The first significant snow storm of 2012 struck Long Island overnight and is leaving a trail of car wrecks in its path.
The remainder of the day is expected to cause dangerous driving conditions; The Long Island Expressway saw several crashes during the mid-morning hours including a wreck westbound at Exit 49 in Melville, which caused traffic tie-ups, and a crash in Dix Hills at the intersection of Deer Park Avenue and Straight Path.
Similar crashes were reported Saturday morning on the Southern State and Meadowbrook parkways, authorities reported.
The National Weather Service said the snow is expected to continue through the morning in Plainview and across Long Island, then change over to sleet or freezing rain sometime Saturday afternoon.
The weather service issued a winter weather advisory before dawn Saturday, saying moderate bands of snow will develop as the morning wears on, reducing visibility on roadways.
Roads have become rapidly snow covered, making driving suddenly treacherous Saturday morning. The key to safety in these conditions is to slow down, experts say.
The high temperatures should hover around 30 degrees and it is possible the storm will end as freezing dizzle before darkness falls Saturday. Winds will be light.
Total accumulations could range from 3-5 inches of snow before it ends, the NWS forecast early Saturday morning.
All daytime and evening activities being held in Half Hollow Hills School District facilities will run as originally scheduled. There are no cancellations as of Saturday morning. Residents should the district's website throughout the day should conditions worsen.
The skies should clear Saturday night, followed by sunshine and above-freezing temperatures on Sunday, the NWS predicted.