As flakes start to swirl, Northeast braces for heavy snowfall

Storms that yielded recording-breaking snowfall in the South during the week hit the Northeast on Friday evening and could continue causing problems throughout the weekend.

Winter Storm Benji was moving up the East Coast, with heavy snow predicted for a 2,000-mile stretch from the Deep South to New England. Some spots could see as much as 10 to 15 inches of snow pile up, forecasters said.

Winter weather warnings were issued Friday for parts of Massachusetts and northern Virginia, with travel expected to be hazardous in the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metro areas. Officials warned that travel would be hazardous in those regions. 

A traveller makes their way to a vehicle as snow covers the parking decks at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Atlanta. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Winter weather advisories were issued from Maine to northern Virginia.  (AP)

Winter weather advisories were issued from Maine to northern Virginia. 

The snow will spread in the Northeast during the day and forecasters predicted that by the afternoon, most of Maine to Virginia would experience snow, the Weather Channel reported. By Saturday night, the snow was expected to taper off in northern New York but continue to fall in New England throughout the night. By Sunday, some areas in northern New England may experience snow until the storm moves off into eastern Canada.

The South saw unprecedented levels of snowfall from Texas to North Carolina, resulting in power outages, frozen roadways and numerous auto accidents. Many areas closed schools during the week.

On Thursday, Delta Air Lines canceled hundreds of flights coming in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – the busiest in the world. Atlanta was to be under a winter storm watch until 10 a.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service said. The airport's spokesman confirmed that nearly 1,200 flights were canceled Friday. On Saturday, another 400 more flights were canceled. 

Traffic moves south in a moderate snow, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Kennesaw, Ga. The forecast called for a wintry mix of precipitation across several Deep South states. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Winter Storm Benji is moving up the northeastern coast.  (AP)

In Atlanta, firefighters said an unidentified man died after being electrocuted by a downed power line. The man was found dead Friday night in the middle of the roadway near the live wire. Authorities believed the wire was brought down by the ice and snow that accumulated Friday across much of the Deep South.

Other weather trackers warned of frozen roadways in southern Mississippi and Louisiana through the weekend. Cities in Mississippi reported some of the highest levels of snow on record.

Houston was the first city to report record-breaking snowfall, as cold temperatures combined with moisture off the Gulf of Mexico to hit border communities. 

The Weather Channel reported some 400,000 customers were without power in the South. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.