Forecasters have a message for those who plan to travel Sunday - don't do it.

A blizzard will likely bring whiteout conditions, wind gusts to 55 mph, and as much as 16 inches of snowfall to Long Island, the National Weather Service says.

Snow is expected to begin falling before dawn Sunday and continue for more than 24 hours, with blinding, driven snow limiting visibility to a quarter-mile at best for hours at a time - and the possibility of zero visibility, said Lauren Nash, a meteorologist at the weather service'sUpton office.

"Travel conditions will be extremely dangerous. This will lead to whiteouts," Nash said. If travelers ignore the warnings, they should be ready for the consequences, including the chance of large, shifting snowdrifts, she said. Power lines could also be damaged by the storm.

"Our standard warning for this kind of weather is, do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you," she said. If stranded, stay with your vehicle, she added.

Snow will be heavy at times from late Sunday afternoon until late Sunday night. The snowfall could reach even higher than 16 inches in some areas of the Island, Nash said. As the storm moves up the Atlantic seaboard, though, some conditions could bring rain, instead, in areas of eastern Long Island, she said.

Sustained winds should reach the 35 mph range, with frequent gusts up to 55 mph. Sunday's temperatures will hit an overnight low of 27 degrees and an afternoon high of 33, forecasters said.

The alert warns that central and eastern Long Island are two areas likely to face the strongest winds.

Snow could still be falling as late as Monday afternoon.

The blizzard warning also includes the New York City metro area, where somewhere between 8 to 12 inches of snow is expected. The weather is being caused by a system developing around or near theGulf of Mexico moving toward the region.

Forecasters are calling for sunny clear skies for the rest of the week, with temperatures rising to the low 40s.


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