After a winter storm dumped up to a foot of snow across parts of the Midwest this week, the system closed on the Northeast region on Friday as officials warned residents of treacherous road conditions.
About 7 million people in the storm’s path across the Northeast were under winter weather warnings early Friday as the first round of snow began in Vermont, New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and Maine.
“A winter storm will continue to cause heavy snowfall and freezing rain in the Northeast through Friday. Another storm will develop over the Rocky Mountains and head east from Friday through this weekend,” the National Weather Service said late Thursday.
In addition, ice mixed with a few inches of snow could accumulate in parts of upstate New York and central northern New England through Friday morning, the weather service noted.
Overall, the region could see either snow, freezing rain, or a mix of both – with snow falling quickly in some areas and worsening road conditions. Snow can fall at a rate of up to 1 inch per hour in some areas of New England Friday morning, although it is expected to slow as the day progresses.
The forecast has prompted some officials to urge residents to prepare for the storm and be prepared for a potentially ugly Friday morning commute.
In Maine — where the highest snowfall totals are expected in remote areas statewide — officials are bracing for the “first significant snowfall of the year,” the state’s emergency management agency said.
“Motorists should allow extra travel time both on Friday morning and in the evening as road conditions could be slippery,” the agency said.
Similarly, New Hampshire officials are imploring residents not to take to the streets and to keep up to date with the storm’s development.
“Take action now to keep you and your family safe,” said Robert Buxton, who heads the state’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “If you must travel, make sure your car’s winter emergency kit is ready.”
Winter storm warnings extend from Concord, New Hampshire to Eastpoint, Michigan. Cities like Portland, Maine and Concord could take between 6 and 9 inches of snow.
Meanwhile, Hartford, Connecticut and Albany, New York could see up to 2 inches of snow. About 3 to 6 inches of snow can fall in Burlington, Vermont.
The storm proved dangerous in parts of the Midwest, where dozens of auto accidents were reported Wednesday and Thursday in Minnesota, the state patrol said. Five people were injured and there were no fatalities. Minnesota saw up to 7 inches of snow, while parts of Nebraska were hit by nearly 2 feet of snow.
The CNN Wire
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CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.