Blizzard blasts Northeast with snow, wind and bitter cold

If you thought the snow was bad, just wait for the cold and ice.

"Don't put your tongue on a flagpole today," Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Friday, advice that may prove useful over the long term.

"We're going to see a warmup, and then we're going to see another cold snap," he said. "This may be something that we're dealing with for the next 60 days or so."

The National Weather Service offered similar, if less folksy, admonitions: "Very cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills are moving in behind the system," the service said Friday. "Some of the coldest air of the year should arrive by the weekend over the northern tier of the country."

That may mean lows in the -20s Fahrenheit across North Dakota and Minnesota, with wind chills approaching -50, it said.

That would mark the lowest temperature in a decade for Minnesota, where Gov. Mark Dayton canceled classes in public schools statewide Monday. "I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions," he said in a prepared statement.

The combination of cold and wind gusts exceeding 30 mph was expected to lower wind chill temperatures to near zero in the nation's capital and to 45 below in northern Maine.

And another storm is forming that will bring blizzard conditions to the northern Plains on Friday night and Saturday, it said.

In the Northeast, the heavy snow that upended routines for about a third of the nation's residents had tapered off by noon, but snow drifts were complicating the cleanup, in some cases requiring replowing of streets that had already been cleaned.

New York was draped Friday in a near-10-inch layer of white, but that didn't faze some residents.

"A lot of people are walking, and some were even running in Central Park," said CNN iReporter Matthew Burke, who snapped a photograph of the entrance to the park at Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street.

"It's freezing," he said. "I had three layers on, and I was still cold."

The snowfall abated early Friday in the nation's capital and was expected to stop in the afternoon in Boston, which got nearly 15 inches.

North of Boston, residents of Topsfield, Massachusetts, were inundated with nearly 2 feet of snow.

Approximately 100 million people in 22 states were in the path of the storm.

Weather knocks out flights

Across the country, the weather forced many to change their travel plans., which tracks cancellations due to weather and mechanical problems, said that more than 2,300 flights had been canceled for Friday within, into or out of the United States. That's after more than 2,600 U.S. flights were canceled Thursday.

Flights resumed by late Friday morning in much of New England, though delays were common, and ticket holders were urged to check with their airlines.

Barb Plooster had planned to fly Friday from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Grand Rapids, Michigan, but her flight was canceled. She told CNN affiliate WICU that she was on the phone with United Airlines for five hours trying to find a way to get home but has concluded that she will have to wait until Monday. "We got a warm place to stay, get to visit the kids, the grandkids, so it's OK," she said.

Here's a breakdown of what to expect where:

New York and Long Island

A winter storm warning was to remain in effect across the five boroughs until 1 p.m., with wind gusts dropping wind chills to as low as 15 below, the mayor's office said.

Friday's high was predicted to be 18 degrees, and the temperature was expected to go below zero by nightfall, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

He urged anyone who might see a homeless person to call 311, "and an outreach team will go out immediately to help that individual."

And de Blasio cautioned residents whose homes and apartments are not warm to call the city rather than trying to improvise their own solutions.

But the newly sworn-in mayor -- who shoveled in front of his home in Brooklyn on Friday morning before handing off the duty to his 16-year-old son, Dante -- praised his team for their work.

"I'd give everyone an A" for effort and effectiveness, he said, but noted that their work was not over.

"Ask again in a few hours," he said. "This is an hour-to-hour thing."

New York had gotten nearly 10 inches of snow by the time it abated late Friday morning, de Blasio said. "It's hard to drive out there," he said. "If you do not need to travel today, please stay home."

Sanitation workers were on 12-hour shifts to clear the city's 6,200 miles of roadways, he said.

Long Island will be under a blizzard warning until 1 p.m. Friday, with wind chills as low as 10 below zero and sustained winds of at least 35 mph.

Flight operations resumed late Friday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport; they were continuing -- despite hundreds of cancellations -- at LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Temperatures in the single digits were predicted for Saturday morning.

New York City public schools were closed Friday.

Upstate, the capital of Albany could get buried under 14 inches of snow, with wind chills of 15 to 25 below zero, the National Weather Service said.

The weather had its fans. In Rochester, New York, CNN iReporter Blake Sampson, 29, took a picture from his apartment window. "I grew up in Minnesota, so I'm used to it," he said. "I like how quiet things get when there is a fresh blanket of snow."


That blanket covered Boston, which expected to see 10 to 18 inches of snow and temperatures as low as 6 degrees below zero by Friday night.

But limited flights were continuing into and out of Boston's Logan Airport.

The state's emergency management agency predicted up to 2 feet of snow on parts of the North Shore, South Shore and Cape Cod.

Students in scores of school districts were told to stay home Friday.

"I guess Mother Nature wanted to give me one more gift," Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said Thursday, one of his last days in the office he has held since 1993.

Blizzard warnings were in effect for parts of nearby Essex and Plymouth counties -- including the communities of Gloucester, Brockton and Plymouth -- as well as Cape Cod.

The state warned that midday high tides could produce "significant flooding" along the coast. The towns of Scituate and Duxbury requested voluntary evacuations of certain low-lying areas.

Connecticut and Delaware

Wind chills in parts of Connecticut were expected to range from -5 to -20 degrees Friday, and the National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for most of the state through Friday morning.

Malloy, the Connecticut governor, urged residents to take it slow and give themselves extra time for their commutes Friday. He said he expects delays but not cancellations in public transit.

Delaware said state offices were closed for all but "essential employees."

Chicago and points beyond

In the Windy City, wind chills Friday will creep down to minus 12, with more snow possible over the weekend.

The arctic blast was expected to be the coldest in 17 years, with temperatures predicted to drop below zero Sunday evening and not return to positive digits until Wednesday.

Though snow in Chicago in the winter is a common event, it "can still wreak havoc on daily routines," city emergency director Gary Schenkel said.

Next week could be no better for some U.S. residents.

The new shot of colder air that will start to move into the northern Midwest by Saturday will dive south Monday and Tuesday, carrying zero-degree cold as far south as Nashville. "That's the coldest air we've seen that far south in several years," CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.

The cold air will kick off a new storm Sunday into Monday that could affect a number of NFL playoff games this weekend. In Wisconsin, the Green Bay Packers will give a cold welcome to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, when temperatures could bottom out at -17.

The U.S. weather had international implications, too: All meetings were canceled Friday at the United Nations headquarters complex on New York's East Side.

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