The National Weather Service says an intensifying storm system will develop and bring gusty winds and heavy rain to the region today and tonight.

Rain will overspread the area late this afternoon before tapering off around midnight.

Current rainfall amounts range between 1 and 3 inches, with locally higher amounts possible in heavier rain bands.

As the system pulls away tonight into Thursday, gusty winds will develop in its wake. Winds will gust to around 45 mph under amostly cloudy sky.

Breezy conditions will continue into Friday before winds diminish Friday night as high pressure builds into the region.

Track the rain on radar:

National Weather Service, New York.

Windy.com

WeatherUnderground

AccuWeather

THE RAIN

 Photo: Shay, Jim
Photo: Shay, Jim

The NWS’s hourly forecast says the best chance of rain in western Connecticut will be between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday.

The timing of the rain could affect the late afternoon and evening commute.

Tonight’s Game 4 of the AL Championship Series in Yankee Stadium has been postponed.

Northwest Connecticut towns of Litchfield and Torrington are in the 3 to 4 inch range.

Most of Connecticut is forecast to receive between 2 to 3 inches.

Lesser amounts, betweeen 1.5 to 2 inches, are forecast for the Hartford area.

The Berkshires of western Massachusetts could have rainfall totals of more than 4 inches.

This is the first major rainfall in months. Some areas of Connecticut had rainfall 4 inches below average in September.

Rainfall for October has been between 1 and 1.5 inches below normal.

Nearly half of Connecticut has “abnormally dry” conditions, according to Drought Monitor. Driest areas include Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, New London and western Litchfield counties.

THE WIND

 Photo: Shay, Jim
Photo: Shay, Jim

Winds began to increase in speed around noon Wednesday with a gust of 22 mph at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford. Strong winds will continue throughout the night.

Peak wind gusts between 38 and 40 mph are expected from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday.

Strongest winds will be along the shoreline.

A Wind Advisory is in effect from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday for southern New London County.

A Wind Advisory is issued when sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph,or gusts of 46 to 57 mph, are expected or occurring. Winds thisstrong can make driving difficult, especially for high profilevehicles, in open areas, and on elevated roads and bridges. Useextra caution.

Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island could have gusts near 60 mph.

Power outages are possible from downed trees and limbs.

The wind and rain will also bring down lots of leaves, now nearing peak foliage.

Roadways Friday morning could be slick with many wet leaves on the road.

COASTAL FLOODING

 Photo: Shay, Jim
Photo: Shay, Jim

Southern Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties are under a Coastal Flood Advisory from midnight to 4 a.m. Thursday.

Flooding is expected to be minor.

“Shallow flooding is expected in the most vulnerable locations near the waterfront and shoreline. Expect around 1 to 2 feet of inundation above ground level in low lying, vulnerable areas. Some roads and low lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront will experience shallow flooding. Heavy rain during the time of high tide may exacerbate shoreline roadway and poor drainage flooding,” the NWS says.

High tides is between 2 and 2:45 a.m. on Thursday. For specific tide times, click here.

 Photo: Shay, Jim
Photo: Shay, Jim

THE FORECAST

Today: A slight chance of rain between noon and 4 p.m., then a slight chance of rain and thunderstorms after 4pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 64. Light east wind becoming southeast 8 to 13 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.

Tonight: Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 50. Breezy, with an east wind 17 to 22 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. West wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. West wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Friday: Partly sunny, with a high near 60. Northwest wind 14 to 16 mph.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 42.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 62.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 45.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 68.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 50.