Modesto, Central Valley bracing for storm coming after midnight

Batten down the hatches.

A winter storm packing winds gusting up to 45 mph is expected to blow into the Modesto area after midnight.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory from midnight through noon Wednesday, with the biggest blasts expected in the early morning hours.

The winds will drive heavy rain up and down the Central Valley, forecasters said.

The rain should drop off to showers on Wednesday afternoon before tapering off altogether.

Lows should be in the 40s tonight, and highs Wednesday should be around 60.

The weather service said the wind-driven rain should make for difficult driving, and it could cause power outages as tree limbs and branches break and fall onto power lines.

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