After a winter storm dumped up to a foot of snow across parts of the Midwest this week, the system has closed in on the Northeast region Friday as officials warn residents of treacherous road conditions.
About 7 million people in the storm’s path across the Northeast were under winter weather alerts early Friday as the first round of snow began in Vermont, New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and Maine.
“A winter storm will continue heavy snow and freezing rain across the Northeast through Friday. Another storm will develop over the Rockies and track east Friday into this weekend,” the National Weather Service said late Thursday.
Additionally, ice mixed with a few inches of snow may accumulate across portions of upstate New York and central to northern New England by Friday morning, the weather service noted.
Overall, the region could see either snow, freezing rain or a mix of both – with snow falling quickly in some areas, exacerbating road conditions. In some areas across New England, snow may fall at a rate of up to 1 inch per hour Friday morning, though it’s expected to slow down throughout the day.
The forecast has prompted some officials to urge residents to prepare for the storm and be ready for a potentially ugly commute Friday morning.
In Maine – where the highest snowfall totals are expected in isolated areas across the state – officials are bracing for the “first significant snowfall of the year, ” the state’s emergency management agency said.
“Motorists should plan for extra travel time during both the Friday morning and evening commutes as road conditions could be slippery,” the agency said.
Similarly in New Hampshire, officials implored residents to avoid getting on the roads and stay up to date on the storm’s development.
“Take action now to keep you and your family safe,” said Robert Buxton, who heads the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “If you must travel, make sure your car’s winter emergency kit is ready.”
Winter storm warnings extend from Concord, New Hampshire, to Eastpoint, Michigan. Cities including Portland, Maine, and Concord could pick up between 6 and 9 inches of snow.
Meanwhile, Hartford, Connecticut, and Albany, New York, could see up to 2 inches of snow. About 3 to 6 inches of snow may fall in Burlington, Vermont.
The storm proved hazardous in parts of the Midwest, where dozens of car crashes were reported in Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday, state patrol said. Five people were injured, and no fatalities occurred. Minnesota saw up to 7 inches of snow while parts of Nebraska were hit with nearly 2 feet of snow.