Wednesday morning's sunny skies are expected to dissipate quickly as the East End braces for a post-Christmas blast of stormy weather from Mother Nature.
"A nor'easter is approaching from the south and west," David Stark, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, said Wednesday morning.
According to Stark, the entire East End can expect "fairly significant impacts" from the approaching storm, including heavy rain, coastal flooding, and high winds.
Rain is expected to begin falling at approximately 4 p.m., with some areas possibly seeing a brief period of snow and sleet during the late afternoon on Wednesday, although no accumulation is predicted, Stark said.
After sunset on Wednesday, heavy rains of up to 1 or 2 inches are expected across the East End.
A high wind warning is also in effect from 4 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday, Stark said, with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour possible.
"The winds will be capable of bringing down a few trees or power lines," Stark said. "It's not going to be like Sandy but people may see gusts that could create some minor damage."
The strongest winds are expected between 10 p.m. Wednesday night and 2 or 3 a.m. Thursday morning, Stark said.
Thursday morning might be calm, but winds are then expected to pick up again, with gusts of approximately 30 to 35 miles per hour, on Thursday afternoon.
A third potential concern sparked by the approaching nor'easter is coastal flooding, Stark said, especially during Wednesday night's high tide, at 7:30 p.m., and the high tide on Thursday morning at 8:05 a.m. in Montauk.
Montauk Point could find itself in a minor flood category, Stark said.
Other vulnerable areas, including bays and the South Shore, could be subject to moderate to mild coastal flooding during the high tide cycle, Stark said.
The timing of Wednesday's expected nor'easter, with high winds moving in during high tide periods, have triggered coastal flooding concerns.
After Thursday's high tide cycle, "things will be back to normal," with the storm expected to pull away from the area Thursday morning and afternoon, and no flooding anticipated during Thursday evening's high tide, Stark said.
Friday is expected to be a chilly day, with temperatures in the low 40s, but dry and seasonable.