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Long Island weather: Colder air arrives, along with snow Thursday

Vehicles drive through puddles of rain and melting

Vehicles drive through puddles of rain and melting snow on Mill Road in Yaphank Tuesday morning. Credit: James Carbone

The unusual warmth that gave Long Islanders a winter break Tuesday turns to bitter cold Wednesday, setting the stage for a Thursday storm with about six inches of snow, the National Weather Service said.

If the storm veers more toward the coast than expected, there will be less snow and more sleet, the weather service said in a late Tuesday briefing. If it moves farther south than predicted, Long Island could get up to 10 inches.

Silver lining? No strong winds or widespread coastal flooding are expected with this storm. forecasters said.

Afternoon temperatures Tuesday went up to the 50s, the weather service said, but Wednesday, cold air returns. The polar vortex will once again drive the weather, which should be sunny but with a high in the low 30s and a wind chill lower than that.

"The same area of arctic high pressure that has enveloped the heartland in record cold temperatures will spill over toward the East coast Tuesday evening and into Wednesday," the weather service said.

With the cold air back in place, snow will likely start falling Thursday afternoon, possibly mixing with sleet as the day goes on, and ending Friday morning.

Highs will be in the low 30s on Thursday and in the mid-30s on Friday, the weather service said.

Saturday and Sunday both should be fair and cold, with thermometers hitting freezing.

Another storm may arrive on Monday. There is a 50% chance of rain and snow, and the high is expected to be in the low 40s.

With Joan Gralla

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