A powerful nor'easter is expected to bring blizzard conditions and more than a 30cm of snow from the mid-Atlantic to parts of the Northeast, and officials warned of potential beach erosion, possible coastal flooding and power outages from the late-season snowstorm.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning from late Monday night (US time) through Tuesday evening for New York City and parts of northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, while winter storm warnings and watches were issued for the remainder of the Northeast.
"Amazed at how many people think I sprayed foam on the place," photographer John Kucko wrote on Twitter after posting photos and videos of lakefront homes completely entombed in ice.It comes as images emerged of an 'ice house' on the shores of Lake Ontario. Strong winds over the lake for the past five days have covered the summer house in ice in Webster, New York.
"Ice House" is real, folks. 5 days of wind whipped Lake Ontario in WNY will do that (sic)".
Mayor Bill de Blasio said that New York City schools would be closed today, and he urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep the roads clear for sanitation crews and first responders.
"We're preparing for a significant storm, and New Yorkers should also prepare for snow and dangerous road conditions," de Blasio said.
The weather about-face comes a week after the region saw temperatures climb into the late teens.
Light snow was expected to begin late Monday night and intensify overnight into early Tuesday morning. The heaviest snowfall is expected Tuesday morning through the afternoon, with snowfall rates of as much as 5 to 10cm per hour.
"This would certainly be the biggest snowstorm of the 2017 winter season in New York City," said Faye Barthold, a weather service meteorologist based on Long Island.
Boston also could get 30 to 45cm, with isolated amounts of up to 60cm across northeastern Massachusetts.
In Philadelphia, crews began treating some area roadways on Sunday. The city could see 15 to 30cm of snow. The weather service said there is a chance the snow could change over to a wintry mix or rain for a time Tuesday morning, which could limit total snowfall amounts.
Farther south, in the nation's capital, where the National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to start Wednesday, snow accumulations of 15 to 20cms are expected. Also, the forecast calls for 30 to 45cms of snow in Hagerstown and Westminster, Maryland, while Baltimore is expected to get 20 to 30cms. In Delaware, Wilmington could see 25cm.
As the East prepped, the storm marched through the Midwest, forcing a number of flight cancellations and dropping measureable snowfall on some sections for the first time in months. In Chicago, the forecast called for 8 to 15cm of snow, the city's first significant snowfall since mid-December.
Southern portions of Minnesota have been hit hard, with more than 23cm of snow in some areas. In Michigan, up to 10cm of snow was predicted as utility crews worked to restore power to those still without electricity following high winds that hit the state on Wednesday.