph.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until early Saturday morning for Sussex and Passaic counties in New Jersey and Orange and Ulster counties in New York.  Snowfall accumulations of 4 to 10 inches are possible in these counties.

The storm will continue to expand as it approaches several miles south and east of Montauk Point on Friday. The rapid intensification will not only allow for the dangerous wind gusts, but it cloud also draw down very cold air down to the surface allowing for the rain to changeover to snow.

Who gets what in terms of snow will be mainly elevation dependent. Areas well north and west in the Catskills and Poconos could get 3-6 inches or more of snow. Coastal sections could see some snow mix in with the rain for a period or two Friday afternoon if the precipitation becomes heavy, but with the ground temperature expected to be above freezing, it will be hard for it to stick.

Eventually, the precipitation should taper off late Friday night, however the wind will continue heading into Saturday.

Rainfall amounts are expected to be 2-3 inches across the board. The heavy rain will bring concerns of flooding low lying areas, small streams and rivers, as well as roads where there is poor drainage.

As mentioned previously, coastal flooding will also be a concern. We have a full moon and that will increase the risk of tidal flooding. Tides are expected to run 2-3’ above normal creating moderate flooding. Some spots may get tides running 3-1/2’ resulting in major coastal flooding especially across the back bays along the south shore of Long Island.

As this storm will be slow to exit, its impacts will continue to be felt on Saturday. Coastal flooding could continue to be an issue and winds, will continue to gust to 30-40 mph before finally backing off at night.

Much improvement expected by Sunday and we should stay dry through early next week. The next storm system arrives Tuesday night into Wednesday. This storm may also feature some wintry weather.