New York has downgraded the blizzard they thought was about to hit to a "winter storm".
However, the streets of the city remained practically deserted after a travel ban was lifted.
More than 7,000 flights were cancelled and gusts of 70mph were felt in New York's Long Island district - but the worst could be yet to come.
ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy reports:
A 17-year-old boy has died after snow-tubing down a New York street and crashing into a lamppost.
Suffolk County police named the teenager as Sean Urda and said he was one of three youngsters taking turns snow-tubing in Long Island on Monday night.
He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Long Island was under a blizzard warning at the time of the crash.
The "crippling" snow predicted to fall in the US is not as bad as expected.
A blizzard did come, but instead of dropping 3ft (90cm) of snow across the north east of America dumped 1ft (30cm).
Travel bans were imposed, schools were closed and cities effectively shut down in anticipation of the snowfall.
John Davitt, a meterologist on New York's NY1 news channel said: "When you hear the word 'crippling' and you look out your window this morning, it is not there."
Parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts saw the heaviest snow while just 6 inches fell in New York City's Central Park.
And some visitors to the city appeared to be enjoying the snow.
However travel was still snarled with more than 4,500 flights cancelled at US airports, according to FlightAware.com.
British Airways has suspended or delayed flights to several cities across the north east of America this morning due to heavy snowing.
Heavy snow in the east coast USA is affecting some flights. Check your flight status here http://t.co/rst0XX4NEi [08:01 27JAN]
More than 7,700 flights have been cancelled to and from cities across the area hit by heavy snowing and blizzard conditions.
More than 7,700 flights in and out of the north east of the US have been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
The cancellations come as forecasters predict the snow storm that has already battered many US cities including Boston, New York and Philadelphia will built into a blizzard.
The brunt of the storm is expected to hit this morning. Many of the cancelled flights will not take off again until tomorrow. New York mayor Bill de Blasio urged people to go home and stay home.
This will most likely be one of the largest blizzards in the history of New York City
Commuter and railway stations across the US state of New Jersey appearred empty this morning, after a state of emergency was declared last night.
Cities and towns across the north east of the US have shut down ahead of a monster storm expected over the next few hours.
New York's City's subway systems and buses shut down completely at 11pm last night. Commuter trains across the north east stopped overnight.
Airlines have cancelled around 3,000 US flights as a "life-threatening" blizzard arrives in the north-east of the country.
New York authorities said "virtually all" flights at LaGuardia Airport would be cancelled on Tuesday and cancellations at John F Kennedy International Airport would be "significant."
Emergency alerts have been sent to all mobile phones in New York warning people to get their vehicles off the road by 11pm local - 4am UK time.
Minimum fines of $300 will be imposed on those breaching the curfew - already the streets are deserted.
New York City and other parts of the north-east US have shut down ahead of a massive blizzard which could affect more than 60 million people.
The "potentially historic" storm has led to states of emergency being declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and New York.
All non-emergency vehicles have also been banned in New York from 11pm local time.
Retailers said they had sold out of shovels and basic food as people attempt to stock up on supplies before the snowstorm hits.
A storm which could bring the worst snow fall in New York's history has started coming down and the city is shutting down in preparation. The whole of the north east of the United States is on alert.
Three feet of snow is expected over the next few days and the blizzard is being called 'Snowmageddon'.
ITV News correspondent Emma Murphy reports: