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Long Island weather: Snow in forecast for 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

Just when we thought Mother Nature had run out of wonders, here she is reversing course and whipping up a snowstorm, set to start Sunday, the first day of astronomical spring.

After record-breaking warm stretches, temperatures will be dropping, just as the area feels the effects of a coastal low, with wet snow expected to start from late morning to early afternoon Sunday, and falling through Monday morning, said Carlie Buccola, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.

In all, Long Island could see from 4 to 6 inches, she said.

While confidence is growing in the forecast, the weather service said, there’s still room for possible shifts in amounts.

Driving could be hazardous, in particular overnight Sunday, with strong winds overnight and Monday morning, bringing the potential for downed trees and isolated power outages, the service said. There’s also a low risk for minor coastal flooding with high tide Sunday night, with best chances for the back bays.

For much of Sunday afternoon and overnight, temperatures are expected to be hovering around 30 to the low 30s, Buccola said. And though the Monday morning commute is still two days away, there’s certainly potential for it to be messy.

So, how does all this jibe with having just experienced the area’s warmest meteorological winter on record, as well as March, which, so far, was registering close to 8 degrees above normal at Long Island MacArthur Airport?

Although “snow is not that uncommon for March in this area,” she said, this year’s above-normal temperatures leading up to the storm would be “the uncommon part.”

After the system departs, temperatures head back up again, with Wednesday looking at highs in the upper 50s, and around 60 for Thursday and Friday.

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