Flights to and from Northeast canceled, delayed during winter storm

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone declared a state of emergency at 11 a.m., which allows the county to call for additional assistance from the state and enter into certain agreements for removing snow from roadways. I maintain the accuracy and appropriateness of that term. Forecasters say rain and sleet are turning to snow. Heavy snow is expected to continue throughout the day.

Roads and sidewalks are slippery and poor visibility is expected due to blowing and drifting snow and temperatures gradually decline and the winds increase. Farther north, Nashua, N.H., received over 13 inches and Berwick, Maine, recorded about a foot. Airlines scrapped thousands of flights by late Wednesday as a precaution, and FlightAware.com reported 3,323 flights were canceled Wednesday through Friday, including the more than 2,700 on Thursday.

The snow will be driven by winds from the northwest 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 25 miles per hour. A snowstorm has been forecast with up to a foot of snow in a large swath of the Northeast today. Bucks and Montgomery counties also closed offices and courts.

A snowplow drives through Times Square as snow falls in Manhattan, New York, Feb. 9, 2017. He said snow was falling at up to 2 inches per hour and expected to intensify as the day went on.

In Philly, winds will be highest from noon to 4 p.m., gusting at up to 26 miles per hour.

A wind advisory was issued early Thursday morning for areas of New Jersey south and east of Interstate 95, effective through 6 p.m.

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-Until Noon Thursday for Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties. However, a brief period of easterly winds will push a bit of water toward the coast.

Even so, there likely will be some minor flooding/splashover during Thursdays high tides.

The vast majority of deaths from winter storms such as this come from traffic accidents. In other words, if you're traveling to or from any of those places over the next couple of days, you're going to want to double-check your arrival and departure times and try to make accommodations in case things don't go off without a hitch.

School closings and delays are already widespread. Airport officials in Washington also said high winds in the capital region could impact travel.

Throughout history, snow-covered Central Park scenes have continued to mesmerize us.

Given the busy morning, I didn't pay much attention to the long-range forecast. Check out SEPTA.org for service- and weather-related delays and detours.

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