The National Weather Service upgraded Thursday's winter storm and said forecasters predict snowfall amounts of up to 14 inches. (Photo credit: National Weather Service satellite image)
The National Weather Service upgraded Thursday’s winter storm and said forecasters predict snowfall amounts of up to 14 inches. (Photo credit: National Weather Service satellite image)

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service upgraded the winter storm pounding Long Island Thursday and are now forecasting up to 16 inches of snowfall throughout the day.

That’s in addition to a mix of rain and sleet that is expected to taper off to light rain and drizzle through the early afternoon, before changing back to snow tonight.

Forecasters said northern Nassau County could see 10 to 16 inches of snow, while other areas of the Island may get blanketed with 8 to 14 inches.

Already, LI has seen up to 9 inches of snow in some areas, according to the weather service.

Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts as high as 45 mph can also cause visibility issues for drivers.

The agency released a statement at 11:30 a.m. that said “snowfall will make travel treacherous.” The weather service warned that heavy snow will likely bring down tree limbs and power lines, possibly causing outages.

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As of 11:47 a.m, PSEG Long Island’s website reported that 565 customers were in the dark.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters Thursday morning that he issued a state of emergency for Long Island due to the prolonged storm. He also noted that officials were preparing for a second cycle of snowfall, and advised residents not to be fooled by periods of rain.

The weather service also issued a high surf advisory until 6 p.m. Friday. The agency said the South Shore of LI can expect minor beach erosion and coastal flooding during times of high tide Thursday evening and Friday morning.

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Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: [email protected] Twitter: rashedmian