Published: Sun, February 12, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Just how big is New England's first major storm of 2017?

Just how big is New England's first major storm of 2017?

Three inches per hour for two hours was witnessed at the La Guardia Airport in New York City.

Snow was falling during morning rush in the city.

A winter storm skirting the New York/New England coastline is here reminding us what winter is like. Standing on the corner of Rittenhouse Square Park, phone in hand, Jordan said orders were slow because of the snow.

Unsafe travel conditions are forecast for I-95 cities from Philadelphia to New York City and Boston, the National Weather Service said.

Officials warned residents to avoid morning travel as heavy snow can make roads slick and unsafe.

Yet this amount of snow isn't something NY hasn't seen before - the winter of - and while certain productions and industry events will likely experience a certain amount of disruption, the show will go on, at least on Broadway.

What is lake-effect snow
Just how big is New England's first major storm of 2017?

The heavy precipitation rate in a short period of time seen with this storm is consistent with a trend toward more precipitation extremes in recent decades across large parts of the globe, which several studies have tied to human-caused climate change. The three NY area airports - LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty - saw hundreds of flights halted and delayed.

Much of the eastern seaboard began to clear by late on Thursday, as the storm moved out into the Canadian Maritimes. It's rapidly intensifying low pressure system raced from the Delmarva peninsular northeastward into the Atlantic, well off the coast of Long Island and Cape Cod, but close enough to spread blizzard conditions inland. It will get less than half an inch of snow Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

"We are now experiencing the worst of the storm", Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. Forecasters said that would be slightly weaker than the wind strength required to classify the storm as a blizzard. Boston canceled school on Friday, too. All state courthouses will also be closed for the day.

Gov. Charlie Baker closed state offices for non-emergency workers Thursday, and urged all residents to stay off the roads. Travel conditions will be poor throughout the day.

A billboard featuring "Celebrate winter in New York city!" is shown on a building on Times Square seen through a window covered with snow in New York City, the United States, on February 9, 2017.

For what it's worth, the storm is expected to fade by the end of Thursday, Feb. 9, which means you won't have to worry about it mucking up your travel plans for very long. The quick moving storm is affecting over 50 million people as it makes it way up the eastern seaboard.

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