Forecasters are predicting heavy, wet snow for the Thursday morning commute, which will fall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour and reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less at times.
By the afternoon, the snow should turn dry and powdery, boosting the total accumulation to 6 to 10 inches, according to the winter storm watch issued by the National Weather Service.
The snowfall should taper off later in the afternoon, as the storm, which likely will start around the Philadelphia area, moves quickly through Long Island, then north and east, bound for Boston, said Jay Engle, NWS meteorologist.
The wind, blowing from the north, could hit 15 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts from 25 to 35 miles per hour along the coast, the NWS said.
“Blowing and drifting snow is possible,” the service added.
The storm will jolt Long Island out of the potentially record-setting warm temperatures expected on Wednesday, when the thermometer could hit 59 degrees, just one degree shy of the record, forecasters said.
The range predicted for Wednesday is 55 to 60 degrees with the highest numbers predicted for Nassau County, according to News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman. The record high at Long Island MacArthur Airport is 59 set in 2009.
“With enough sunshine we could get to 60,” Hoffman said.
Friday also could see sun, but with a temperature of around 32 degrees. After 2 a.m., there is 40 percent chance of light snow, the NWS said.
Saturday could start seeing melting; the temperature is expected to rise to about 43 degrees, though the day should be cloudy.
Sunday looks damp, forecasters said. There is a 50 percent chance of rain, with a high around 45 degrees.