East Coast Braces For Impending Blizzard

The East Coast is reportedly about to be slammed with snow. The New York Times says that meteorologists are calling for one to two feet in scattered areas up North in what appears to be the end of the uncharacteristically milder weather that region was receiving up until now.

USA Today reports that the National Weather Service weighed in, saying, “1 to 2 feet of snow is expected from the Appalachians across the mid-Atlantic and toward New York with huge impacts to commerce, travel, and possibly life and property.”

Rich Otto, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, said that snowfall records are well below average this year for the East Coast. In fact, New York City alone has only had about a half inch of snow so far, which is nine inches under the average for this time of year.

“There’s potential for blizzard conditions,” Mr. Otto said, “but it’s too early to say exactly who and where and when that could occur.”

Ryan Maue, another meteorologist, predicted this would be “one for the ages.”

But, then again, meteorologists are wrong all the time, and Rich Otto warned citizens against falling victim to the hype.

“Every time there’s hype about a storm I start to hear those phrases,” Otto said, “and it loses its meaning every time.”

Meteorologist Elliot Abrams believes the storm will last a good 24 hours.

Alex Sosnowski, a senior meteorologist at Accuweather, wrote, “The storm will bring significant snow to more than 50 million people and could bring travel to a standstill in part of the mid-Atlantic states.”

The storm will start on Friday night and continue into Saturday before leaving on Sunday. In the far north, snowfall is expected to reach about one foot.

“The metro areas from Philadelphia and New York City to Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston will be in the swath zone where enough snow will fall to shovel and plow. Localized snowfall in this zone can approach a foot. More is possible should the storm take a slightly more northward track,” Alex continued.

That’s for way up north, but which area will be hit the hardest?

“At this point, it looks like the jackpot will be in Virginia, inside the Roanoke-Richmond-DC triangle,” Todd Crawford, a principal scientist at WSI in Andover, Massachusetts, said. “It’s possible that 18 inches or more could fall there.”

As is the case with many winter storms that are a few days away, there are some meteorologists who are quick to dispute the actual strength of the storm.

“I don’t know if it is going to be the end of the world, it may end up being a moderate snowstorm for a lot of folks,” said Rob Carolan, a meteorologist in New Hampshire.

Rich Otto thinks it’s a good idea for all East Coast citizens to be ready with the salt and shovel just in case.

Despite the doubters, there’s a pretty good chance that some sort of snowfall is going to hit the East Coast this weekend. The only good thing about it is the fact that it’s coming on the weekend and may have a limited effect on work and school. For now, all of those living on the East Coast should prepare for the storm.

[Photo by John Weast/Getty Images]

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