LI snow: Dusting turns into 1 inch on Saturday
Saturday's snowstorm that wasn't supposed to be again forced forecasters to revise their predictions.
For most of the day, the National Weather Service expected just a dusting -- not the two inches it had predicted on Wednesday for Nassau and Suffolk.
But then around 6 p.m. on Saturday, a band of moderate to heavy snow blew in.
"We could see an inch, maybe some isolated spots could come in at two inches before all is said and done," said David Stark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton.
The storm was expected to last only around an hour and, shortly after 6 p.m., had already begun "winding down to just maybe some very light snow or flurries across Nassau," he said.
Though fairly brief, Mother Nature's latest gift of white, coupled with a falling thermometer, could create some treacherous road conditions.
"If you are heading out tonight, just remember to watch out for some slick roads," Stark said.
Blame the fleeting warming trend that developed Saturday afternoon, when winds swept in from the ocean, raising temperatures in some areas.
The mercury in the West Hamptons reached 38 degrees, according to Joey Picca, another meteorologist in the service's Upton office.
The respite might have melted any ice and snow on the roads that was leftover from Tuesday's storm, which is destined to refreeze as the temperature retreats.
"There's the potential for some slick spots out there . . . especially as we cool down and head back into the icebox tonight," Picca said.
Islip, which warmed to 34 degrees in the early afternoon, was back down at 27 degrees just before 6 p.m.
The early evening flurry posed enough of a hazard for the Town of Hempstead to deploy salt spreaders.
"Our crews are going out, salting the roads, within the hour," said town spokesman Mike Deery.
"I would guess it's about maybe an inch, maybe a little less, but the predictions are for it to stay cold tomorrow, so we decided it was the best thing to do," he said.
Daytime drivers might have had an advantage over night owls.
Town of Huntington spokesman A.J. Carter in the midafternoon said that the trucks were loaded up and ready to go if needed.
Huntington residents should benefit from the "brining" -- pouring salt water on the roads -- that was done before the last snowstorm.
"Now that it's warmer . . . it's starting to melt the snow that was on the roads," Carter said.
Though short-lived, the slightly more clement weather -- which was at least partly offset by winds of up to 35 mph -- did break Islip's just over 100-hour stretch of below-freezing temperatures.
That streak of semi-glacial weather was just a minor trial when compared with what Long Islanders endured not all that long ago.
A quick but not exhaustive search shows that in 2004, Islip's thermometers stayed below 32 degrees for at least 240 hours -- 10 days, according to Joe Pollina, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
Saturday night, Islip's low temperature will hit 15 degrees, the National Weather Service said.
Sunday's high should be around 21 degrees, followed by a milder Monday, with a high of 38 degrees, though there is a 30 percent chance of rain and snow.
But a cold front then takes over, with the temperature falling to the midteens on Tuesday and only rising to the lower 20s on Wednesday, Picca said.
"It's a bit of a roller coaster here," he said.