A powerful, fast-moving storm has brought heavy snow to the northeast of the United States, disrupting air travel and forcing schools to close.
More than 30 million people from West Virginia to New England are under a storm warning as the Nor’easter brought as much as 15cm of heavy, wet snow, the National Weather Service said.
In New York City, the nation’s most populous city, rain turned to snow overnight.
The city is expected to get as much of 18cm of snow today, making for treacherous driving conditions.
Snowfall rates of up to 5cm an hour are occurring across the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City Emergency Management officials said.
“These bands will shift south … leading to quickly covered roads and hazardous driving conditions,” the agency said, urging drivers to exercise caution.
Other parts of the region could get as much as 30cm of snow before the storm moves east and out of the area later in the day.
Up to 23cm of snow is forecast for Boston, prompting the city’s mayor to declare a state of emergency.
School districts across the region cancelled in-person classes for the day, including New York City, which held lessons remotely for its one million students.
The storm brings a conclusive end to a “snow drought” in New York City that lasted for almost two years.
The snowless stretch, which exacerbated concerns over global warming, officially concluded in mid-January, when an Arctic blast dropped about 3.5cm – little more than a dusting – in Manhattan’s Central Park.
More than 900 fights to and from New York’s LaGuardia, Boston Logan International and Newark Liberty International airports were either delayed or cancelled, according to Flightaware.com.
Strong winds up to 64km/h and coastal flooding are also forecast along the New England coast, as well as the New Jersey shore areas and Long Island.