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Long Island weekend forecast: No rain, snow, sleet but chilly

Following yesterday's storm, Newsday's Cecilia Dowd talked to Long Islanders this morning about the snowy and icy roads. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A mostly sunny weekend is forecast for Long Island, free of rain, snow and sleet, but a bit colder than average for this time of the year, according to the National Weather Service.

Thursday and Friday’s snowstorm that battered the region — the fifth major storm of the season so far — headed out to sea, replaced by dry and mostly sunny conditions, weather service meteorologist Jay Engle said early Friday night.

Said his colleague Matt Wunsch, "This weekend we should get a nice break," adding, "No snow, no rain."

The average temperature for this time of the year is around 40 degrees, he said.

But on Saturday, the temperatures will probably be in the upper 30s, with some clouds in the afternoon, and 33 to 35 degrees, and sunny, on Sunday.

Throughout Friday, snowplows were out across the Island, as forecasters warned that snow and freezing rain imperiled travel on the roadways.

Nassau County Department of Public Works employees salted the roads, which appeared to be in "good shape," Vicki DiStefano, a spokeswoman for the county executive, said by email.

Suffolk County Department of Public Works crews were salting roads Friday afternoon as the storm made its way off the Island, said county spokeswoman Marykate Guilfoyle. She said crews worked to clear turning lanes, shoulders and intersections during the morning.

Despite travel warnings, some people had to get to work.

Two early-morning commuters with jobs on Long Island said the highways in the area were surprisingly clear but still slow.

Setting out from his home in Gardiner in Ulster County and bound for his job about 130 miles away at a Yaphank auto auction, Brandon Garrison said the roads were snow-covered upstate but farther south, "The roads are just wet, they're not snow-covered. ... Once I got south of Harriman, it wasn't so bad."

Harriman is about 80 miles from Dix Hills, where he spoke at the Long Island Expressway's Welcome Center. He added: "Once I got into Long Island, the LIE was really not an issue."

Amy Lesh of Forest Hills, Queens, who works on the Island, said of the roadways: "It wasn't slippery, it was just slow-moving. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated at all."

In Nassau, there were 10 crashes from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, the police said, down sharply from Thursday. And in Suffolk, there were 14 crashes from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m., none of which caused serious injuries, a police spokeswoman said.

Nassau's NICE bus service said shortly after noon that it was running about 10 minutes behind schedule.

The Long Island Rail Road on Twitter asked customers to check or the LIRR TrainTime app before heading out though its crews were out clearing the tracks.

Across the United States, winter storm weather has led to shipment delays of about 6 million coronavirus vaccine doses, the Biden administration said Friday. The delays will last three days, and the doses should arrive by next week.

COVID-19 vaccination sites run by Nassau and Suffolk counties were mostly shut down on Friday because of bad weather or lack of supplies, officials said.

Mass vaccination sites run by the state at Jones Beach and Stony Brook University were scheduled to be open Friday.

The COVID-19 testing site at Stony Brook University's South P parking lot had a delayed opening Friday due to the inclement weather.

Bad day on the roads

Motorists who ventured out on Thursday were taking a risk.

A Nassau County police spokesman said there were 119 crashes in the 24-hour period from 6 a.m. on Thursday to 6 a.m. on Friday.

To compare, Nassau averaged 84 crashes per day in February 2020.

For Suffolk County, a police spokesman put the total at 135 crashes from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

That number also appears higher than usual. Suffolk had an average of 120.5 daily crashes during the week of Feb. 4 to Feb. 11 in 2020.

None of the crashes were serious, police said.

Elmont reported the most snow in Nassau County — 5.8 inches as of 10 p.m. Thursday, the weather service said. Deer Park in Suffolk just topped that total, with 6 inches.

With John Valenti, Alfonso Castillo and Cecilia Dowd

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