UPDATE: 6:29 p.m.: A winter storm warning issued for the North Fork has been canceled, according to the National Weather Service.
Joey Picca, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office at Upton, said the winter storm warning has been replaced with a winter weather advisory for the East End.
Expected snowfall accumulation is now expected to be between three and seven inches across eastern Suffolk County; areas on the far East End could receive the higher amounts of snow, Picca said.
A wind advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday, with 20 to 30 mile an hour winds expected and gusts of up to 50 miles an hour.
Coastal flood warnings remain in effect through 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday. All the shores of Long Island, Picca said, were affected by either coastal flood warnings or coastal flood advisories Wednesday night.
Original story: A winter storm warning has been issued for Wednesday -- and Eastern Long Island, including the North Fork, is expected to see from eight to ten inches of snow accumulation through Friday morning.
According to David Stark, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Upton, a winter storm warning has been issued for eastern Suffolk County.
"Eastern Long Island is the area where the heaviest snowfall accumulation is expected," Stark said.
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 three to five inches -- with a total of eight to ten inches expected in total through Friday.
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.
Thursday night's accumulation could total another one to two inches, bringing the total snowfall to between eight and ten inches through Friday morning, Stark said.
Riverhead is expected to see approximately eight inches, Stark said, with areas a bit further east, including the South Fork, expected to experience the heaviest precipitation.
Areas in the southeast of Long Island on the South Fork could see ten 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 signficiant 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.
Actual accumulation amounts could be lower or higher, 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.