Old Man Winter will be making another stormy visit to Riverhead Wednesday -- bringing a nor'easter, complete with a blast of snow accumulation, high winds, and coastal flooding, to the entire East End.
According to Michael Silva, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Upton, a "prolonged period of unsettled weather" is expected to begin Wednesday morning with a mix of rain and snow throughout the day.
The rain/snow mix is expected to turn completely to snow after around 7 or 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, with snow continuing to fall through Thursday night before changing back to rain on Friday.
Total accumulation is expected to reach two to four inches Wednesday night, with another two to four inches possible on Thursday. Accumulation on the South Fork might be a bit lower, Silva said.
"This is going to be a highly dynamic system," Silva added, explaining that the forecast could change slightly as the storm progresses.
Northeast winds of 20 to 25 miles per hour with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour are expected Wednesday; on Wednesday night, winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour could slam the East End. On Thursday, winds are expected to be even stronger, at 30 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of up to 55 miles an hour.
Widespread minor coastal flooding with tidal departures of between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half feet is expected, Silva said, along both the North and South Forks, with locally moderate amounts of flooding expected.
Temperatures are expected to reach highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s.
Silva said while the storm might not be as severe as the recent blizzard, which left up to three feet of snow in some areas, residents should leave extra time for travel, drive slowly, and take precautions.
"The main issue will be the winds, leading to the possibility of downed trees and power lines," Silva said. Residents should be prepared for the possibility of power outages, he added.