Thursday promises to be one messy day on Long Island.
That’s because a nor’easter that barreled into the area overnight is expected to pick up intensity in the next few hours, dumping heavy snow on some parts of the region at a right of 2 to 3 inches an hour, according to the National Weather Service.
The heavy band of snow pushed into the South Shore of Nassau early Thursday and is expected to continue east for the next several hours.
The heavy snow will give way to a mix of rain and sleet as early as 9 a.m. in the South Fork and then between 10 and 11 a.m. for most of the Island, said Joey Picca, a National Weather Service meteorologist. It will eventually convert back to snow when temperatures drop below freezing later in the day, forecasters said.
“The morning commute is going to be pretty awful,” Picca said. “It won’t be good through the morning hours.”
He noted that the evening commute won’t be as bad because snowfall won’t be as intense. But there will be enough bad weather to give drivers headaches as they make their way home.
The storm is forecasted to drop up to 10 inches of snow in Nassau County and 8 inches in Suffolk.
A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 a.m Friday and a high surf advisory will last until 6 p.m. Friday.
As of 7:30 a.m. the New York State Department of Transportation website reported that some South Shore roads in Nassau were experiencing severe snow and icy conditions, while most major roads were covered in slush.
740am: Islip Airport is reporting heavy snow and 1/4mile visibility. Snowfall rates easily exceeding 1″/hr!
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) February 13, 2014
Long Island Rail Road commuters appeared to be in good shape early in the morning. The railroad reported that all its branches were running on time and weren’t experiencing any weather-related delays.
Long Island MacArthur Airport advised travelers to contact their airline for updated flight information. Southwest Airlines had cancelled all flights after 6 p.m. Wednesday in advance of the storm, but the airline was expected to resume service at 1:55 p.m., the airport said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked drivers to stay off the streets Thursday so plows could better negotiate the roads.
The state in recent weeks has had to deliver salt to several LI municipalities facing shortages due to an abundance of winter storms this season.