Patchogue (WALK) - Long Island has spent Thursday morning waiting for a weather changeover.
A messy nor'easter arrived overnight with a mixture of wet snow, sleet and freezing rain that left several inches on the ground. With temperatures rising, however, WALK 97.5 FM meteorologist Pat Pagano expects the precipitation to change to rain by lunchtime. The weather is wettest on the East End, with Nassau and the North Shore seeing the most accumulation of snow.
Town and county highway crews spent the morning plowing and sanding, but road conditions were poor overall. Local officials advised travelers to wait out the bad weather and delay heading out until the changeover.
The storm has been especially difficult for airline passengers and their customers. More than 3,300 flights have been cancelled nationwide since yesterday, including all but one flight in or out of Long Island MacArthur Airport this morning. It may take take days for airlines to unscramble their schedules and accomodate all the affected passengers.
Although Long Island Rail Road trains stayed on or close to schedule for much of the morning commute, service was suspended on the Port Jefferson branch after the 7:35 AM train out of Port Jefferson hit a car on the tracks just west of the Greenlawn station. Switch problems east of New Hyde Park led to delays on several other banches, including Oyster Bay, Hempstead and Ronkonkoma.
Heavy, wet snow often means power outages, but PSEG has apparently weathered the storm well so far. Only a handful of outages have been reported Island-wide at any one time. PSEG warns, however, that sleet, ice and strong wind gusts increase the likelihood of downed wires, and we are expecting all of that at times today.