Winter Storm Juno was expected to dump up to 60cm (24in) of snow near New York City, and in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Meteorologists downgraded their initial forecasts, lifting blizzard warnings in New York City and New Jersey. Some 60 million people may be affected by the shutdown.
Driving bans for all but emergency vehicles are in place in New York and Boston, with subway systems suspended.
An emergency has been declared in the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Meteorologists initially predicted up to 90cm (36in) of snow, but later revised their forecasts.
Parts of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been spared extreme snow, and at least one winter storm warning in New Jersey has been cancelled.
However, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned that the storm could still bring “crippling snowfall amounts and life-threatening blizzard conditions to much of the north-east”. [BBC]
Meanwhile, Caribbean Airlines announced flight cancellations and delays as the blizzard hits the northeast.
CAL says it expects the inclement weather to affect the operations at New York’s International Airport (JFK).
“Therefore, we will waive change/cancellation fees and fare differences for customers travelling on Monday January 26 through Tuesday, January 27 to/from New York, NY.”
According to the airline, customers may rebook their flights for travel through Saturday, January 31, 2015 prior to the departure of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancellations or significantly delayed flights may opt for a refund at a service charge of US$50. Original travel must have been booked on or before Sunday, January 25, 2015.
“Our teams are working diligently to minimize the impact on your schedules and will advise of new departure times as they become available. As of noon, we have cancelled, delayed or consolidated many flights to/from JFK for today and tomorrow and other changes could be expected depending on the severity and clean-up required after the storm.”