A slow-moving winter storm on track to strike Long Island Wednesday night could dump up to seven inches of snow on the Island and will linger over the area until Friday afternoon, forecasters said.
The storm, a nor’easter, should spare commuters Wednesday evening, forecaster said, adding that the area won’t start feeling significant effects of the storm until after midnight. Long Islanders could wake up Thursday morning to a couple of inches of snow, but not enough to severely impact the morning commute, meteorologist said.
As the storm approaches, the Upton-based National Weather Service has downgraded a previous winter storm warning for eastern Suffolk County to an advisory, which is in effect for the entire Island. Forecasters are predicting up to seven inches of snow in eastern Suffolk and six inches in western Suffolk and Nassau County.
Both counties are currently under a wind advisory as forecasters warn of dangerous winds with the potential of producing gusts of up to 55 mph and sustained winds between 25 and 35 mph.
The possibility of flooding has also forced the weather service to issue a coastal flood warning for LI.
“The State is closely monitoring a winter storm expected to hit several areas of the state beginning this afternoon,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “We are taking actions to prepare for the potential impacts of the storm and coordinating with local officials. New Yorkers in affected areas should follow local weather reports to stay updated.”
The state has deployed resources to assist LI emergency management officials with the storm, the governor said.
National Grid released a statement Wednesday and said it’s preparing Long Island Power Authority’s system for the storm. The utility also noted that it has brought in extra repair crews and has increased staffing at its customer call center.
“There is a potential for the storm to cause widespread electrical outages,” the utility warned.
The storm has already caused disruptions in the air with Long Island MacArthur Airport cancelling flights until Thursday morning. The Port Authority has also reported disruptions at LaGuardia Airport.
Snowfall could come in several rounds between Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, forecasters said, because the storm is moving laboriously slow.
One to three inches of snow is expected Thursday morning and an additional two to three inches could fall Thursday night into Friday morning.
It’s “not something we’re going to get out of our hair quickly,” National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Morrin said.