NEW YORK — A winter storm warning remains in effect for the New York City area until 6 a.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service says New York City, its northern suburbs and Nassau County could get 12 to 18 inches of snow, with 10 to 15 inches in western Suffolk County and 6 to 12 inches on the eastern end of Long Island.

Snow will become heavy by Wednesday afternoon and evening, with occasional wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Hundreds of schools announced closures, including New York City public schools.

The Long Island Rail Road readied snow-fighting equipment and anti-freeze trains. But it says riders should expect delays and avoid travel if possible.

Metro-North Railroad was running at 75 percent of normal capacity to reduce the possibility of switch trouble.

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