Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A nor’easter meandering passed the region is forecast to bring heavy rainfall, coastal flooding, and strong wind gusts that may cause power outages on Long Island through Friday, experts say.The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a wind advisory due to gusts up to 50 mph, coastal flood warning due to high tides causing flooding in low-lying areas, and hazardous weather outlook for much of Nassau and Suffolk counties as the storm impacts the area.“The rain is expected to taper off later tonight and into Friday as the storm will begin to gradually move to the east,” Upton-based NWS meteorologists said in a statement. “The winds will also begin to decrease into Friday.”Overall, an additional inch to an inch and a half is expected east of the New York City metro, the agency said.The coastal flood warning is in effect from 5 p.m. Thursday through midnight Friday and a coastal flood watch continues through Friday morning.“This evening, expect widespread flooding of vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shoreline, with two to three feet of inundation above ground level,” NWS said in its flood statement. “This will result in numerous road closures and cause widespread flooding of low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront. Vehicles parked in vulnerable areas near the waterfront will likely become flooded. Flooding will also extend inland from the waterfront along tidal rivers and bays.”In addition, the combination of elevated water levels and large breaking waves will cause beach flooding and erosion on the oceanfront, the agency said.As for the wind advisory in effect through 6 p.m. Thursday, north winds will be about 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph.“Strong winds may blow down limbs, trees, and power lines,” NWS said. “Scattered power outages are expected.”Once the storm pushes further away into the weekend, there will be clouds lingering along with some breaks of sun. Temperatures after averaging below normal through Friday, with then climb closer to normal with mainly dry conditions returning to the region to begin the weekend.Saturday and Sunday is forecast to be partly sunny with temps in the 60s.
Last week, Microsoft Corp. gave a gift to the USC School of Cinematic Arts to collaborate with the school and make advances in interactive media.The Microsoft Next Generation Entertainment initiative will contain three key features for SCA’s Interactive Media Division: an endowed faculty member, the Microsoft Endowed Professorship, and support for the Game Innovation Lab and Interactive Entertainment program, said Tracy Fullerton, SCA associate professor and IMD chair.“It’s a really great opportunity, the endowment,” Fullerton said. “And in addition to the endowed position, and support for the lab and for students, we’ll be working with people from Microsoft very closely.”The initiative will also establish direct benefits for students, such as aid, access to internships with Microsoft, speakers, mentors and the opportunity for students to work with professionals in the classroom, Fullerton said.Last March, The Princeton Review ranked USC’s IMD the No. 1 undergraduate game design program in both the United States and Canada.USC’s program reached its position at the top of the list by setting its own standards, Fullerton said.“We didn’t get there by comparing ourselves to other programs. … We have established our own [criteria] and we’re going to continue to set our own standards,” she said.The School of Cinematic Arts has worked with Microsoft in the past on research projects and classroom collaboration.“We ran a class with [Microsoft] last spring where we had Microsoft folks in the classroom working with students, and it was a great experience for everybody involved,” Fullerton said. “That was a big part of where they saw the potential.”Microsoft was interested in working with USC because it is a leader in its field, said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Games Studios.“By working closely with an industry leading program, Microsoft hopes to play a central role in defining the current and next generation of interactive entertainment,” Spencer said in a press release.Fullerton said the endowed professorship is a particularly exciting facet of the initiative. Microsoft will set up a fund to bring a professor to the school, ensuring that the program remains strong and has industry leaders serving as faculty members, she said.“We will do a search and look for someone who is really innovative and fits with our curriculum and [who] will hopefully take us to new places,” Fullerton said.Matt Payte, a senior majoring in cinema-television critical studies, said he was impressed to hear about Microsoft’s decision to choose USC for its initiative.“I hear only the most amazing things about [the program] from friends,” he said. “They’re changing the industry while in college and they deserve a lot more recognition.”USC’s IMD program is unique in that it is the only one of its kind located in a film school rather than in an engineering school, a feature that enables the program to thrive on creativity, Payte said.“It’s the only one focused on creativity rather than on the technical,” he said. “The professors seem like the most creatively oriented people out there.”The initiative’s endowed professorship will begin during the summer of 2011. SCA administrators, faculty and students will enjoy the additional financial support for the program as well as the strengthened position for USC to become an even more dominant leader in the field.“We’ve all had a [significant] relationship with [Microsoft] over the years,” Fullerton said. “It’s clear that we have aligned with thinking about the future of the industry.”