Outdoing forecast, nor'easter packed more snow

A woman shovels snow on Grant Avenue in A woman shovels snow on Grant Avenue in Albertson. (Nov. 8, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

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As drivers and Long Island Rail Road passengers can attest, Wednesday's nor'easter produced more snow than was forecast, snarling the evening commute.

Unofficial observations put the 8.5-inch snowfall high in Woodmere and Albertson, followed by 8 inches in North Valley Stream and 7.4 inches in Carle Place, according to the National Weather Service. Lake Grove got 1.6 inches and Upton, 1.1, the weather service said.

While the storm, which some dubbed the Son of Sandy, tracked where expected, it strengthened slightly, just enough to draw in cooler air from the north, said Dan Hofmann, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton. Conditions just north and west of New York City had been more clear-cut, where show had been predicted, he said. But on Long Island the situation "was such a marginal, borderline event" that even a slight temperature shift was enough to turn expected rain and rain / snow mix to snow, he said.

As for wind, peak gusts were recorded on Plum Island at 58 mph; just west of Hither Hills State Park, Montauk, at 54 mph; and at Eatons Neck at 53 mph, the weather service said.

With winds coming from the north, instead of northeast, mostly minor coastal flooding occurred, he said, with moderate levels of 4.98 feet recorded at high tide in Freeport and 4.14 feet at Lindenhurst. However, even minor flooding "is concerning," he said, in the wake of coastal damage from superstorm Sandy.

Still, Long Islanders, especially those without heat, can expect some respite on the weekend, as temperatures are expected to be above the average of mid-50s, meaning "well-deserved relief for a storm-ravaged area," he said.

As of Thursday, the forecast for Sunday is for 62 to 63 degrees for most of the Island, possibly 64 in areas of Nassau County, Hofmann said, with Monday perhaps even a degree or two warmer.

The record high for both Nov. 11 and 12 -- this Sunday and Monday -- is 63 degrees, recorded in 2006, 2002, and 1995, he said.

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