Winter Storm
Employee Donald Mills wheels out bags of sand for a customer at Strosniders Hardware store in Silver Spring, Maryland January 21, 2016. Icy roads and freezing temperatures prompted school closings and emergency preparations in several states in the U.S. South on Wednesday, as snow began to fall on some areas ahead of a major storm expected to blast snow across the Northeast later this week. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

A major storm is expected to blast snow across U.S. Eastern states on starting Friday with meteorologists predicting blizzards and white-out conditions. Jillian Kitchener reports.

Video transcript:

A taste of what's to come arrived in the nation's capital overnight, snowfalls causing early traffic headaches and closing some school districts.

"I thought as soon as I got on the road that it was going to be a bad idea," said driver Alice Berney.

And if predictions ring true, it could get much worse.

From Kentucky to Massachusetts, a major storm is expected to bring significant snowfalls starting Friday.

Forecasters say some 50 million people could be affected by the storm, with blizzards and white-out conditions heading for some mid-Atlantic states.

Many DC residents are in preparation mode. And Mayor Muriel Bowser says the city is ready:

"We're already asked for additional national guard vehicles, and we would be prepared to ask for personnel as well."

Local forecasters say as much as 2 feet of snow is possible in Virginia and extending from Washington, D.C. to New York and Boston.