First storm of 2014 set to bring heavy snow, freezing temps and high winds

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PIX11 WEATHER CENTER – A winter storm heading in this direction is going to impact the tri-state region Thursday night into Friday morning. The storm is expected to bring powdery snows, howling winds, and falling temperatures.

Things will remain quiet throughout the day Thursday. There may be some light snow but accumulations will be under one inch. It is not until Friday at about 6 p.m. when the coastal low takes shape and snow fall will pick up.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm warning until 10 a.m. Friday for much of the tri-state area.

AC WINTER WARNING

A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Nassau and Suffolk counties starting at 6 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is advising residents to stay off the roads and use mass transportation if they must travel. Cuomo said he may close down major roadways like the Long Island Expressway in advance of the storm. Long Island could have a ground blizzard, which is blowing and drifting snow caused by high winds.

The steadier snow is expected start around 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday evening and  the heaviest snowfall will be between 8 p.m. Thursday into 4 a.m. Friday. Not only will the snow fall, but temps will fall as well. Temperatures will fall to the low 20’s and teens in New York City and Long Island, with the wind chill making it feel below zero. With such low temperatures, and the wind chill factors below 0, salt will not work as effectively as it would around the freezing mark. Wind gusts could be as high 35-45 mph.

Snow drifts of over a foot are highly probable especially in Long Island with wind gusts in excess of 45 mph. White out conditions are possible. Blizzard criteria from the Weather Service are ¼ visibility or less and sustained winds of 35 mph or more. These two conditions have last for three hours for it to be declared a blizzard. Heavy snow is not required for a storm to be considered a blizzard. Blizzard conditions could exist under blowing and drifting snow.

The snow itself will be very fluffy, which is not the best snow for snowmen or snowballs.

wind

Snowfall amounts will range from 6 to 10 inches in New York City, with upwards of 10 inches east of the city and lighter amounts to the west. Snow will begin to taper off by 9 to 11 a.m.

Overnight lows will be in the single digits. Highs on Friday will be in the upper teens. Winds chills could be 0 to -5 for the city and -10 to -15 for parts north and west of the city Friday and Saturday morning.