Long Island weather: Nor’easter to drop up to a foot of snow out east

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The third nor’easter to hit Long Island in two weeks is now expected to dump up to a foot of snow on the East End and up to 9 inches on the rest of Suffolk County, forecasters said.

Many roads were treacherous during the Tuesday morning commute, more than 4,000 were without power — mostly on the South Fork — and public bus service was canceled in Suffolk, officials said. There also were weather-related rail delays on three lines.

The Twin Forks was seeing snowfall rates of about 1 to 2 inches an hour from a heavy band over the area, said Carlie Buccola, National Weather Service meteorologist.

Road conditions were expected to “rapidly deteriorate through the morning commute” as “bands of moderate to heavy snow will continue to develop,” particularly for Suffolk, the weather service said.

Those who hit the roads generally encountered an “icy and snowy morning rush hour with poor visibility,” said Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist.

In all, 9 to 12 inches of snow is expected for the Twin Forks, with potential to be locally higher, said Melissa DiSpigna, weather service meteorologist. The rest of Suffolk could see 5 to 9 inches, with Nassau looking at 3 to 6, with amounts diminishing to the west.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone encouraged residents to stay off the roads.

“While the roads are passable right now, these are very difficult conditions to be driving in,” Bellone said. “If you can stay home, you should stay home. If you have to come out, if you need to get to work, if you need to come out on those roadways, what I would urge is to use extreme caution, driving very slowly, very carefully, pulling back, staying back from other cars.”

Bellone said Suffolk County Transit bus service has been canceled, as have flights at Long Island MacArthur Airport. NICE bus in Nassau County was operating normally, though service may be adjusted as conditions change.

The Long Island Rail Road was experiencing westbound delays on three lines because of weather-related signal trouble.

Acting Suffolk Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said residents appeared to be staying off the roads during the storm.

“The roads are slushy. It’s not great conditions, but fortunately the morning call volume has been light,” Cameron said.

Only two motor vehicle accidents and five downed wires were reported as of 7 a.m., Cameron said.

Residents with nonemergency complaints are asked to call 631-852-COPS.

Road conditions deteriorated quickly before sunrise as wet, heavy snow accumulated on roadways across eastern Brookhaven Town.

Strengthening winds were also limiting visibility and even freshly plowed streets were accumulating new layers of slushy snow that can make for treacherous driving.

For this storm, “the main story is the snow,” said David Stark, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.

MacArthur had seen 2.3 inches of snow as of 8 a.m., with winds gusting to 32 mph, the weather service said.

At just past 6 a.m., Hoffman tweeted a photo of his snow measurement of 3.25 inches in Woodbury, and an hour later reported just under 4 inches of “heavy, wet snow.”

At 7 a.m., a trained spotter reported 3.4 inches of snow in Farmingville, the weather service said.

A winter storm warning remained in effect for Suffolk County through 6 p.m. Tuesday, telling of heavy snow and “significant reductions in visibility at times,” making travel “very difficult,” the weather service said.

Look for wind gusts of 30 to 45 mph, with stronger winds as you head east. Those winds, along with the heavy, wet snow, could bring down trees and limbs, leading to power outages, the weather service said,


A winter weather advisory was in place for Nassau through 4 p.m., urging drivers to look out for slippery roads as they head to work in the morning, as well as reduced visibility.

A coastal flood advisory is in effect Tuesday morning for around high tide time for areas of the north and south shores of Suffolk, and the South Shore bays of Nassau.

“So far we’re seeing minor flooding, nothing too serious but that could change with the tide, so we’re keeping an eye on that as well on the North Shore and South Shore,” Nassau County Supervisor Laura Curran told News 12.

Look for snow to taper off in the afternoon from west to east, Hoffman said, with some snow changing to and mixing with rain.

Dozens of public and private schools announced closures and delays early Tuesday.

The timing of the storm “made it more difficult for the schools to make that decision to close, I don’t envy them,” Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter told News 12 Tuesday morning. “But I think they really made the right decision because if it continues the way it’s predicted, it’s going to be pretty nasty out there when the kids would have been in school.”

PSEG Long Island was reporting that more than 4,200 customers were without power just before 8:30 a.m., most in Southampton Town.

PSEG spokeswoman Brooke Houston said the utility brought in 112 linemen from Quebec to supplement its own force of hundreds of workers and on-Island contractors. Those who lost power should call 800-490-0075.

“Our lineworkers, tree trimmers and support personnel are ready to respond to power outages that occur,” she said. “We are watching the weather closely and have a full contingent of personnel stationed to respond to power outages on the East End of Long Island should heavy snow and winds develop there as predicted.”

Kennedy and LaGuardia airports reported flight cancellations due to the weather Tuesday, with the Port Authority urging travelers to check their flight statuses before heading to the airport.

With Mark Harrington and Rachel Uda

2018-03-13 12:22:55

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