Long Island got its first real taste of snow this season as squalls moved across the region Thursday morning amid bone-chilling temperatures.
The National Weather Service’s Upton office warned of near-zero visibility from snow squalls, potentially creating whiteout conditions in some areas. Accumulation is expected to be minor, but poor vision and icy roads were the agency’s top concern.
The sudden burst of snow comes as the Island is enveloped by an arctic air mass that has slowly moved across the middle of the country and finally arrived in our area Wednesday night. The frigid air is expected to hang around until Friday, forecasters said. Numerous vehicle crashes were reported across LI as a result of the snow.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 20s Thursday with wind chills in the single digits by the evening.
The weather service has issued a wind advisory until 6 p.m. Thursday and a high wind warning until Friday morning as gusts are predicted to top off at 60 mph. The force of the winds could topple trees and power lines and cause widespread power outages, the weather service warned.
Wind gusts are supposed to die down considerably on Friday, but frigid temperatures will remain. Forecasters are calling for the mercury to sit around the high 20s throughout the day before falling to the low 20s in the evening. There’s also a possibility that the Island will receive 1 to 2 inches of snow, the weather service said.
Long Island will get a break from the brutal cold this weekend with temperatures rising to the 40s and 50s, but rain is in the forecast.
Long Islanders will be more familiar with this arctic blasts more culturally-accepted moniker: the polar vortex. The air mass is always present but occasionally dislodges and heads south, as is the case now, unfortunately.