News: February Blizzard: More Snow For Long Island
(Long Island, N.Y.)For many Long Islanders, it seems like we can’t catch a break this winter with the continual predictions of snowfall in the weekly weather forecast. The month of January broke records for the amount of snowfall hitting the island, making it no surprise that we are entering the month of February under a Winter Weather Advisory. The worst part of this week’s storm is that it is twofold; the heavier second round is supposed to hit after midnight tonight.
Weather patterns show movement from a storm that originated in the Midwest and will reach New England in full force by Thursday. Currently, one or two inches of snowfall is expected to reach the south forks of the island. Sleet and freezing rain is supposed to hit the island in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, just in time to impair travel conditions for tomorrow’s commute.
Long Islanders might be catching a slight break from the heavy action of the storm. Binghamton and parts of upstate New York have already experienced over four inches of snowfall, and are expecting eight inches before the storm passes during sometime on Wednesday or Thursday night. In all parts of the northeast, the worst of the storm will be Tuesday night into tomorrow morning.
According to the FEMA website, the Homeland Security Threat was elevated to ‘Yellow’ for today, being that the storm has already affected large parts of the nation. Most of New York is expected to get an average of three to eight inches along with Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New England. Temperatures are supposed to range from the teens to the forties throughout the accumulation of freezing rains.
Some northern parts of these areas are expected to get close to a foot of snow if the two separate storms combine; under such conditions, up two feet of snow is expected for upstate New York. The first of these two storm systems is weaker than the second, shedding between four and ten inches of snowfall in the overall area. There will be a brief lapse of calm before the second system hits, and southeast New York is only set to receive between one and four inches.
A positive feature of this storm is that temperatures are supposed to rise in the New York City area throughout its passing. This will turn the snow into rain during the precipitation expected for Wednesday. Nonetheless, there is a Winter Storm Watch for Long Island, a Winter Storm Warning for upstate New York, and an Ice Storm warning for Westchester County. Snowfall has been so bad in northern parts of Westchester County that town meetings were scheduled to urge people to get snow off roofs and decks due to the high risk of roof and tree collapses.
Train delays have been minimal and the MTA has reported to be running on or close to schedule. However, many flights have been delayed or cancelled. A reported 650 flights were cancelled in Chicago, 625 flights were canceled for Delta Airlines, and many suspensions have been reported for Continental Airlines. Jet Blue Airways has reported cancellations on flights going in and out of Boston for Tuesday night until Thursday.
In addition to travel delays, the freezing rain can cause complications to power lines and possible power outages. When combined with the heavier snow already on rooftops, it can add to the heightened risk of fallen trees and roof collapses. The Office of Emergency Management declared an advisory for hazardous travel during rush-hour commutes, suggesting that New Yorkers travel by mass transit.
This week’s storm is unique because it affects such a large part of the country. According to weather reports, the storm is a perfect example of a mechanism known as “cold air damming” or CAD. It occurs when high and low pressure systems interact. What it means for Long Island is a drop in temperature to 29 degrees tonight, a greater drop on Thursday, and a chance for yet another storm on Saturday morning.