National Weather Service: Nor’easter should stay in the Atlantic Ocean

02/15/2013 11:26 AM |

It’s likely to be a snowy and windy weekend, but the National Weather Service believes the East End will be spared a major snowfall because a coming nor’easter is expected to track to the east of Long Island in the Atlantic Ocean.

“We do expect to feel some impacts, although it does not appear to be a major impact at this time,” said Tim Morrin of the National Weather Service offices in Upton.

The first wave of the storm will pass from the southwest to the northeast over the North Fork tonight, possibly dropping as much as one inch of wet snow and rain, Mr. Morrin said.

But today’s weather, which is expected to be in the high 40s, will keep road surfaces warm enough to keep any major accumulation from happening tonight.

“It looks as though there may be a brief period of mixed precipitation later this evening, very light, probably no more than an inch,” he said.

The main portion of the storm is expected to develop Saturday afternoon, though “the storm track appears to be far enough off the coast out into the Atlantic not to give the local area major impact,” he said. “At this point we do not expect a major snowstorm. Eastern Long Island could see a few inches.

“It’s too early to pinpoint but it could be upwards of three and maybe four inches.”

Mr. Morrin said at 11 a.m. Friday that the NWS currently has “a fair amount of confidence” that the low pressure system will be far enough offshore that it will not have a major impact on Long Island.

“We’re in a position right now where we’re close enough to the event that we’re gaining confidence of that,” he said.

High winds will be an issue for the East End, though, he said, with winds that could be between 30 and 40 miles per hour Saturday night and all day Sunday.

“We’re looking at a likelihood that it will be breezy from the north-northwest, but we’re not confident enough to issue a statement [about the wind speed],” he said. “It’s going to be watched closely.”

byoung@timesreview.com