Winter Storm 2014 Forecast Update: Heavy Snow and Frigid Temperatures to Hit East Coast
At least 100 million Americans are under some level of a winter storm warning, watch or advisory due to the first winter storm of 2014.
The storm, which was nicknamed Winter Storm Hercules by the Weather Channel, has already slammed the Midwest and is now approaching New York City and the rest of the Northeast on Thursday, bringing heavy snow, strong winds and freezing temperatures.
Snow has already begun falling in parts of New England and New York, but the brunt of the storm will hit later on Thursday, USA Today reports.
New York City was put under a winter storm warning on Thursday and Friday by the National Weather Service.
Winter storm warnings are also in place for New York State, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, eastern Pennsylvania and Connecticut. There are also blizzard warnings on Long Island and Cape Cod.
New York City is expected to get 3 to 7 inches, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged commuters to leave their cars at home in case major highways are closed during rush hour on Thursday night. "We are looking at a serious storm situation," Cuomo said.
Boston is predicted to get up to 14 inches of snow, and Long Island is expected to get 8 to 10 inches, along with winds of up to 45 mph.
Dot Joyce, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's press secretary, said they are not sure yet if students' first day back to school, which is scheduled for Friday, should be canceled. "We are New Englanders - we get snow and we get cold weather and we're hardy," she said.
The storm has already brought a foot of snow to some parts of the Midwest. Libertyville, Ill. has gotten the highest snowfall so far at 13.8 inches, and other towns north of Chicago reported more than a foot of snow.
On Thursday morning, airlines canceled 1,342 flights and 1,775 flights were delayed, according to USA Today. Chicago O'Hare had 409 cancellations; Newark had 280 cancellations; and Cleveland had 207 cancellations.
Much colder air will head East on Friday, with temperatures 20-30 degrees below normal.
"This is likely to be the coldest weather for much of the Northeast since January 2009," according to AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno.
Cities like Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore will see single digit temperatures on Friday night, and temperatures will drop to below zero in Hartford, Conn.; Albany, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; Portland, Maine; and Boston.