3 January 2014
Last updated at 10:04 ET
Weather forecasters had warned of up to 14in (35cm) of snow in some parts of New York where a state of emergency was declared.
In Michigan, the Winter Classic outdoor NHL hockey game against Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs went ahead despite the state seeing up to 10in of snow fall.
Heavy snowfall was also expected in parts of the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, where many residents were recently without electricity because of an ice storm.
"We're going to see a lot of snow and a lot of wind," said Jason Tuell, of the US National Weather Service. "We're concerned about whiteout conditions possibly tonight with the blowing and drifting snow."
The storm is expected to be an early test for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (see here shovelling the pavement in front of his home). "We are focused like a laser on protecting this city and getting everyone ready," Mr de Blasio said, urging city residents to stay home if they did not have to travel.
More than 2,200 flights were cancelled on Thursday, and by the early hours of Friday a further 1,730 flights scheduled for later in the day had already been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com.
Cars were covered with snow at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, which saw major delays and cancellations because of the storm.
A man walks past waves crashing against the seawall in Lynn, Massachusetts. Weather officials have also issued a blizzard warning for the Long Island region of New York, where up to 10in of snow is expected.
People across the north-east have been stocking up on shovels and salt. Residents have been warned not to spent too much time outside because of the frigid temperatures.
Emergency workers respond to a vehicle that slid off the road on Interstate 94 near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Snowy roads have already been blamed for a vehicle crash in Indiana that killed one person and injured more than a dozen after a lorry lost control and hit a bus carrying 50 people.
In New Jersey, residents were urged to stay home as temperatures reached below minus 20C.