'Worst snowstorm in history' set to hit Boston and New York; ...over 3,000 flights canceled

Northeast residents were girding for a 'crippling and potentially historic' storm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 3 feet of snow.

Winter storm Juno was set to bring heavy snow, hurricane-strength winds and widespread coastal flooding starting on Monday and through Tuesday.

A blizzard warning was issued for a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast, including New York and Boston, affecting close to 60 million people across seven states with 'life-threatening' conditions.

The snow storm was expected to kick in with force at noon on Monday in New York City and early afternoon in New England with forecasters warning people to be where they wanted to be for 5pm on Monday to ride out the storm.

Airlines were shutting down operations along the East Coast - with more than 1,800 flights canceled on Monday and 1,600 flights on Tuesday with 'life-threatening' storms expected to sweep the area from Washington to Maine.

On Monday, Governor of Connecticut Dannel Malloy issued a statewide travel ban from 9pm this evening where 12-18 inches of snow was expected and closed schools on Tuesday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged commuters to get out of the path of the oncoming storm before two feet of snow dropped on to the city streets.

New York City was also likely to see 'thundersnow' - when snow collides with the dry air, resulting in lightning strikes and rolling thunder.

'This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference in Manhattan on Sunday, adding that even walking should be kept to a minimum.

Chaos engulfed New York City as shoppers emptied supermarket aisles over the weekend in preparation for several days being shut indoors due to the record-breaking blizzard.

There would be zero visibility on roads overnight on Monday, with drivers urged to take the utmost care and avoid long journeys where possible.

Governor Cuomo urged commuters to stay home on Monday and warned that mass transit and roadways could be closed before the evening rush hour - even major highways such as the New York Thruway, Interstate 84 and the Long Island Expressway.

Metro-North will run an early getaway schedule as it does on Thanksgiving eve, according to travel authorities.

Sanitation workers were preparing plows and salt for the massive cleanup on about 6,000 miles of city roadways.

Credit: DailyMail