A winter storm warning has been issued for eastern Long Island Wednesday, and Southampton is expected to see from 4 to 9 inches of snow accumulation through Friday morning.
"Eastern Long Island is the area where the heaviest snowfall accumulation is expected," said David Stark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Upton.
A mix of rain and snow is expected to begin Wednesday around noon; by Wednesday evening from 6 to 7 p.m., the rain/snow mixture is expected to change to all snowfall, which will continue through Thursday morning.
Overnight accumulations are expected to total 2 to 4 inches.
The storm, Stark said, is expected to "linger" through Thursday; although, as temperatures rise on Thursday, the precipitation may transform back into a rain/snow mix before another wave of potential snowfall blankets the area Thursday night into Friday morning.
On Thursday morning 1 to 3 inches of snow are expected. Thursday night's accumulation could total another 1 to 2 inches.
Areas on the South Fork could see 10 inches of snow by Friday morning, Stark said.
But, unlike the recent blizzard, the snowfall will be gradual, over a duration of two days, and is not expected to pack a "crippling" punch.
High winds are also expected, with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour expected overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning, sparking the potential for downed trees and power outages.
While significant coastal flooding is not expected, Wednesday afternoon's high tide on the South Fork and the evening high tide on the North Fork could cause minor to moderate local coastal flooding on roads and other "highly vulnerable" locations that tend to see overwash during high tides; some basement flooding could be experienced.
On Thursday morning, during the high tide cycle on both the North and South forks, the potential for minor coastal flooding exists, Stark said.
The storm's snow will be wet and heavy, he said, adding to the potential for downed power lines and wind damage, especially during the overnight hours on Wednesday, when gusts will be strongest.
Residents are urged to go shopping earlier in the day on Wednesday and avoid evening travel, Stark said. "Things will go downhill with regard to snowfall after dark. Travel will become treacherous tonight," he said.
A slower early morning commute Thursday should be expected, Stark said; he urged drivers to navigate slowly and allow for extra stopping distance.
But, because accumulation is expected over a period of days, Stark said crews are expected to be able to clear roads through Friday.