Get ready to build a snowman or warm up indoors with hot chocolate and a movie, because the first snowstorm of the season is on its way.
The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for this weekend as Suffolk County is expected to get “a significant snow event, something where it’s at least half a foot [of snow],” according to NWS meteorologist John Cristantello.
The nor’easter is expected to begin sometime Friday night and the height of the storm will be during the day Saturday, he said.
“It’s a strong low pressure that is forecast to move out of the southeast states and mid-Atlantic and then pass to the southeast of Montauk,” Mr. Cristantello said. Some coastal flooding is also expected to occur as high tides coincide with the storm, especially on the South Shore, he added.
Temperatures are expected to range around a high of 35 each day from Wednesday to Saturday, with it dropping to somewhere between 21 and 27 degrees each night, according to the NWS website. Strong winds will accompany the snow, Mr. Cristantello said.
He advised people to be aware of wind chill values and to not drive unless completely necessary since there could be “visibility issues with blowing snow.” Other winter preparedness tips can be found on the NWS website.
This storm comes after an unseasonably warm start to winter. Last December was one of the warmest on record in the Northeast, where temperatures averaged 47 degrees during the first 20 days of the month. Although the upcoming storm is not the first snowfall of the season — it snowed lightly in October and again on Sunday — it will be the most snow Long Island has seen this winter.
“It’s hard to quantify that,” Mr. Cristantello said of whether it is abnormal to get the first snowstorm this late in the winter season. “It depends on what you consider to be significant. Just growing up around this area, it seems that to have to wait until late January for something over a couple inches of snow seems to be later than normal, but I don’t have the exacts on that.”
Photo Caption: A Southold snow plow out in a February 2014 storm. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)