A winter storm that pummeled the Midwest with a blizzard is set to drench the Big Apple and blast the region with strong wind gusts late Thursday through Christmas.
Heavy rain is in the forecast for the city, from Thursday night through Friday morning, according to the city’s Department of Emergency Management.
Light showers will begin Thursday afternoon and intensify through the evening and Friday morning, forecasters said.
A flood watch is in effect for the city from 11 p.m. Thursday through 11 a.m. Friday. The rain is expected to taper off by mid-morning, though a lingering shower is possible.
A high wind warning is also in effect for the city from 6 p.m. Thursday through 9 a.m. Friday.
Sustained wind speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour are expected, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour — possibly leading to property damage and power outages.
“Anyone dreaming of a white Christmas will have to settle for a windy and soggy holiday,” Emergency Management Commissioner Deanne Criswell said in a statement. “However, the hazards are real and we want every New Yorker to prepare for the potentially damaging winds and heavy rain.”
“Bring in any loose, lightweight objects like garbage cans, potted plants, or lawn furniture that can be easily blown away,” she advised. “Driving large vehicles like vans and SUVs may be difficult, and we advise you to give yourself extra travel time and exercise caution if you must go out during this time.”
The heavy rainfall is expected to wash away much of the snow already on the ground from last week’s storm.
That combination will likely be enough to trigger “major street flooding” in some areas, where storm drains will become clogged with piles of snow, Accuweather forecasters predicted.
“The rapidly melting snow, which contains approximately 1-3 inches of water will combine with an anticipated 1-3 inches of rain and locally higher amounts from the storm from Christmas Eve to early Christmas Day,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said in a statement.
And the high winds are likely to cause “a dangerous situation where there is significant property damage and there are trees crashing down onto streets and into homes from Long Island to southern New England,” according to Dave Dombek, AccuWeather’s northeastern weather expert.
The gusts could also send trash cans and holiday decorations alike flying through neighborhoods as projectiles, according to forecasters.
Much of the Upper Midwest was under a blizzard warning Wednesday night, with winds reported over 65 miles per hour in parts of the Dakotas, according to CNN.
Parts of Minnesota’s Twin Cities region saw between 4.7 and 9 inches of snow, according to a tweet from the local National Weather Service bureau.
The Minnesota State Patrol responded to 59 crashes between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday — four with injuries — and well as 153 incidents in which vehicles were out or off the road, and eight jackknifed semi trucks, a spokesman tweeted.