NEW YORK — The next few days will prove challenging as a monster storm that will rapidly intensify as it moves up the East Coast and toward to the tri-state threatens to dump half a foot of snow or more on Long Island and wreak havoc on Thursday’s commutes.
Here’s a timeline of what you can expect, based on the latest forecast models as of Wednesday afternoon:
Starting at 1 a.m. Thurday until 1 a.m. Friday, a blizzard warning activates for Suffolk County and most of coastal New Jersey, and a winter storm warning goes into effect for the five boroughs, Nassau County and southeast Connecticut.
Snow will begin after midnight and continue through Thursday afternoon.
The most snow will fall over eastern Long Island and coastal New Jersey where heavy snow and powerful winds could create blizzard-like, white-out conditions. This will occur during the mid-morning hours on Thursday.
For the moment, PIX11 News' Weather Center is calling for 4 to 8 inches of snow in the five boroughs and along the Jersey Shore, with 8 to 12 inches of accumulation on eastern Long Island, and about 1 to 4 inches of snow in western and northern New Jersey.
Snow will begin to taper off later in the afternoon on Thursday and end by the early evening.
After the snow moves out, the weekend brings with it the potential for more dangerous cold, the most intense of this unforgiving winter season.
Bitterly cold temperatures will return on Friday and last through the weekend with dangerous wind chills. Temperatures will struggle to get out of the single digits to lower teens Friday into Saturday, with wind chills of -10 to -20 degrees early Friday and -15 to -25 degrees Saturday morning.
That'll keep the snow where it is at least through the weekend and the start of next week, according to the head of New York City's Department of Transportation.
"Once it falls, it is not going away," DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. "We are going to see almost historically low temperatures this weekend" and a warm-up won't happen until Monday.