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LI under a blizzard watch this weekend

Long Island could see its first significant snowfall

Long Island could see its first significant snowfall this weekend. Photo Credit: File, 2008 / Howard Schnapp

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for Nassau and Suffolk counties from Saturday morning into Sunday.

Friday morning, temperatures sank into the teens and are expected to rise to near freezing before dipping back into the 20s this evening. While skies should remain clear Friday, Saturday's forecast calls for a potential for snow with strong winds and "extremely poor visibilities."

One to 3 inches of snow is possible, but some areas could see accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour, according to the report.

Forecasters said it's too early to predict how much snow could fall.

A weather system developing over the northern Gulf of Mexico Thursday produced two diverging tracks, one that could potentially bring with it a significant amount of snow to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut this weekend, said Brandon Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Upton.

"What's uncertain is which path the storm will take," Smith said.

If the system travels east of Cape Hatteras and heads northeast into the Atlantic, Long Island and the tri-state area won't see any precipitation, Smith said.

However, if the system continues to move north and comes within 150 miles south and east of Long Island, it could produce snow starting Saturday afternoon through midday Sunday, Smith said.

The amount of snowfall would depend on how much moisture this storm picks up as it moves toward Long Island, he said.

Smith urged travelers and holiday shoppers to check for weather updates. High temperatures for Saturday and Sunday are expected to reach the low 30s during the day and the low 20s at night, he said.

>> WEATHER: Click here to see the latest forecast for your neighborhood, with radar, video and the weekend outlook

>>CLASSIC PHOTOS: Click to see photos of historic snow storms that hit LI

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