Parts of the Northeast could get more than a foot of snow. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

The Northeast is getting walloped by the strongest winter storm of the season thus far on Thursday. Blinding snow and strong winds whipped across New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts as the powerful winter storm rapidly intensifies just off the coast. Snowfall totals were pushing 18 inches in Connecticut and Massachusetts early Thursday afternoon.

The region experienced significant weather whiplash Wednesday night, along with the rest of the East Coast. Temperatures that were in the 50s and 60s on Wednesday are now in the 30s — soon to be 20s — as the storm draws in cold air from the north.

The number of affected travelers continued to soar on Thursday afternoon. More than 3,500 flights were canceled because of the storm, including some in Washington, which avoided the snow but not the travel impacts. Winds are gusting to 45 mph in the capital, making air travel difficult, if not impossible.

The Philadelphia region saw the end of this storm by mid-morning. Widespread snow totals of 3 to 5 inches were reported there. Farther north, the storm raged on.


Snow totals through 2 p.m.

Massachusetts
Ludlow — 16.5 inches
Orange — 12 inches
Westfield — 14.2 inches
Ware — 12 inches
Amherst — 10 inches

Connecticut
Suffield — 17 inches
North Haven — 14 inches
West Hartford — 13.5 inches
Milford — 12.4 inches
Chesire — 11.8 inches

Rhode Island
Greene — 8 inches
Burrillville — 8 inches
North Foster — 7.5 inches
Smithfield — 7.5 inches

New York
Central Park — 9 inches
Manhattan — 6 inches


The snow forecast increases as you head north. Coastal New England will be the hardest hit in this storm, but disruptive snow is expected as far south as Philadelphia.

Forecast

Philadelphia: 4 to 6 inches
Trenton: 5 to 9 inches
New York: 7 to 11 inches
Hartford and Providence: 8 to 12 inches
Boston: 8 to 14 inches

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In the 9 o’clock hour, the National Weather Service issued a special weather statement for the New York metro area regarding heavy snow and wind, which are coming together to produce very low visibility. “Travel is extremely dangerous,” the Weather Service says:

The storm is so strong, in fact, that thundersnow has been rumbling over Connecticut and Long Island. Of course, thunder and lightning are common in thunderstorms, but not so much in winter storms. It means this particular nor’easter is exceptionally strong with fast rising winds.