NYC will be drenched with heavy rain and lashed by strong winds later today and tonight, with the National Weather Service warning that a "strong frontal system" could bring up to four inches of rain to parts of the city. Some wind gusts could be as strong as 70 mph, and a high wind watch is in effect from Thursday night into Friday morning at 10 a.m. A flood watch is also in effect until that time.

AccuWeather reports that warmer southernly winds are preventing this storm system from bringing any snow to our area. But the heavy rain will likely combine with the still-melting snow from last week's storm to cause flooding in some areas. AccuWeather also goes further than the National Weather Service on the wind speed, predicting gusts up to 80 mph. For reference, 74 mph is category 1 hurricane strength.

"This could evolve into 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," AccuWeather's northeastern weather expert Dave Dombek said.

The rain is expected to subside Friday morning, with the rest of Christmas day expected to see an unseasonable high of 61 in NYC. Then temperatures will plunge back down to freezing on Saturday as a cold front rolls in from the west.