Forecast: One storm down, possibly 2 more to go this week
In the wake of a storm that dumped nearly 10 inches of snow on parts of Long Island Monday comes a similar weather event to snarl Wednesday's commute, said forecasters, who also predicted yet another storm on the weekend.
The National Weather Service issued a storm watch that calls for 4 to 8 more inches of snow, sleet and rain, starting about midnight and continuing to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
That combination, along with temperatures hovering around freezing, could make roads more slick, and power outages more likely, than during Monday's storm, meteorologist Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service said.
"We're not just calling for snow; we're calling for freezing rain, so you'll have ice on top of wires and tree limbs," he said.
The North Shore and western Suffolk are expected to get the most snow Wednesday, Pollina said. About a quarter-inch of ice may form on top of the snow, he said, making driving hazardous.
Also, the weight of Wednesday's snow on top of Monday's heavy, wet accumulation could break tree branches and down wires, depriving many Long Islanders of power, he said.
The chance of another snowstorm increases through the weekend, but meteorologists could not yet say just how much would fall.
Monday's heavy snow left thousands of customers without power. Snow-related outages spiked and fell throughout the day, at one point topping 4,700 customers without power. At 10:16 p.m., there were 814 customers affected, according to PSEG Long Island.
A record snowfall for Monday was set at Islip when 6.5 inches fell, the service said.
The highest unofficial snow totals Monday as of 6:15 p.m. in Nassau were in North Merrick and Albertson, at 8.8 inches. The highest total in Suffolk was in Centerport, at 9.9 inches, as of 5:50 p.m., the service said.
The weather also affected mass transit, though the LIRR was running close to normal on most lines during last night's commute.
But flight delays at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports averaged nearly three hours Monday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. As of 3 p.m., there were 581 cancellations at LaGuardia Airport and 126 at Kennedy Airport.
A dozen flights, six arrivals and six departures were canceled Monday morning at Long Island MacArthur Airport.
Dozens of Long Island school districts, meanwhile, closed schools Monday. A list of closings and cancellations can be found at newsday.com/closings.
With Mark Harrington
and Chau Lam