Winter storm watches and warnings have been issued for a large stretch of the U.S. East Coast ahead of a powerful Nor’easter set to hit in the coming hours. The coastal region extending from eastern Maryland through Maine is forecast to see the most snowfall, with one to two feet of snow — or more — possible in parts of New England, according to the National Weather Service.
It could be the largest Nor’easter in years and is expected to hit Friday night through Saturday.
“Numerous hazards are likely from heavy snow, with significant accumulations across eastern Long Island/New England, to gusty winds and coastal issues,” forecasters said Friday. “In fact, the combination of the snow and winds may result in blizzard conditions.”
Parts of New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts and Maryland are under blizzard warnings, which means severe winter weather — including whiteout conditions — is being seen or is expected within the next 12 to 36 hours.
Blizzard conditions are not associated with snow totals, but are due to wind and visibility, CBS Boston reports. People are urged not to travel under this warning.
In Boston, where a blizzard warning was issued, residents are gearing up – the area could get hit with about two feet of snow.
And about 40 minutes from Boston, the town of Scituate, Massachusetts, is encouraging voluntary evacuations, while handing out sandbags and preparing emergency vehicles, Mola Lenghi reported for “CBS Mornings.”
Across the region, snow plows are ready to go, but many cleanup crews are operating with reduced staff, partly because of the. One local crew, for example, is working with just half of the usual team, which means it could take longer for roads to be cleared.
Cities and states much further south could also see storm impacts. Winter weather advisories have been issued for parts of Kentucky, West Virginia, the Carolinas and Virginia, which declared a state of emergency. Under an advisory, potentially dangerous weather is happening or expected.
Officials are urging people to monitor the storm and be prepared as it continues to move. After the storm, “bitter cold air” is expected.
Contributing: Sarah Lynch Baldwin