A winter weather advisory has been issued for Long Island as a coastal storm is set to drop 4 to 6 inches of snow on most of the Island, the National Weather Service said.

The advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. Lower amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected for the South Fork, the service said late Friday afternoon.

Look for flurries and snow showers to start as early as sunrise -- in the 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. range -- and pick up in intensity in the late morning, said Joe Pollina, weather service meteorologist based in Upton.

Snow could become heavy at times Saturday evening, before changing to sleet and freezing rain, especially in Nassau and northwestern Suffolk, before turning to all rain after midnight, the service said.

Northeast winds are expected to blow 15 mph to 25 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph, forecasters said.

Visibility could be half a mile or less late Saturday afternoon and evening, with icy road conditions in the evening, the advisory said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Long Island Rail Road is gearing up for the expected storm, including pre-salting station platforms and protecting critical track switches.

The LIRR urged riders to do their part to prepare for the storm, by signing up for email and text message alerts on service conditions and taking extra precaution while walking on station stairs and platforms.

As for driving, National Weather Service meteorologist Joey Picca advised those who can to stay off the roads and those who can't to leave early, go slow and keep in mind images of recent multivehicle pileups along Interstate 95 in Connecticut.


"It can't be emphasized enough that many spots can look deceiving," he said.

More than 400 maintenance workers will be on duty this morning, with 230 heavy-duty snow removal vehicles scheduled for action, said Eileen Peters, spokeswoman on Long Island for the state Department of Transportation.