Winter weather advisory in effect as snow falls on Long Island – Newsday

Posted: Saturday, February 21, 2015

By early Saturday afternoon snow began falling on parts of Long Island, where a winter weather advisory remains in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday.

The National Weather Service advisory said 2 to 4 inches of snow are possible along with a trace of ice.

“Snow will fall into early this evening,” the weather service said, “then transition to a mixture of snow and freezing rain . . . then changes to rain into the early morning hours.”

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Driving hazards could include visibilities of one-quarter to a half-mile at times as well as snow-covered roads that could also make walking hazardous, the service said.

“Generally there’ll be a very light ice accumulation throughout the event, with snow into the early evening,” said John Murray, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Upton office.

Murray said that sometime between 7 and 9 p.m. the snow is expected to transition into freezing rain, and beginning at about 9 or 10 p.m. just rain is expected.

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“The timing with that can vary,” Murray said. “The first places to see plain rain will be southeast Suffolk, near the South Fork of Long Island, and it’ll work its way west later tonight.”

On the North Shore, rain could be mixed with snow at times, Murray said. “It’s going to depend on where the warmer temperatures reside for the evening.”

Murray said Saturday, though sunny, started out as the second consecutive day with a record-breaking temperature of 2 degrees.

“It easily set a record,” he said. The temperature fell to 2 degrees in Islip at 5:39 a.m. The previous record low for Saturday had been 14 degrees, set in 1990.

Friday’s record low was 2 degrees, beating the previous record of 10 degrees, set in 1993.

Highs Saturday were forecast to barely break 30 degrees, with wind chill temperatures across the Island ranging from 10 to 20 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid 30s between 11 p.m. Saturday and midnight, with that warming trend helping any snow transition to rain, Murray said. Those temperatures should continue through Sunday morning, he said, and a relatively balmy high of 40 degrees is expected to be reached between 1 and 4 p.m.

“We could start out with some areas still having a rain and snow mix [early Sunday],” Murray said. “Southern locations, like southern Suffolk County, could have snow mixed with rain, but by Sunday afternoon that should taper off in terms of precipitation. There should be only a chance of rain.”

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If rain does come on Sunday afternoon, Murray said, there is expected to be about an inch that could make for more treacherous driving and other hazards.

“We’ll have to watch out for ponding on roadways and there’ll be some minor flooding potential,” he said. “After we’ve had the snow, the melting snow will be adding to that runoff — also the drains will be clogged with snow.”

Get ready to shiver again Sunday night when temperatures are forecast to fall back into the midteens on average.

On Monday, Murray warned, “Get ready for another surge of cold air” when the day starts out in the low to midteens, then reaches only the low 20s by late afternoon.

It will be dry, with evening temperatures expected to reach a low of about 5 degrees for much of Long Island.


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