First came the snow storm, now the black ice.
In a special weather statement, the National Weather Service Thursday evening urged motorists and pedestrians to use caution as temperatures will drop below freezing, and "any melted snow will refreeze on untreated roads and walkways."
The advice comes about 12 hours after yet another storm dumped more than a foot of snow in many places around Long Island.
The nearly 35 inches of snow that has fallen on Long Island in two storms this month not only breaks the January record, but makes this the Island's snowiest month on record, officials said Thursday.
As of Thursday morning, 34.8 inches of snow had hit the ground this month at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Before, the highest single monthly snowfall total was 32.5 inches, set in February 1967. February is typically the snowiest month on Long Island, according to the weather service.
The previous January record was 26 inches in 1947.
Another 19.8 inches fell in last month's blizzard, bringing the season total so far to 54.6 inches. The average Long Island winter brings 32 inches of snow. The record for snowiest winter was set in 1995-96 with 90.75 inches.
So far, this is the 11th snowiest winter, but we're only three-tenths of an inch shy of breaking into the top 10 by edging out 1948-49.
Weather service meteorologists say there's no way to tell at this point whether we're likely to break the season record. All they will say is that we're likely to have several more weeks of cold weather, which means any precipitation is likely to be snow.
Storm-weary Long Islanders took to their shovels and snowblowers again Thursday.
The heaviest recorded snowfalls were in Suffolk, with 16.5 inches in Northport and Centerport, 15.7 inches in Commack and 15.5 in East Setauket. In Nassau, 15.9 inches fell in Long Beach, 15.5 in Bethpage and 15 in Plainview.
The two-stage storm started just after Wednesday morning's rush hour, with steady sleet turning into ice, then heavy, wet snow overnight.
"It certainly was multifaceted," said John Murray, a weather service meteorologist.
The Long Island Rail Road canceled more than two dozen of its 143 morning westbound trains and experienced several delays. Service was temporarily suspended on the Ronkonkoma, Port Washington, West Hempstead, Hempstead and Huntington branches. The LIRR said it expected a normal evening commute.
Flights at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports were canceled overnight, with Kennedy resuming service in the morning. Arrivals and departures at LaGuardia were delayed, and several morning arrivals were canceled, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Long Island MacArthur Airport never closed, but commercial airlines canceled their flights after 7 p.m. Wednesday. The first airline arrival was 1:40 p.m. Thursday, and the first departure was about 2 p.m. with Southwest Airlines on a normal schedule and US Airways Express experiencing some delays. Check flylima.com for updates.
Bus service on Long Island was suspended early Thursday, but had been partly restored as of 9:30 a.m. with some weather-related delays, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
Nearly every school district on the Island closed. William Floyd, where high school students were scheduled to take Regents exams, opened two hours late as did Center Moriches, East Moriches and South Country.
Several towns declared snow emergencies to keep cars from being parked on major roadways to aid in clearing them.
"Most people, it seems, have learned to stay off the roads during these storms," a Suffolk police spokesman said.
With Michael Ebert