The Upton-based National Weather Service Wednesday morning issued a red flag warning for Long Island due to an enhanced threat for the spread of wildfires.

The warning is in effect until 8 p.m. for Long Island, New York City, and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, the weather service said.

“A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are expected or occurring,” the weather service said in a statement. “Any fires that start may spread rapidly and become difficult to extinguish.”

Residents can expect sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts reaching 35 mph. The strongest winds will occur Wednesday afternoon, the weather service said.

Wednesday’s forecast also calls for sunny skies with a high of 45 degrees. The temperature could drop to as low as 27 Wednesday evening.

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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: Twitter: rashedmian