The monster storm that hit much of the US this week has now brought northeastern conditions as it moves across New York and New England ahead of the weekend.
After many in the South were left dealing with power outages and homes and businesses destroyed by a series of tornadoes earlier this week, officials and forecasters in several Northeastern states are warning that snowfall could accumulate as much as a foot by Friday.
In response to the massive storm system, New York Governor Kathy Hochul warned residents of the dangerous road conditions the storm threatens to bring as millions of people in the Northeast are under winter weather advisories on friday.
“We urge everyone in the affected regions to avoid unnecessary travel tonight and tomorrow,” Hochul said in a statement on Thursday. “Work from home if possible, stay off the roads, and make sure you and your loved ones are vigilant.”
In neighboring Pennsylvania, state transportation officials He implored drivers to avoid unnecessary trips due to poor visibility caused by wind and heavy snow.
“Very heavy snowfall reaching 1 to 2 inches per hour is likely in areas of inland New York and central New England,” the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center said Thursday. “Hazardous travel conditions and scattered power outages are expected.”
Parts of eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine could also see 18 to 24 inches of snow accumulation in local areas, according to the weather service. Parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York have already seen several inches of snow, with some areas reaching up to six inches.
The relentless storm system has carved a dangerous path across the country since the start of the week, bringing various combinations of severe weather to different parts of the US.
Tornadoes in the South killed three people in Louisiana and also leveled many homes and other structures. Blizzard conditions in the upper Midwest brought drifts of snow and ferocious winds that downed power lines, leaving tens of thousands in the dark in sub-zero temperatures the week before Christmas.
States from the Rocky Mountains to the upper Midwest, including Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin, saw more than a foot of snow this week.
Additionally, dozens of tornadoes have been reported in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma since Tuesday. Deadly storms claimed the lives of three people in Louisiana.
And in parts of the Mid-Atlantic, the storm brought a quarter-inch of ice Thursday morning to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia and Maryland, and it had accumulated about a tenth of an inch in parts of Virginia.
More than 5 million people in parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are under winter storm warnings Friday.
Heavy snow is expected to bombard the region, making travel difficult this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
“For the inland Northeast, precipitation tonight and Friday will fall as snow and become heavy at times,” the weather service said.
Snow totals are forecast between 6 and 12 inches from central Pennsylvania north into upstate New York, with up to 2 feet in areas with higher elevations, through Saturday.
Additionally, major cities including New York and Boston can expect 1 to 2 inches of heavy rain from the Northeast through the weekend before the storm system moves away from the region on Sunday.
Some communities along the New Jersey and Delaware coasts are under flood watches, though severe flooding is not expected.
The storm spawned a large number of tornadoes across the South and blizzard conditions across the Upper Midwest, blacking out nearly 100,000 homes and businesses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania, early Friday, according to Poweroutage.us.
Strong, swirling winds from blizzard conditions downed power lines in the Upper Midwest as temperatures in some areas plummeted to near or below freezing, leaving thousands without adequate heat.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Yoshiko A. Smith, 30, and her 8-year-old son, Nikolus Little, were killed Tuesday when a tornado struck Caddo Parish, destroying their home, local officials said.
The family’s bodies were found far from where their home once stood, authorities said. Autopsies have been ordered for both, the county coroner said.
A 56-year-old woman died after a tornado struck her home in St. Charles Parish, the Louisiana Department of Health said Wednesday.
Another tornado in northern Louisiana that tore through the city of Farmerville was rated EF-3, with winds of 140 mph, according to the National Weather Service. At least 20 people were injured and the tornado demolished parts of an apartment complex and a mobile home park, Farmerville police Detective Cade Nolan said.
The tornado, which tore through Union Parish Tuesday night, was 500 yards wide at its largest point and was on the ground for more than 9 miles.