Winter storm Hercules will bring record snowfall and sub-zero temperatures to a good portion of the US, disrupting travel and creating havoc.
The first major storm of 2014 promises to be one of the biggest nightmares this winter for many across the country as people are just getting back to normal after the New Year celebrations.
The National Weather Service is predicting up to 14 inches of snow for Boston and 10 inches for New York, along with freezing temperatures and high winds.
AccuWeather meteorologist Mark Paquette said:
"It's going to be right around freezing on Thursday but that's going to feel mild compared with Friday. You get the snow, then you get the cold and the wind, making it really miserable."Snow fall from winter storm Hercules has already started in New England and New York, however, the brunt of the system won't be felt until Friday, January 3 and will continue into the weekend.
Some international air travel has already been affected, with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways being forced to cancel flights from London to New York and Boston ahead of winter storm Hercules.
New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport has been one of the nation's airports affected b the storm, and hundreds of flights in and out of Chicago O'Hare International Airport have been canceled, as well.
Additionally to the heavy snow fall, forecasters are predicting winter storm Hercules could cause coastal flooding on the East Coast of the US due to strong winds.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is suggesting that people take public transportation instead of driving, and he is calling the weather event "a serious storm situation."
The Weather Channel is reporting a blizzard warning is in effect for Long Island, Cape Cod, and the south shore of Massachusetts:
"An initial band of light-moderate snow Thursday from New York state and northern Pennsylvania to New England will give way to a more expansive area of snow by Thursday afternoon and evening over much of the Northeast from West Virginia and Maryland to southern Maine."Some schools in New England and New York have been closed as a precaution, and residents are being told to avoid travel if at all possible while winter storm Hercules moves east on Thursday and throughout the weekend.
"Given widespread temperatures in the teens and 20s, this will be a relatively dry, powdery snow with an added 'fluff factor' – meaning deeper snow accumulations than you'd see from a wetter, gloppier snow. Toward the later stages of this snow event, temperatures will plunge even further on Friday, possibly flirting with zero in areas away from the immediate coast."
"In addition to the snow threat, there should be some coastal flooding at high tide for the east coast of New England due to strong onshore winds Thursday and Friday. Beach erosion and flooding of vulnerable coastal roads can be anticipated along with freezing spray from breaking waves."