Northeast Braces for Massive Snowstorm

More than 70 million Americans will face snowfall, slippery roads and freezing temps

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Mike Groll / AP

A pedestrian walks through morning snow in Albany, N.Y., Jan. 2, 2014.

A massive winter storm stretching from Kansas to Maine will make landfall Thursday night, bringing heavy snowfall and freezing winds to large swaths of the country.

Accuweather forecasts the storm system will affect 70 million Americans. The heaviest snow will blanket the Northeast with 6 to 12 inches. The National Weather Service warns that icy roads and whiteout conditions will “raise havoc” for commuters. It has issued a blunt piece of advice to Northeasterners: “Do not travel.”

Many won’t have a choice. Bloomberg reports that hundreds of flights have already been cancelled and that New York may close the Long Island Expressway as road conditions worsen. In Boston, the mayor has already declared a snow emergency, according to NBC News, closing schools for Thursday and Friday.

New York City could see 9 inches of snow, CNN reports, which could snarl commutes and provide an early test for newly-inaugurated Mayor Bill de Blasio. Boston could get blanketed by as much as 11 inches of snow. And by Sunday in Wisconsin, when the Green Bay Packers host the San Francisco 49ers for an NFL playoffs game, temperatures could hit minus-17 degrees.