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

The National Weather Service estimated that 8 to 12 inches of snow in NY and 12 to 15 inches of snow in Boston were possible before the storm was over.

Winter Storm Niko is all set to target the Northeastern region of the United States.

Mayor de Blasio announced via Twitter late Wednesday that city schools will be closed Thursday.

"The New York and Boston areas are most impacted with 40% of their flight operations cancelled".

State offices in New Jersey were closed, as were the courts in MA.

Airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights.

Schools across the Northeast closed, and many citizens were asked to stay home.

"A Blizzard Warning is now in effect for Nassau and Suffolk County". More than half of the flights into or out of the three major New York-area airports as well as Boston Logan International airport were cancelled.

US Job Growth Tops Expectations
The labor force participation rate, for instance, has fallen considerably since the last recession, and has failed to rebound. Government employment fell into retreat in January (-10,000) and it was all at the state (-9,000) and local (-5,000) levels.

The biggest and longest-lasting snowstorms, including a blizzard that dumped the heaviest amount of snow on record in NY past year, tend to occur when such blocking patterns are in place, prolonging the period in which heavy snow can fall.

According to forecasters, the storm is expected to wrap up around 2 p.m. ET.

A blizzard warning was in effect for parts of Long Island, while a winter storm warning was issued for New York City, parts of Hudson Valley, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Some areas of the Northeast have been enjoying a mostly snow-free winter, but that's about to change.

A doorman in New York City died after falling through a window while shoveling snow, police said.

Expected high winds could cause power outages. It won't take more than a few hours before roads become snow covered. Boston and other areas in MA are now expected to get 12 to 18 inches of snow over the course of the day. Meteorologists are recommending people stay off the roads throughout the duration of the storm. A powerful nor'easter is coming on Thursday and blizzard warnings are posted for coastal Plymouth County, Cape Cod and the Islands. "It's not going to be a good travel day", Doody said.

Like many school districts throughout the state, almost all schools in eastern MA - including Boston, Cambridge and Somerville schools - are closed.

  • Phil Peters