While much of Long Island is under a blizzard watch, meteorologists say the East End will see less snow, though this northeaster leaves plenty of cause for concern with power outages and dangerous road conditions possible.
The North and South Forks are under a winter storm warning, in effect from midnight to Tuesday night. The National Weather Service in Upton said to expect heavy snow and strong winds, with possible blizzard conditions Tuesday morning. Eight to 12 inches — 2 to 4 inches per hour early Tuesday — are in the forecast.
However, by late morning and into Tuesday afternoon, snow is expected to mix or change to sleet and rain.
Jay Engel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton, said by phone on Monday morning that his office was not certain the East End would have the same blowing snow and low temperatures throughout Tuesday that the rest of the Island would. The rest of Long Island, west of the William Floyd Parkway, and the five boroughs of New York City are under a blizzard warning with 12 to 18 inches expected.
"We're starting to see more of a trend that the storm is going to track a little closer to the coast," he said, which means the warm air would turn the snow to a mixture or even rain on the eastern end of Long Island later on Tuesday. "It might warm up to at or above freezing," he said.
The low early Tuesday will be around 22, and during the day the high will be near 36. Wind chill values are forecasted between 15 and 20 degrees.
Coastal flooding and beach erosion are possible. Winds will be out of the northeast at 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 m.p.h. on Tuesday.
A coastal flood advisory for minor to moderate flooding along the eastern bays and Atlantic Ocean beaches is in effect from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday. High surf of 6 to 10 feet could cause erosion in areas like downtown Montauk.