Warning. Warning. Watch.

Those elements dominate the forecast for southwestern Connecticut early this morning as Hurricane Sandy -- still being described as a "super storm" -- bears down on the region. Gusty winds are buffeting the region early today, and the rain is expected to begin falling after 8 a.m. even though the storm is still tracking off the coast about 350 miles south of Fairfield County.

From the National Weather Service:

Warning 1 -- High winds expected at least through 6 p.m. tomorrow, 30 to 50 mph steadily, with gusts up to 85 mph.

Warning 2 -- Coastal flooding, from 6 a.m. today through at least 3 p.m. tomorrow, worst during the full-moon high tides at about 11:30 a.m. and midnight.

Watch -- With at least 4 inches of rain predicted through tomorrow -- and closest to where Sandy's center makes landfall, the downpours could be 1 to 2 inches an hour -- flooding of inland bodies of water is highly probable.

As the first rain from Sandy begins moving across the region later this morning, daytime high temperatures are expected to rise to about 60 degrees. There will be a northeast wind 25 to 30 mph, increasing to 34 to 39 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph.

Rain, heavy at times, continues through the night as the overnight low temperature registers in the mid-50s. There will be a southeast wind 38 to 43 mph, with gusts possible up to 75 mph or higher.

Tomorrow, rain continues with a high temperature in the low-60s. Winds will be from the south at 26 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 48 mph.

Showers are likely tomorrow night, with a low temperature in the upper-40s. There will be a southeast wind 13 to 16 mph.

On Wednesday, there remains at least a 30 percent chance of showers. Skies will be cloudy, with a high temperature in the upper-50s, the NWS says.

By Wednesday night, showers are still possible. Skies will be cloudy with a low temperature in the upper-40s.

Thursday should be mostly cloudy, with a high temperature in the low-50s. Nighttime will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature in the low-40s.

The outlook for Friday, according to the weather service, is partly sunny and temperatures in the low-50s.