Update, Jan. 23, 11:11 a.m.: The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning Friday morning for Long Island in advance of a northeaster that is expected to bring heavy snow and winds to 50 miles per hour over the weekend.
Snow accumulation is expected to total between five and nine inches on the South Fork.
Heavy snow and "potentially damaging" winds will produce near-zero visibility on Saturday afternoon and evening, it said. Power outages due to downed power lines are likely, and smaller roads could be impassible.
National Weather Service forecasters in Upton said that a low-pressure system would deepen and track south and east of Long Island during the day on Saturday. Sustained winds would be in the 25-to-30-miles-per-hour range with gusts in excess of 55 m.p.h. over marine portions of the forecast area.
Coastal flooding is possible, with higher than usual tides affecting the region Saturday evening. High tide at Montauk Point is at 7:38 p.m. Saturday and at 10:30 p.m. in Sag Harbor. Predictions are for the storm to drive high water two to three feet above normal.
Conditions are expected to improve on Sunday, with diminishing winds and clearing in the afternoon.
The Star's site will have information on cancellations and more on the storm as it unfolds. Check the East Hampton Library's webcam to see conditions on Main Street before venturing out.
Originally, Jan. 20: According to the latest predictions, eastern Long Island will be battered by a winter northeaster starting late Friday and continuing through Sunday. The highest winds are predicted to reach 50 knots, or about 57 miles per hour, on Saturday night, somewhat less over inland portions of the island.
Coastal flooding is likely. At Montauk Inlet, high tide Saturday is at 8:25 p.m., coinciding with the highest predicted winds. However, the storm's duration means that it will impact the region across several tide cycles.
The National Weather Service's latest forecast is for snow to be begin overnight on Friday and continue into Saturday, before changing to a mixture of snow and rain Saturday afternoon. Stormy conditions are expected to continue until around midday Sunday.
Snowfall of up to eight inches is possible over parts of the region, but predictions for total snow accumulation on the North and South Forks were uncertain as of Wednesday, with rain a distinct possibility during at least part of the storm, due to this year's relatively warm ocean temperature.
Last year at this time, eastern Long Island received a near-record two feet of snow on Jan. 26-27 from a massive winter storm.