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Shift in nor'easter path brings rain to Long Island instead of snow, forecasters say

The storm that promises to snarl Thanksgiving Day

The storm that promises to snarl Thanksgiving Day getaway traffic began early Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. This was morning traffic was on the westbound Long Island Expressway near Exit 66, Sills Road in Yaphank. Traffic and the winter storm were expected to increase during the day. Credit: James Carbone

For parts of Long Island, the difference between "accumulating snow, heavy at times" and "mostly rain" on Wednesday came down to about a 50- to 75-mile westward shift of a nor'easter that had threatened to mess with the pre-Thanksgiving getaway day, forecasters said.

Holiday travelers faced wet, sometimes slushy roads and pelting rain Wednesday -- as well as flight delays -- with 11/2 to 2 inches of rain forecast for the Island.

But that's far less disruptive than the earlier forecast for less than an inch of snow on the East End to as much as 6 inches in northern Nassau.

The storm's shift west, resulting in warmer air, "was just enough to create quite a difference for Long Island," said meteorologist David Stark, of the National Weather Service.

The weather service canceled a wind advisory for some parts of Suffolk that was originally issued for Wednesday evening.

Weather conditions had created some delays at airports Wednesday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website,

But as of 9 p.m. delays at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Long Island MacArthur had dwindled to 15 minutes or less for arriving and departing flights.

The FAA site is advising that travelers check with their airlines for specific flight information.

A winter weather advisory was canceled by the weather service for Manhattan, the Bronx and northern Queens for Wednesday evening as less than an inch of additional snowfall was expected to fall.

Unofficial total accumulation earlier was two-tenths of a an inch of snow for New York City's Central Park, the weather service said.

It's unlikely any snow will affect the 88th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which steps off at 9 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West and ends about noon outside Macy's Herald Square.

On Thanksgiving Day for both Long Islanders and those heading to the city for the parade, skies are expected to be mostly cloudy, with a slight chance -- 20 percent -- for an isolated rain or snow shower from late morning to early afternoon, said Joe Pollina, also a weather service meteorologist based in Upton.

"Don't be surprised to see a stray flake or raindrop," he said, "but chances are low." There's also a chance for isolated flurries at night.

Early birds lining up around 6 a.m. along the parade route should bundle up for temperatures in the low to mid 30s, Pollina said, with highs for the day expected to possibly hit 40.

As for the next day, Black Friday shoppers and others can expect sunny skies with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s, Stark said.

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