The light rain that fell Friday was expected to turn to snow in time for the evening rush. A blizzard warning for northeast New Jersey called for as much as 14 inches of snow. Up to 10 inches were possible for most of the state, with 2 to 5 inches in south Jersey. The coast could see wave heights of 12 feet and moderate flooding.
In some upstate areas, snow fell early Friday morning and was expected to increase throughout the day, with the heaviest accumulations expected in eastern New York on Friday night. Ten to 12 inches were expected in New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg said plows and 250,000 tons of salt were on standby.
More than 1,700 flights were canceled at the three major airports serving New York City. Most domestic carriers were expected to suspend operations between 2 and 5 p.m. Friday. They were expected to resume Saturday afternoon.
The state Emergency Operations Center in Albany was to be activated at noon Friday to monitor the storm’s impact on New York and coordinate response efforts from Long Island to Niagara Falls, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
In the Pocono Mountains, where more than a foot of snow could fall, schools were closed or delayed and flights were canceled at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Airport.
Farther south in Philadelphia, a light rain fell and the city was forecast to get 2 to 5 inches of snow.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Rhode Island through early Saturday afternoon and predicted up to 2 feet of snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
State transit service was to be suspended at noon Friday.
The storm blanketed the state with snow, though not as heavily as other states, and hundreds of schools were closed. Northern Vermont was expected to get 4 to 8 inches of snow by Saturday morning while southern parts of the state could get 8 to 16 inches.