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:
The US is preparing for a storm that could bring as much as three feet (90 cm) of snow to the east coast region.
The 'crippling and potentially historic' snow storm has already forced the cancellation of thousands of flights, curtailed mass transit and closed hundreds of schools.
A storm which could bring over three feet (90 cm) of snow to parts of the US east coast is now being felt in the region.
Some people on Twitter have responded with humour and posted various pictures of the storm's arrival.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled and a road curfew has been issued as a storm which has been described as 'crippling and potentially historic' approaches the east coast of America.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said vehicles would not be allowed on the city's 6,000 miles of roads after 11pm local time.
Airlines cancelled about 2,700 flights, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware, including nearly 700 flights at the three main airports serving New York City.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for New York City and surrounding areas between coastal New Jersey and Connecticut, beginning 1pm (local time) on Monday and worsening overnight.
The weather service warned the approaching system would blanket the East Coast with 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm) of snow.
The New York City area could be the hardest hit, with lashing winds topping 50 miles per hour and snowfall of three feet or more in some suburbs.
A 'state of emergency' has been declared by the Governor of Massachusetts - which is expected to be hit by a "crippling" and potentially "historic" blizzard within the next few hours.
A State of Emergency for the entire Commonwealth was declared today (1/26/15) as of noon (1200pm) #MASnow
A state-wide travel ban has been imposed from midnight tonight and all state-run transport services will be cancelled. Some 500 National Guard troops have been called up to deal with the expected consequences of the blizzard. It is the same situation in many counties across New York - where state employees are being sent home.
A man has died after appearing to shoot himself outside the News Corp. building in New York.
The 41-year-old man died in central Manhattan after the shooting at about 9 am. So far, the authorities have not been able to determine what prompted the shooting outside the building of Fox News, the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal.
The media giant News Corp. is controlled by Rupert Murdoch. It has not been established whether the man had any ties to News Corp. A weapon was recovered at the scene, and no one else was injured.
The East Coast of America from Philadelphia to New York City to Maine braced on for a potentially historic blizzard.
Forecasters say the storm could dump up to three feet (90 cm) of snow on the region and snarl transportation for tens of millions of people.
"This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday.
A "crippling" and "potentially historic" blizzard is set to hit the US, possibly leaving up to 30 inches of snow.Read the full story ›