A storm making its way to Long Island has the potential to produce damaging winds and up to 2 inches of rainfall through the evening—and it’s all expected to start just in time for the evening commute.

The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Nassau County until 9 p.m. Tuesday night, but Suffolk County is also in store for plenty of rain and rumblings from above.

Showers and thunderstorms are currently developing to the west of Long Island and are expected to move across the area in the next few hours, said Joey Picca, meteorologist at the National Weather Service. He said the evening commute “should be pretty rough” and urged drivers to use caution.

The best chance for severe weather is in Nassau County, Picca said. Damaging winds and flooding is a possible. Both Nassau and Suffolk counties are under a flash flood watch.

“Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms will move across the region ahead of a cold front through late [Tuesday night],” the weather service said in statement. “Due to the warm and humid nature of the airmass ahead of the cold front…torrential downpours are likely.”

Rainfall amounts could reach up to 2 inches, Picca said.

The weather service warned that the storm could flood urbanized and low-lying areas.

Picca noted that the weather should improve overnight, but forecasters are still calling for a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 3 p.m. Wednesday in Nassau. Suffolk could see additional stormy weather through the afternoon.

Long Island Weather
Rainfall forecast for Long Island. Forecasters said a strong storm could bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to LI Tuesday. (National Weather Service)

Update:: Long Island Rail Road service has been restored following a temporarily suspendsion in both directions on the Far Rockaway Branch east of Valley Stream due to weather-related signal problems.

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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: rmian@longislandpress.com. Twitter: rashedmian