For some in the Boston area, the forecast brought to mind memories of the blizzard of 1978, which dropped 27.1 inches. That storm started slow and intensified during the day, leaving motorists stranded on their evening commute. Boston's record of 27.3 inches fell in 2003.
Boston and surrounding communities said schools would be closed on Friday, and city and state officials told nonessential city workers to stay home.
New York City, still not fully recovered from October's Hurricane Sandy, is expected to get up to 14 inches of snow. Officials said they had 1,800 Sanitation Department trucks equipped with snow plows and 250,000 tons of salt ready to be deployed. The snow began falling in shortly before 7 a.m. ET. In New Jersey, also hit by Sandy, officials expect coastal flooding, high winds, and possible blizzard conditions in the northeastern part of the state. To the south, Philadelphia is looking at a possible 3 to 6 inches of snow.
But Justin Bieber says it's no big deal, as fans wait in line in the blizzard to see him host "Saturday Night Live" this week:
up real early today for a LONG DAY of rehearsals. and now a blizzard is coming. no issue. Im Canadian— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 8, 2013
Officials across the region ordered nonessential government workers to stay home, urged people to prepare for power outages and encouraged them to check on elderly or disabled neighbors.
"The snow has taken over and it is accumulating," said FOX CT meteorologist Joe Furey in Hartford, Conn. "This is really serious. This is a storm that can cripple all of southern New England. A blizzard is not about the amounts of snow. A blizzard is about sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or higher over three hours or longer."