Washington, D.C., is bracing to be in the heart of a monster storm that will clobber the East Coast with snow and ice this weekend, forecasters warned.
“Confidence is high in this being a historic snowstorm for the Mid-Atlantic region,” NBC meteorologist Bill Karins said Wednesday.
The nation’s capital could get 18 to 24 inches of snow, according to the Weather Channel. The National Weather service issued a blizzard watch for the city on Wednesday, and will be in effect Friday afternoon through late Saturday night. Baltimore, Maryland, was also included in the blizzard watch.
The Midwest and East Coast already have faced frigid temperatures this week — and a storm due to start taking shape Thursday promises another wintry wallop for millions.
The National Weather Service warned that between 1 and 2 feet of snow could fall in the Northeast, with coastal flooding also likely.
The storm could produce a “prolific” amount of snow that affects millions across the eastern part of the U.S., according to The Weather Channel.
D.C. officials said the city has 14 new dump trucks ready to be deployed to salt and plow major streets, and six new trucks for residential streets, NBC Washington reported. If 2 feet of snow fall there, it will be the city’s second biggest snowstorm ever: the largest one was a 1922 storm that produced 28 inches.
While the track of the storm was still not immediately clear, snow is expected to start in the central plains on Thursday then move into the northeast corridor with over a foot of snow possible in some places, The Weather Channel said.
It said “some or all” of the largest cities in the Northeast — from New York to Washington — would be “significantly impacted,” with snow and winds which could bring traffic to a “grinding halt” between Friday and Sunday.
The National Weather Service warned the central Appalachians could get at least 12 inches of powder.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials were keeping an eye on the storm but didn’t expect the need for drastic measures.
“(This is) not the sort of storm that would shut down train service,” he said, according to NBC New York.
Connecticut residents were making preparations for a heavy hit, with local hardware stores doing brisk business in shovels, batteries and flashlights.
“We’ve been very busy all day, very busy selling any storm related items,” the manager of Cheshire’s R.W. Hine Hardware store, Tom Gaetani, told NBC Connecticut.