Another powerful nor’easter is on its way for Wednesday — a storm forecast to bring several inches of snow to Long Island but a lesser punch from the high winds and coastal flooding of last week’s mostly rain event.
Highest snow totals were expected for northern Nassau, around 7 inches or so, said Jay Engle, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, with much of the rest of the Island seeing 3 to 6.
Lesser amounts were predicted for the Twin Forks, around 1 to 2 inches, he said.
Amounts are subject to change, however, abased on the storm’s track and, “primarily, how much warm air will rotate into the area,” said Jim Connolly, weather service meteorologist based in Upton. Much depends on that track and ultimately where the rain/snow line sets up, he said.
That’s as a winter storm watch was in effect from midnight Tuesday through 6 a.m. Thursday, warning of the potential for heavy snow, reduced visibility and difficult travel conditions during both the morning and evening commute Wednesday.
Wednesday’s storm is expected to move faster than Friday’s, said Jase Bernhardt, assistant professor in Hofstra University’s Geology, Environment and Sustainability department.
This slightly weaker system means that winds and surge “won’t be quite as powerful nor last as long as they did with the previous storm.”
While Friday’s nor’easter brought heavy rain, high winds and rounds of coastal flooding, this week’s colder temperatures are more hospitable for snow.
Precipitation was expected to start as snow early morning Wednesday, with potential to change to a rain/snow mix late morning and early afternoon, with a return to snow Wednesday evening, Engle said.
Minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible around high tide times Wednesday, Engle said.
A track closer to shore means more precipitation, but leaning more toward a rain/snow mix, as warmer air from the ocean becomes a factor, said Carlie Buccola, weather service meteorologist.
A track farther to the south and east, though, means less precipitation, but all or most of it snow.
The next major forecast update comes after 4 a.m. Tuesday.