Harrisburg - A fast-moving storm expected to drop about 30cm of snow or more in the US north-east over the weekend moved into the region on Saturday as road crews went on high alert and airlines began cancelling flights.
Utilities, airports and local officials braced for power outages, flight delays and slick roads while shoppers headed out to stores to tackle gift lists during a shorter-than-normal holiday shopping season.
The national weather service has said 15 - 30cm of snow is expected in the north-eastern New England states, with as much as 35cm possible along the Maine coast.
Areas north and west of New York City and interior Pennsylvania could get up to 20cm or more.
Airlines have cancelled about 940 flights because of the storm, mostly in the north-east and Midwest.
Some areas, including resorts and ski towns in northern New England welcomed the snow and were eager to see the winter season get started.
Meteorologist Paul Head with the national weather service in State College, Pennsylvania, said winds would pick up into Sunday, presenting hazardous blowing snow for motorists.