Don’t celebrate just yet.
The nor’easter that deposited more than a foot of snow on Long Island and dumped an irritating wintry mix is gearing up for a second round of action—and it may even bring some thunderstorms.
Hey, why not?!?
Additional snowfall of up 3 to 8 inches in Nassau County and 2 to 5 inches in Suffolk County is forecasted for the evening and overnight hours, according to meteorologists at National Weather Service in Upton.
Moderate to heavy snow is expected between 8 and 10 p.m. across Long Island, according to Lauren Nash, a meteorologist at the weather service.
Snow could fall at a rate of 1 to 3 inches per hour, forecasters said. And with winds whipping at 20 to 30 mph and gusts possibly reaching 45 mph, visibility during the evening hours could be a quarter mile or less at times, the weather service warned.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m.
The storm should taper off between 5 and 7 a.m. Friday.
“In these kind of coastal low, these nor’easters, because of the dynamics you can get these really strong snow bands,” said Nash.
The first round of snowfall began early Thursday morning and continued for several hours before it changed over to rain and sleet during most of the afternoon.
The storm reached blizzard-like conditions at times, and ended up blanketing LI with up to 14 inches of snow.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for Long Island during a conference call with reporters and advised residents not to get fooled by the afternoon rainfall because another round of snowfall was in the forecast.
“These storms are more frequent and they’re more ferocious,” Cuomo said.
“Don’t get cocky about it,” he added, “and don’t take them casually.”
The storm caused havoc on the roads, rails and in the air throughout the day. Hundreds of flights were cancelled at area airports. Long Island MacArthur Airport said on its Facebook page that airlines expect to resume flights by mid-morning Friday, and told travelers to contact specific airlines for updated flight information.
The Long Island Rail Road had to deal with scattered delays systemwide for most of the day, and was forced to suspend service temporarily on the Port Jefferson branch after a train struck an unauthorized vehicle on the tracks between Greenlawn and Huntington in the morning. Snow and ice on the Port Jefferson branch further complicated matters, prompting the LIRR to cancel a half-dozen electric trains and instead said it would only operate diesel service for the evening commute.
The LIRR appears to have smoothed out some of the weather-related issues, and service on most branches was back to normal, expect for Port Jefferson and Montauk. The LIRR added four extra early-afternoon trains from Penn Station to accommodate riders leaving work early.
Meteorologists were forced to adjust snowfall predictions during the day Thursday because of a heavy band of snow that set up over the area, Nash said.
The weather service said evening snowfall could make travel treacherous, and will likely bring down some tree limbs and power lines, possibly sparking outages. As of 5:47 p.m., PSEG Long Island reported that 435 customers were in the dark.
There is a possibility that the nor’easter could produce thunderstorms across the area, forecasters said.
The systems that typically visit the region during the winter aren’t usually strong enough to bring thunderstorms, Nash explained. But, she said, “when this kind of instability comes into play,” we can experience a few rumbles from above.