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Long Island forecast: Snow possible on first day of spring

It has happened before. In this case there

It has happened before. In this case there was snow about five days before the start of spring in 2004. The snow-covered crocuses were off Northfield Road in Glen Cove on March 16, 2004. Snow on spring flowers this year? Maybe! Credit: Newsday / Michael E. Ach

It may be the first day of astronomical spring, but there’s “potential for significant accumulating snow” in the area for Sunday and the overnight hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Indeed, “a coastal low could bring at least 6 inches of snow to the tri-state,” with Long Island possibly seeing a rain-snow mix just as the storm gets started, the National Weather Service said in a hazardous outlook issued late Thursday afternoon.

As the week’s mild temperatures take a dip Saturday to highs around the low 40s and lows of around 30, the storm is expected to arrive Sunday, which is looking at similar temperatures, forecasters say.

“As forecast models signal the development of a coastal low, forecast confidence is increasing that our local area will be impacted by potentially heavy snow and strong winds Sunday into early Monday,” said Gary Conte, weather service meteorologist.

“There are still many questions about this storm that we cannot answer yet, but there will be a low moving up the coast,” said Bill Korbel, News 12 Long Island meteorologist.

As of Thursday evening, the National Weather Service’s Upton office was forecasting a 30 percent chance of precipitation — a possible snow and wintry mix — for Sunday, rising overnight to a 60 percent chance for precipitation with rain and snow likely, then all snow.

Of course, at this point there are still uncertainties, the weather service said in a Facebook post.

What’s known: A coastal low will be developing, and there’s “potential for significant accumulating snow” for the area Sunday into Monday, according to the weather service.

Still on the iffy side: timing and track, with a faster moving system that passes farther from the coast meaning less snow, and the opposite for one that’s slower moving and tracking closer in. Jay Engle, a service meteorologist, said they would know more when the next set of data came in on Friday.

Though Sunday is, indeed, the start of spring, weather service meteorologist Carlie Buccola reminds in a tweet that “Mother Nature does what she wants.”

— With Laura Blasey

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