The storm raced in over New Jersey and rapidly approached downtown Manhattan by the predawn hours, with meteorologists expecting at least 8 inches across the Big Apple. More than 3,500 flights were canceled, and all planes in and out of New York's Kennedy Airport were ordered held on the ground while crews cleared the runways. Areas south of Worcester and extending as far as Providence and Hartford could see as much as 20 inches of snow locally.
Snow is slowing the morning commute around New York City and upstate, where highways and secondary roads in the Albany area are covered in snow.
New Jersey: State government offices are closed for non-essential employees, as are courts.
Weather experts have predicted two to four inches of snow could fall per hour as the blizzard continues.
The storm, which came a day after temperatures had been a spring-like 50 to 60 degrees (10 to 16C), had wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) and left roads and sidewalks dangerously slick in densely populated cities such as New York, Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. The city's 311 service will be open to answer residents' question, though the mayor said those in emergency situations should, of course, call 911.
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"Any icing equipment and track heaters have been activated to maintain a strong power connection between the trains and the third rail", he said.
British Airways: The airline has only cancelled 13 flights as of 4:30 p.m. EST, but is offering free changes on flights to and from the northeast USA and Canada for fares through Sunday, February 12.
Public transportation service was being reduced and the morning and evening commutes were expected to be severely affected before the storm was forecast to taper off by Thursday evening. High winds are likely to cause power outages there. A city snow emergency and parking ban begin at 10 a.m. Parking bans will also go into effect in Cambridge, Brookline and many other municipalities as the snowfall intensifies.
In New York City, the whiplash-like change in the weather between Wednesday and Thursday had snow teams preparing during record-high temperatures.
Schools in Philadelphia, Boston and CT, among other areas, will also be closed Thursday morning. My latest forecast shows Monmouth County picking up 4 to 7 inches, Ocean County seeing about 2 to 5 inches, and the I-295 corridor shoveling about 3 to 6 inches.