A massive snow storm is expected to hit the US east coast on Friday, paralysing the eastern third of the nation as high winds and blizzards are expected to dump up to 30 inches (76 cm) of snow, including on Washington DC.
A state of emergency has been declared in Washington DC and five states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania. In Virginia, the national guard said it planned to bring in up to 300 troops to assist in response operations.
The director of the National Weather Service said all the ingredients have come together to create blizzards with brutally high winds, dangerous inland flooding, white-out conditions and even the possibility of thunder snow, when lightning strikes through a snowstorm.
“It does have the potential to be an extremely dangerous storm that can affect more than 50 million people,” said Louis Uccellini.
Washington looks like the bullseye of the blizzard, with New York City just inside the slow-moving storm’s sharp northern edge, which means it is likely to see heavy accumulations, Uccellini said.
Uccellini said it won’t be quite as bad as Superstorm Sandy, but people should expect high winds, a storm surge and inland flooding from Delaware to New York. Other severe but non-snowy weather is likely from Texas to Florida as the storm system chugs across the Gulf Coast, gaining moisture.
Blizzard warnings have been issued in Washington and Baltimore, with extreme conditions expected to begin on Friday afternoon. New York was under a blizzard watch for Saturday morning.
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