New England is bracing for a possibly record-setting winter storm on Friday, with up to two feet of snow expected and airlines canceling thousands of flights.
The system - Winter Storm Nemo - was blowing in from the Midwest where it began dropping snow on the Chicago area on Thursday afternoon.
It was due to bring light snow to the Northeastern United States on Friday morning before ramping up to blizzard conditions by afternoon and evening.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino closed schools on Friday and urged businesses to consider allowing staff to stay home, to reduce the risk of getting stranded.
"We are hardy New Englanders, let me tell you, and used to these types of storms. But I also want to remind everyone to use common sense," he said.
"Basically, stay home. Stay put after noontime tomorrow."
City officials up and down the northeastern United States were bracing for the snow storm, readying fleets of plows and salt trucks to keep streets clear.
Airport officials advised travelers to try to reschedule flights.
The National Weather Service said Boston could get 18-24 inches of snow on Friday and Saturday, its first heavy snowfall in almost two years.
All or most of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire could all see 18-24 inches as well, with locally higher amounts possible.
New York City could receive at least a foot of snow.
Light snow is expected to begin falling around 7 a.m. on Friday, with heavier snow and winds gusting as high as 60-75 miles per hour as the day progresses.
"It's the afternoon rush-hour time frame into the evening and overnight when the height of the storm will be," said Kim Buttrick of the National Weather Service.
Airlines have already nixed more than 2,200 flights planned for Friday, with the largest number of cancelations at airports in New York, Chicago and Boston.
Be safe, people.