Clear skies to follow snowy Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service warned subfreezing temperatures hovering in the teens are combining with a steady snowfall to created a hazardous morning commute Wednesday. Newsday Staff (Jan. 29, 2014)

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After a messy, snow-covered Wednesday morning commute, incoming high pressure will deliver clear skies and dry conditions to Long Island through the start of the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

Slightly warmer temperatures also are expected, too, said Tim Morrin, a meteorologist at the Upton-based service.

Morrin said the cold will linger for the next 24 hours or so.

"But then the pattern shifts a little bit with some modified air from the Pacific," he said. "Arctic air that has been plunging into the region is going to be replaced by a more normal air mass."

So, expect milder, more normal winter temperatures, in the 30s and 40s, starting Thursday and extending perhaps into early next week, Morrin said.

"The worst of it, coldwise, seems as if it is coming to an end."

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Some good news, especially after snow that hit overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning -- accompanied by subfreezing cold -- created slick roads and an agonizingly slow commute.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until 10 a.m., and the service said hardest hit by the snow were central and eastern Suffolk County.

At the service's Upton office, 2 inches of snow was recorded. Long Island MacArthur Airport got 1.4 inches, the service said.

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Most of the snow hit the South Fork: Southampton had 4 inches, East Hampton 3.8 and Bridgehampton 2.5. Riverhead had 2.2 inches.

The snow caused flight delays at the Ronkonkoma airport from starting at about midnight Tuesday; arrivals and departures experienced delays of 30 minutes or more, according to FlightStats.com.

In Nassau, most communities got an inch to a half-inch, Morrin said. Merrick recorded 1 inch, Floral Park 0.6 inches.

Morrin said cold ground temperatures led to more significant accumulations of snow early Wednesday. Because of cold surfaces, the first flakes that fell stuck, he said.

"That contributed to the rapid accumulation," Morrin said, adding: "[Road] treatments can only do so much when it's this cold."

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In its advisory, the weather service said impacts of the bad weather will be "slippery travel conditions during the morning commute." It advised commuters to be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, urging "caution while driving."

High temperatures Wednesday were expected to be in the 20s, with the wind chill making it feel like the upper teens, the service said.

With John Valenti

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