First Blizzard of 2015 Drops 30 Inches on East End

Long Island Blizzard 2015

When it was all said and done, the first blizzard of 2015 dumped upwards of 30 inches of snow on Long Island, battering eastern Suffolk County, which required assistance from the state to dig out of the mess.

Parts of the East End saw flurries through the night, with flakes lingering until 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to Tim Morrin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Upton.

“It really persisted on the Twin Forks,” Morrin said.

The weather service reported that 30 inches of snow were measured in Orient—the high mark for this storm—and more than two feet in other areas across Suffolk.

Nassau County saw as much as 17 inches of snow in some areas and as little as 9 inches in others.

No matter where people were on the Island, commuters traveling on the Long Island Rail Road encountered system-wide delays of about 10-to-15 minutes. The MTA blamed the problems on the winter weather conditions.

The delays came after the entire LIRR system was shut down in preparation for the storm, which was forecast to hammer the Island—and New York City—with as much as three feet of snow. As it turned out, the blizzard was less intense than predicted, but Long Island bore the brunt of it.

At a press conference Tuesday morning in Manhattan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that the situation there—New York City was hit with less than a foot of snow—was far different than on the Island. The state responded by sending 500 pieces of snow-fighting equipment to Suffolk, along with 100 National Guard members.

By Tuesday night, all county roads in Suffolk were deemed “open and passable,” said County Executive Steve Bellone on his Facebook page, but he still urged people to stay off them.

The bull’s eye of the storm essentially hovered over central and eastern Suffolk Tuesday, which explained the variation in the snow accumulation, Morrin said.

Looking ahead, forecasters are monitoring a system that could bring about an inch of snow to the Island on Thursday evening.

Meteorologists are also keeping their eyes peeled on another weather system that could arrive on Super Bowl Sunday. Where the storm ultimately tracks could determine whether the Island gets hit with either rain or snow. The storm could hit after the game’s end, Morrin said, just when the Super Bowl parties are over and people are heading home.