100 Million People In Path Of 2014’s First Wintry Blast

· Jan. 2, 2014, 12:56 pm

From the upper Midwest, through parts of the Mid-Atlantic and on up through New England, the first big winter storm of the year is expected to affect up to 100 million people over the next 24 hours or so, The Weather Channel says.

A stretch of very heavily populated parts of the nation is expected to get the worst of the weather.

The National Weather Service warns that in the Northeast:

“Heavy snow, strong winds, frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills are in forecast for much of the region. Some areas, particularly southern New England, could pick up over 12 inches of snow by Friday morning.”

Boston and much of Massachusetts are bracing, according to our colleagues at WBUR:

“A number of communities across Massachusetts, including Boston, have cancelled school and issued snow emergency parking bans as the region prepares for its first winter storm of 2014, which is expected to drop up to 14 inches of snow on parts of the state.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning that “with two winter storms descending” on the state, one heading for New York City and another toward Western New York and other parts of the upstate area, “the onslaught could stretch thin the state’s ability to respond,” says Albany’s Times Union.

Brian Mann from North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y., tells our Newscast Desk that “forecasters say wind-chill effect temperatures in the Adirondack Mountains could reach 40 degrees below zero.”

In Maine, the storm “is expected to start during the morning commute Thursday and last into Friday, bringing gusting winds, extremely high tides and some of the coldest temperatures in the past several years,” writes the Portland Press Herald. There are fears of more power outages, just days after the lights were turned back on for the 10,000 or so customers in the state who lost electricity after an ice storm that hit last week.

Around Philadelphia, “two low pressure systems are expected to combine today to produce steady snow by nightfall, with an Arctic cold front sweeping in behind,” the Inquirer says.

It’s safe to say there will be travel delays due to the storm. As always, if you’re flying into or out of areas affected by the storm, check with your airline before heading to the airport.

Update at 11:10 a.m. ET. Flight Delays, Cancellations Start To Accumulate:

As of this moment there have been 2,233 flight delays “into or out of the United States today,” according to FlightAware.com. And 1,391 flights into or out of the U.S. have been canceled.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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