A blizzard warning has been issued for Long Island ahead of a major nor’easter that could bury the region in up to 20 inches of snow, forecasters said.
The National Weather Service’s Upton office issued the blizzard warning for all of the Island except for the East End, beginning midnight Monday through midnight Tuesday. Eastern Suffolk remains under a winter storm warning.
Forecasters are calling for heavy snow with blizzard conditions and wind gusting as high as 55 miles per hour. Snow accumulation could range from 12-20 inches, with snow falling Tuesday morning at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour.
The storm is expected to begin overnight and last through the day Tuesday.
Such conditions will make traveling dangerous and could produce whiteout conditions, the weather service said.
Drivers have been urged not to travel unless in an emergency, in which case they should keep an emergency kit handy in their vehicles, the weather service said. Stranded drivers have been advised to remain with their vehicles, if such a situation occurs.
“Several roads may become impassable. Power outages are possible,” the agency said. “Damaging wind gusts possible across Long Island and coastal Connecticut.”
The late winter storm may also have a serious impact on Long Island’s coastal communities along the South Shore. The weather service issued a coastal flood warning that runs from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Moderate coastal flooding is expected during high tide, forecasters warned. Beach erosion is also possible.
“This is a major storm. This is a potentially dangerous storm,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Monday morning, adding that the county is in contact with state officials to monitor the situation.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini urged residents to stay off the roads Tuesday if the storm lives up to its potential. Pet owners are advised to keep their pets indoors.