Broken Clouds 44° Good Afternoon
Broken Clouds 44° Good Afternoon
Long Island

Snow closes schools, slows commute

Snow falls on Jericho Turnpike in Mineola. (Feb.

Snow falls on Jericho Turnpike in Mineola. (Feb. 26, 2010) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Most of Long Island is expected to be blanketed with snow - as much as 7 to 12 inches in parts of Nassau and western Suffolk - by the time the storm ends Saturday, forecasters said.

A winter weather warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday.

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Roads were treacherous for Friday morning's commuters, and many Long Island schools reported closings or delays. The National Weather Service predicted up a foot of snow on parts of Long Island by Friday night. Wind gusts are blowing up to 40 mph with temperatures in the lower 30s.

Flights at Long Island MacArthur Airport were, for the most part, on time, said spokeswoman Catherine Green.

"A few outgoing flights that go through our Baltimore hub have been delayed, but otherwise the rest of them are going out on time," Green said early Friday morning. "We are open, the runways are basically blacktop, and we're operating in a relatively normal manner."

The LIRR is reporting some delays, according to News 12.

The storm brought heavy rain to most of Long Island Thursday. As of 7 p.m., nearly 2 inches of rain had fallen in Upton.

By around 8:30 p.m., snow had begun falling in parts of western Suffolk and it's expected for most of the Island Friday and Saturday.

Precipitation will become lighter as the storm heads into the weekend, said Ricky Castro of the National Weather Service in Upton.

"The storm will weaken as it hangs over us but it will bring with it unsettled weather," he said.

When the storm ends Saturday as anticipated, Nassau and the westernmost portion of Suffolk are expected to get 7 to 12 inches of snow, the most on Long Island.

The National Weather Service said a potent area of low pressure was expected to linger off Long Island on Friday before drifting slowly north toward southern New England and weakening on Saturday.

The slow-moving storm by Friday morning had dumped about 10 inches of snow in New York City, where a man was killed by a falling snow-laden tree branch in Central Park — one of at least three deaths being blamed on the storm.

The New York City public schools announced they are closed because of the weather, after initially hoping that the snowfall would be manageable enough to keep them open.

In New Jersey, the snow totals ranged from about 3 inches in Atlantic City to 18 inches in Passaic and Sussex counties in northern New Jersey, which could get up to 2 feet of snow before the sky clears on Saturday.

A day after airlines canceled hundreds of flights across the Northeast, the real threat was expected to be the strong wind that could create blizzard conditions.

The National Weather Service put much of the East Coast under wind advisories and warnings into Friday. The agency warned that winds could blow steadily between 20 and 30 mph in some areas, with gusts of 55 mph or higher in coastal and mountainous areas.

With Chau Lam and Gary Dymski

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