Winds pick up speed as Northeast snowstorm dissipates

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The Northeast hunkered down on Thursday, Feb 9, 2017 for what looks to be the most significant storm of the season, with a foot of snow of forecast and blizzard conditions in some areas. (Picture from Boston, MA)

As the Northeast’s biggest snowstorm of the season moves toward the Atlantic Ocean, gusty winds could create more drifting snow and travel issues for commuters Friday morning, meteorologists said.

A lake effect snow advisory has been issued for parts of upstate New York and is expected to last through Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service warns.

The eastern shores of Lake Ontario are no stranger to lake-effect snow, which forms when cold dry air passes over a relatively warm body of water.

Snow totals are expected to be 4 to 8 inches and winds are expected to gust up to 35mph. The fast-falling flurry could make travel around Lake Ontario difficult.

Single digit lows and sub-zero wind chills coupled with heavy snow and strong winds persist in southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands after midnight Friday, the Massachusetts Emergency Management agency said in a statement Thursday evening.

In Boston, snowfall could continue into the weekend, and temperatures won’t rise above freezing until Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

But, more milder air is expected to push north toward the tail end of the weekend.

Heavy downpour in West Coast

The West Coast was also grappling with severe weather this week. Rapid snow melt coupled with heavy rains in the Sierra Mountains has led to flooding in parts of Nevada and Southern California. The heavy downpour is expected to last through Saturday morning, meteorologists forecast.

Snowstorm leaves its marks on East Coast

Blizzard conditions and as much as a foot of snow in some places blanketed the Northeast earlier on Thursday.

The first snow-related death was reported in New York City when a doorman shoveling snow on the Upper East Side died after slipping and falling through a glass window, New York police said.

Miguel Gonzalez, 59, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, sustained cuts to his neck and face. He was pronounced dead at Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, according to the NYPD.

In the path of the storm, thousands of flights were canceled and public schools across New York, Boston and Philadelphia were closed on Thursday.

New York and Philadelphia schools will reopen on Friday, officials said.

Philadelphia mostly “dodged a bullet,” Mayor Jim Kenney said, as the city received just a couple of inches of snow.

CNN’s Haley Brink and Julie Martin contributed to this report.