If you were enjoying the relatively mild winter, you’ve probably heard by now: that’s about to change. The East Coast is expected to be slammed by severe snowstorm Jonas over the weekend, with some areas expecting up to 2 feet of snow.
The storm has already swept through some parts of the country, and will pick up as a major snowstorm Friday, the Weather Channel reported. The storm is expected to carry with it strong winds and icing, including in major cities like Baltimore, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) January 21, 2016
Baltimore and Washington could see at least a foot of snow, and possibly up to 20 inches. Parts of New York and New Jersey are expected to see between 8 and 10 inches of snow. Philadelphia could see up to 18 inches of snow. Some forecasts predict as much as 2 feet of snow in Washington, which would be the capital’s second largest snowstorm after a 1922 winter that buried the city under 28 inches.
Some 73 million Americans were under winter weather watches as of Thursday morning, and some major cities like New York City, Baltimore and Washington D.C. were under blizzard watches. The strongest parts of the storm will hit between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.
“Since we have the good lead time,” Patrick Burke, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, told the New York Times, “go ahead and make your plans to be where you’re going to be and have supplies ready.”
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) January 21, 2016
Snowstorm Jonas will be the first significant snowfall of 2016 for much of the Northeast. It's been a pretty warm winter so far, and last year was the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880, CNN reported. Ten out of the 12 months were the warmest months on record, although there was heavy snowfall across much of the Northeast.
Plan for it to be a difficult weekend for travel. Residents in a number of states are being advised to keep travel plans light, and prepare for possibly damaging weather. There have already been two fatalities due to weather conditions in North Carolina, as Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency and has warned of additional power outages and dangerous road conditions through the weekend, ABC News reported.