7 million people are under winter alert as the snow storm begins to affect the northeast.

(CNN) — After a winter storm dumped up to 12 inches of snow in parts of the Midwest this week, the system shut down in the Northeast on Friday as authorities warn residents of treacherous road conditions.

About 7 million people in the storm’s path through the Northeast were under winter weather watches early Friday as the first round of snow began in Vermont, New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts and Maine.

“A winter storm will continue heavy snow and freezing rain across the Northeast through this Friday. Another storm will develop over the Rocky Mountains and the track this Friday into this weekend,” said the National Metereological Service at the end of this Thursday.

Additionally, ice mixed with a few inches of snow may accumulate across portions of upstate New York and central and northern New England by Friday morning, the weather service said.

Overall, the region could see snow, freezing rain, or a mix of both, with snow falling rapidly in some areas, exacerbating road conditions. In some areas of New England, snow can fall at a rate of up to 1 inch per hour this Friday morning, though it is expected to lessen throughout the day.

The forecast has led some officials to urge residents to prepare for the storm and be ready for a potentially ugly ride Friday morning.

In Maine — where the highest snow totals are expected in isolated areas statewide — officials are bracing for the “first significant snowfall of the year,” the state emergency management agency said.

“Motorists should allow for more travel time both this Friday morning and evening as roads could be slippery,” the agency said.

Similarly, in New Hampshire, authorities implored residents to avoid going out on the roads and to stay up to date on the development of the storm.

“Take steps now to keep you and your family safe,” said Robert Buxton, who heads the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “If you have to travel, make sure your car’s winter emergency kit is ready.”

Winter storm warnings extend from Concord, New Hampshire, to Eastpoint, Michigan. Cities like Portland, Maine, and Concord could pick up 6 to 9 inches of snow.

Meanwhile, Hartford, Connecticut, and Albany, New York could see up to 2 inches of snow. In Burlington, Vermont, 2 to 4 inches of snow could fall.

The storm proved dangerous in parts of the Midwest, where dozens of Minnesota car accidents were reported Wednesday and Thursday, the state patrol said. Five people were injured and there were no fatalities. Minnesota recorded up to 7 inches of snow, while parts of Nebraska were hit with nearly 2 feet of snow.

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