Saturday's Outlook for Eastern Long Island

Overnight, there were two positive developments regarding Sandy, at least as far as eastern Long Island was concerned. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center downgraded the system's maximum sustained winds to 75 miles per hour predicted for the early morning on Monday. Also, the storm's center's potential path continued to remain west of this area.

Nonetheless, the weather outlook for the beginning of the week remains dicey as the outer wind and rain bands from Sandy arrive. There is a 60-percent probability of tropical storm-force winds for eastern Long Island. The marine forecast for Monday from the National Weather Service shows northeast wind of 35 knots with higher gusts. The highest winds are now expected Monday night, with gusts to 55 miles per hour and seas 17 to 22 feet.

Because of the current predicted path, Sandy's storm surge is not likely to be high on eastern Long Island. However, the long period of east and northeast wind will have the effect of "piling" water up in the bays and harbors. Combined with an above-normal high tide, significant coastal erosion can be expected.

Rainfall amounts (below) are expected to high, leading to flooding in some places. In this area, the National Hurricane Center is predicting total rain of about two inches.

Sandy total rainfall

The combination of several days of rain and relatively strong winds for this time of the year, when many trees still have their leaves will almost certainly result in some loss of electricity as limbs fall on power lines. The Long Island Power Authority's Storm Center posts outage maps and estimates of when power will be restored.