Rain, gusty winds and strong surf are likely on Long Island over Labor Day weekend thanks to tropical storm-turned-Hurricane Hermine, which is expected to make landfall Thursday in Florida.

Uncertainty remains over the exact timing and potential local impact of the storm, which may pass south of Long Island, but the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a hazardous weather outlook Thursday for the New York Metro area, warning that Hermine may impact the region with heavy rain and strong winds over the holiday weekend.

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“We can expect strong rip currents and high surf…everything else depends upon the track and the timing,” said Carlie Buccola, an NWS meteorologist at the agency’s Upton office.

After hitting northwestern Florida, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast Hermine will pass through southern Georgia on Friday and the Carolinas through Saturday. Forecasters expect the storm to weaken after it makes landfall.

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Once it returns to the Atlantic on Saturday, Hermine is expected to stall in the waters south of Long Island, increasing coastal flooding and beach erosion, Buccola said. NHC forecast that Hermine will clear the off-shore Long Island area by Tuesday.

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Tropical Storm Hermine is forecast to impact Long Island over Labor Day weekend (HCS photo)

The short-term forecast included a 60-percent chance of rain Thursday, sunny skies Friday, a 20-percent chance of rain Saturday, a 60-percent chance of rain Sunday and 40-percent chance of rain on Labor Day with temperatures in the high 70s through the weekend.

Hermine’s potential for increased rip currents on Long Island come as an off-shore storm known as Tropical Depression Eight caused rip currents so strong that Long Beach closed its oceanfront beaches for one day after a man reportedly drowned there this week.

The threat of Hermine also came on the first day of September, which marks the start of National Preparedness Month. For the occasion, the United Way of Long Island, 2-1-1 and PSEG Long Island announced the launch of BeReadyLI.org, a website guiding Long Islanders what they need to prepare for and recover from natural disasters.

(Featured photo: Satellite image capturing Tropical Storm Hermine. Photo credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project)

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.