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Snow storm, stronger than expected, blankets tri-state area

Much of New York City and all of Long Island are now in the bull's-eye of what will be a substantial snowstorm for parts of the region, with almost a foot of powder expected in Suffolk County by Saturday night.

Multiple plows have been deployed throughout the city. New Yorkers can use the PlowNYC tracker for updated information about plows in their neighborhoods.

Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as Queens and Brooklyn are under a winter storm warning. As of Saturday morning, forecasters at the National Weather Service were calling for 4 to 8 inches of snow for Nassau County, Queens and Brooklyn, and 7 to 12 inches for Suffolk County. The southern tip of Long Island near Montauk could see between 12 to 18 inches.

The most snow in the city will be in southeast Queens and the Rockaways.

The amounts are much higher than what was expected Friday, when the storm, which is off shore and responsible for wintry weather in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states, was expected to give more of a glancing blow to the region.

A winter storm warning means significant snowfall is expected, and travel will be hazardous and is not advised.

The snow started Saturday morning, light at first, before intensifying during the afternoon, falling heavily especially in Suffolk, before tapering off during the evening. Winds gusting up to 30 mph will reduce visibilities to a quarter mile or less. And there's no chance the snow will mix with sleet or rain — temperatures will stay frigid, in the low 20s, all day.

The rest of New York City as well as southern Westchester County are under a winter weather advisory,  and the Department of Sanitation has the city under a snow alert to make it easier to clean up. Forecasters are calling for 2 to 5 inches for the city and southern Westchester, with winds of up to 25 mph reducing visibilities to a half mile during the heaviest snowfall, which should be most intense in the afternoon before tapering off in the evening.

Fairfield County in Connecticut will also get walloped, with up to 7 inches of snow expected.

Northern New Jersey is also not out of the woods, where snow of up to 1 to 3 inches is expected, with the highest amounts along the Garden State Parkway. It's southern and central New Jersey, much closer to the center of the storm, that has the most to worry about.

Cape May County, for instance, faces up to 10 inches of snow on Saturday, with the worst along the coast and north to Atlantic City. Two to 5 inches are expected up through central New Jersey, with higher amounts closer to the coast.

What's responsible for all of this? The low pressure system that slammed the southeastern U.S. made a curve to the northeast, headed off the coast of the Carolinas and is passing to the south and east of our region, close enough to bring substantial snow, especially farther east and closer to the storm's center, which will be 300 miles off the Jersey Shore by Saturday evening.

Skies will partially clear out for Sunday but the winds will be gusty making feel more the the lower teens during the day. Temperatures moderate back to the freezing mark by Monday with plenty of sun.

Another storm system approaches late on Tuesday into Wednesday. This one looks to be primarily wet as the storm passes to the west and north. That being said, there could be a wintry mix at the onset before it changes over to rain as warmer air moves in.

By Wednesday afternoon, temperatures are expected to climb into the 50s and the mild air is expected to stay through the latter half of the week.