The National Weather Service in Upton issued a special advisory on Thursday morning warning of near blizzard conditions before 10 a.m., after which conditions are expected to improve.
The statement notes that near blizzard conditions will impact Long Island, New York City and northeastern New Jersey.
A band of very heavy snow with snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour overspread the region and was expected to sit over the region through about 10 a.m. Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph were expected to develop through mid-morning resulting in zero visibility at times
Travel is not recommended through mid-morning, the statement advises, due to rapidly deteriorating conditions.
Conditions should gradually improve across southern portions of Long Island by about 10 a.m.
Many school districts and government offices were closed on Thursday. Check with individual schools or offices for further updates.
The National Weather Service in Upton is advising Long Islanders, including those on the South Fork, that a “strong” winter storm on Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday evening could dump as much as 6 inches of snow on the region, before turning to rain.
The exact track, timing and intensity of the storm is still uncertain, forecasters said in a “Hazardous Weather Outlook,” but the potential for significant snowfall of 6 inches or more exists.
The weather service advises residents to remain on the lookout for further weather advisories and warnings throughout the week.