A winter storm is expected to bring snow to the Northeast on Friday, prompting emergency measures in several areas as officials caution that travel conditions could be hazardous. The storm comes as more than 100 million people, nearly 30% of the US population, are under winter weather alerts across the Pacific Northwest, Northern Plains, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, following extreme conditions that have caused at least 55 deaths in 10 states. Snowfall began early Friday across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible from the Great Lakes to the East Coast, and higher totals in some areas.
Washington, DC could see 2 to 4 inches of snow while Baltimore may get 3 to 6 inches, and Philadelphia and New York City are expecting similar amounts, with the heaviest snowfall subsiding by late Friday. New York City officials issued a travel advisory for Friday, warning of low visibility and travel delays, while Philadelphia anticipates its first major snow event in nearly two years. In Buffalo, additional snowfall of up to 3 inches is expected, while the heaviest lake-effect snow, up to 8 inches, could fall in the southern shores of the Great Lakes region, including Cleveland, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania, into Saturday morning.
The forecast has led officials to activate emergency protocols in response to the expected snow accumulation. A snow emergency is in effect in Philadelphia, and the city has prepared by cleaning and treating roads, with over 400 pieces of equipment ready to assist in the response. In New York City, emergency management officials have warned of potential impacts on the Friday evening commute, and New Jersey’s state of emergency has been extended as the state expects 3 to 6 inches of snow. West Virginia and Oregon are also under a state of emergency due to the ongoing severe ice storm.
Some major school districts have closed, while others have opted for virtual learning or alternative dismissal times. Portland Public Schools in Oregon, one of the largest districts in the Pacific Northwest, will remain closed on Friday, impacting over 49,000 students, and in Ohio, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will also be closed. With snow and cold temperatures affecting New York, outreach teams plan to provide shelter to those experiencing homelessness, and emergency management officials warn of potential travel delays.
The storm is expected to continue impacting travel and daily life over the weekend, as snow and cold temperatures persist in various regions.