Update: Blizzard forecast predicts 12 to 16 inches of snow

Crash on Route 48 in Cutchogue

The National Weather Service’s latest blizzard warning for Suffolk County predicts 12 to 16 inches of snow Thursday.

The warning remains in effect until 6 p.m.

Winds are estimated to be 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph. The NWS described travel conditions as hazardous and dangerous due to poor visibilities, with possible whiteout conditions. Local power outages from downed trees and power lines are also likely, the alert states.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared a state of emergency at 11 a.m., which allows the county to call for additional assistance from the state and enter into certain agreements for removing snow from roadways.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said in an email Thursday morning that no major issues had been reported as of 10:30 a.m.

“The community has been through this many times before and we all know what to do, so we’re hoping for the best but are ready for the worst,” he said.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the 20s, with wind chills between 10 and 20 degrees.

Snow could be heavy at times and some thunder is also possible, the NWS said.

In an interview Thursday morning, Southold Town Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando said crews started to sand and salt roads around 5:30 a.m., adding plowing efforts have been going well.

He described road conditions as “treacherous” and said high winds could make it difficult to keep up with plowing the roads throughout the storm.

As for reports of thunder Thursday morning, Mr. Orlando described the occurrence as exciting.

“First, we saw a little lighting and we weren’t sure that was lightning,” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, the place rocked with snow thunder.”

Check back for updates.

• North Fork winter storm closings, event postponements

Photo: Crash scene around 7:45 a.m. Thursday morning on Route 48 in Cutchogue. (Credit: Grant Parpan)