Blizzard warnings issued as Winter Storm Niko hammers New York City

Winter Storm Niko is beginning a one-day siege on the Northeast with heavy snow, high winds, and, in some areas, blizzard conditions, making travel treacherous, if not impossible in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.

(INTERACTIVE: Winter Storm Niko Snowfall Tracker | How Winter Storms Are Named)

Winter storm warnings stretch from coastal Maine southward through New England, southeastern New York, and into eastern and central Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and parts of northern Delaware, northern Maryland and northern West Virginia. This includes Boston, Providence, Hartford, New York City and Philadelphia.

(MORE: Four Things to Know About Niko | Winter Storm Central)

See images from the storm:

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A jogger wearing shorts runs in the snow at the beginning of a winter nor'easter snow storm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Snow begins to cover sailboats as a jogger makes his way along the Charles River at the beginning of a winter nor'easter snow storm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A pedestrian walks through a winter nor'easter snow storm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A worker shovels snow in Times Square during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker shovels snow in Times Square during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
A snow covered statue is seen in Times Square during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
People walk through Times Square during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker shovels snow in Times Square during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker shovels snow outside the Times Square subway station during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
HUNTINGTON, NY - FEBRUARY 09: A train arrives as commuters head to work at the Huntington train station as a blizzard hits the New York Area on February 9, 2017 in Huntington, New York.Following a day of 60 degree temperatures, the Northeast is expected to receive a significant snowfall throughout the day. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)
HUNTINGTON, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Commuters climb the snow filled stairs as they head to work and workers clean at the Huntington train station as a blizzard hits the New York Area on February 9, 2017 in Huntington, New York.Following a day of 60 degree temperatures, the Northeast is expected to receive a significant snowfall throughout the day. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)
A taxi cab moves through Times Square during a winter storm, February 9, 2017 in New York. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
HUNTINGTON, NY - FEBRUARY 09: A commuter heads to work in the snow at the Huntington train station as a blizzard hits the New York Area on February 9, 2017 in Huntington, New York.Following a day of 60 degree temperatures, the Northeast is expected to receive a significant snowfall throughout the day. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)
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A blizzard warning has been issued for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts, as well as eastern and central Long Island in New York.

Happening Now

Rain is quickly changing to snow from central New Jersey down the I-95 corridor to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

(NEWS: Snow Emergency Declared)

Parts of central Pennsylvania had already picked up 8 inches of snow. State College and Williamsport, Pennsylvania, measured 5 to 7 inches of snow, as of early Thursday.

Morris and Sussex Counties in northern New Jersey had already picked up 4 to 5 inches of snow, and one location on Long Island, Mount Sinai, had already picked up 2 inches.

Cloud-to-ground lightning accompanying snow had already been detected in the Lower Hudson Valley north of New York City early Thursday. Albany, New York, picked up 4 inches of snow in one hour early Thursday.

(MAP: Current Lightning Strikes)

Low pressure now intensifying off the Eastern Seaboard may undergo "bombogenesis," which is a rapid pressure drop of 24 millibars in 24 hours.

(MORE: Could Niko Become a Weather 'Bomb'?)

Niko will wrap moisture into sufficiently cold air to wring out snow, heavy at times, near the Interstate 95 corridor. Thundersnow is likely in a few spots Thursday.

(MORE: It's Peak Time for Northeast Snowstorms)

Here's the timeline and how much snow could fall.

Thursday

  • Snow, heavy for some, will continue in parts of the mid-Atlantic states as far north as New York City through the morning, before tapering off/ending by early afternoon.
  • Farther north, snow, heavy at times, will persist much of the day in New England, especially in southern and eastern New England.
  • Snow will gradually taper off in far eastern New England Thursday night. It will be most persistent in Cape Cod (ocean-effect bands) and in Downeast Maine.
  • Winds will intensify quickly along the Northeast coast Thursday, with gusts over 50 mph possible in far southeast New England, capable of some downed tree limbs and wires. Some minor coastal flooding is also possible in eastern Massachusetts.
  • Blizzard conditions are possible in coastal southeast Massachusetts and central/eastern Long Island.
  • Thursday A.M. commute impact: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, New York City, possibly parts of Baltimore and Washington D.C. metros; Flight delays likely.
  • Thursday P.M. commute impact: Boston, Hartford, New York City; Lingering flight delays possible as far south as Philadelphia.

How Much Snow?

  • In general, heavy accumulations of a half-foot or more are possible from eastern Pennsylvania and much of New Jersey into southern and eastern New England, including the Boston metro area, New York City Tri-State area and Philadelphia metro area.
  • Parts of Long Island, southeast New England and Downeast Maine could see up to a foot of snow.
  • Lighter amounts are forecast farther south into the mid-Atlantic region, including the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metros.
  • Blowing and drifting snow are likely at times in far southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard, with whiteout conditions possible, Thursday and Thursday night

(FORECASTS: Washington D.C. | Baltimore | Philly | NYC | Hartford | Boston)

Before reaching the East, a stripe of snow blanketed parts of the central Plains and Ohio Valley Wednesday, with generally light to moderate snow.

(MAPS: 48-Hour U.S. Snow Forecast | 7-Day Rain/Snow U.S. Forecast)

Around 2 inches of snow had fallen in Omaha, Nebraska, and in parts of the Des Moines, Iowa, metro area Wednesday morning. A stripe of northern Nebraska picked up heavier snow, led by 10 inches of snow in Ainsworth.

Wednesday afternoon, 2.1 inches of snow was measured at Indianapolis International Airport. As of Wednesday evening, Dayton, Ohio, had picked up 1 inch of snow.

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