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Forecast: Strong winter storm may bring 6 inches of snow to LI Thursday

Sam Balot, of Greenport, clears snow and ice

Sam Balot, of Greenport, clears snow and ice off his car on Feb. 5, 2014. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

A "strong winter storm" may bring 6 inches of snow starting early Thursday, but its ultimate intensity is yet to be determined, the National Weather Service said Monday.

It's likely that precipitation on Long Island will start as "heavy, wet snow," with the coastal storm's eventual track determining whether it will change to rain or a mix of rain and snow, said Mike Silva, a weather service meteorologist in Upton.

Computer models were diverging as to whether the storm would move closer to the coast, leading to that changeover, or track offshore, meaning a possible "all snow event," Silva said.

By this morning, details should be in somewhat better focus, he said.

Either way, Silva said, it looks that "a significant amount of precipitation" is on its way, which should be clear of the area by Thursday afternoon.

Between now and then, however, look for sunny skies, with temperatures averaging around 10 degrees below normal, the weather service said.

That means a "cold spell" with highs in the 20s to near 30, Silva said.

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