National Weather Service and NOAA: ‘Major Winter Storm’ to Impact Much of US

January 2, 2014 Updated: January 2, 2014

The National Weather Service and NOAA said on Thursday that the “major winter storm” that’s hitting the United States is slated to dump snow across the northeast U.S., as well as much of the rest of the country.

The service said that “moderate to heavy snow” is expected for much of the northeast, including up to 10 inches in New York City.

A storm front stretching southward to the Gulf Coast will spread precipitation across the Appalachians northward to the northeast.

Another storm front will spread rain across the southeast on Thursday night.

“A broad area of light to moderate snowfall is expected north and west of the low track from the northern mid Atlantic to the northeast,” the service elaborated. “A band of heavy snow is expected from eastern Pennsylvania through coastal southern New England.”

The snow and rain should stop by Friday night, the service said. Meanwhile, another cold front coming ashore in the Pacific northwest will bring rain and snow to the region, including pushing across the north Rocky Mountains and into the northern Plains by Friday morning. Temperatures across the Plains “will rise above freezing in some places only to plummet back below zero after the cold frontal passage.”

Here’s a look at projected snow totals across many of the states.

New York

Up to 10 inches in New York City and up to 14 inches in some upstate areas, including Buffalo and Albany.

Some highways, including the Long Island Expressway, will close at midnight and will likely re-open at 5 a.m.

New Jersey

Up to 10 inches of snow could fall in northwestern New Jersey. Both New York and New Jersey’s state offices will be closed on Friday.

The National Weather Service says there could be near-blizzard conditions at times along the shore and in northwestern New Jersey.

New Hampshire

About 6 to 10 inches of snow is expected in the southern half of New Hampshire, and up to a foot in the Seacoast area. Lesser amounts are expected farther north. Biting cold and gusty winds are expected to make matters worse.

Rhode Island

6 to 10 inches is expected in much of state, prompting many schools to be closed on Friday.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said state government would continue to operate Friday, although employees unable to make it in could get approval to stay home and use vacation time.

Massachusetts

Snow is falling across the state and will continue through the night and into Friday morning. Predictions call for 8 to 10 inches for all of Massachusetts, but some areas could see up to two feet of by the time the storm ends.

State employees were sent home early on Thursday, and might get Friday off.

Pennsylvania

Around 9 inches could fall in the Pocono Mountains and northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Three to 7 inches will fall in the Philadelphia area and 6 to 8 will fall farther north, the weather service said. Western and central Pennsylvania could see 2 to 7 inches.

Illinois

Over 10 inches have fallen in some suburbs of Chicago. Gurnee had 18 inches and Highwood had 15 inches. In central Illinois snow totals were between 3 and 5 inches.

The snow was blamed for at least two deaths Thursday. One unidentified person died in a traffic accident on Interstate 72 in Macon County, while authorities say 66-year-old Carl W. Walker of Alton suffered a fatal heart attack after using a snow blower.

-Michigan

At least 10 inches of snow have already fallen in some areas, such as Allegan, and nearly as much in others, such as Schoolcraft near Galamazoo.

The chill accompanying the storms has pushed temperatures down into in the teens and single digits for most of the state Thursday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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